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Religion News: Pope Francis condemns slaying of priest


In response to the murder of an elderly French priest by the Islamic State, Pope Francis condemned the killing and was shocked that such violence could happen in a church. On July 26, armed men entered the Catholic church in the town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray and slit the throat of Rev. Jacques Hamel while he was celebrating mass. The attackers, who claimed to be from the Islamic State, then took hostages. The attackers were later shot and killed by French security forces. In a statement issued by the Vatican, Pope Francis expressed “pain and horror” over the violence. “We are particularly shocked because this horrible violence took place in a Church, where God’s love is proclaimed, with the barbarous killing of a priest and the involvement of the faithful,” Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said. Hamel was an auxiliary priest at the church and was filling in for the regular parish priest.

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Evangelicals say it’s harder to be evangelical in U.S.

An increasing number of evangelicals said it is becoming harder to be an evangelical Christian in the U.S., according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. Compared to the same survey conducted in September 2014, self-identified “evangelical or born-again” Protestants said it has become more difficult to be an evangelical Christian. In the June 2016 survey, 41 percent said it is more difficult, while 34 percent said it was more difficult in 2014. The same surveys found an increase (from 8 percent in 2014 to 10 percent in 2016) in evangelicals finding it to be easier, while 47 percent said the climate hasn’t changed very much compared to 53 percent in 2014.

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“Today’s Moment of Truth: Devotions to Deepen Your Faith in Christ” by Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg

In “Today’s Moment of Truth,” bestselling author Lee Strobel articulates in 180 easy-to-read devotions the reasons why Christians believe what they believe. Combining his expertise in apologetics with his journalistic approach to parsing out the details, this devotionalwill leave you deeply encouraged and well-informed. Topics range from scientific discoveries to theological explanations, and each devotion is followed by a brief reflection and prayer for meditation.

— Zondervan


baptism: A Christian sacrament, ordinance or ceremony marked by ritual use of water and admitting the recipient to the Christian community.

— ReligionStylebook.com


According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Brazil is:

— Roman Catholic: 64.6 percent

— Other Catholic: 0.4 percent

— Protestant: 22.2 percent

— Other Christian: 0.7 percent

— Spiritist: 2.2 percent

— Other: 1.4 percent

— None: 8 percent

— Unspecified: 0.4 percent

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