Nation and World News

A week after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico begs for help

Displaced people filled containers with water Sept. 26 in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Much of Puerto Rico remains without communication and electricity and in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

WASHINGTON — More than a week after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, much of the island remained without communication and in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

News programs tell of long lines of travelers, who have little food or water, and are desperate to get off the island at the San Juan airport to no avail.

But the scene of destruction outside the airport is even more stark: An island whose dense tropical landscape, along with its infrastructure, towns and cities, has been greatly stripped by winds that reached 155 mph.

100 years after Russian revolution, Christianity faces new challenges

A Russian Orthodox woman prayed while gazing at an icon in an Orthodox parish in St. Petersburg May 29. Orthodox Christianity has been on the rise in Russia since the fall of communism in 1991.

MOSCOW — A few blocks from Moscow's Lubyanka Building, which for decades served as the headquarters of the Soviet Union's KGB security agency, the Russian Orthodox patriarch recently consecrated a church memorializing those martyred during communism's reign.

"While we were in procession around the church, people were standing with portraits of those martyred and those condemned to death" by the communist regime, said Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, who heads the church's department for external affairs.

Pope’s communications day theme: Truth in age of ‘fake news’

Pope Francis gestured as he talked Oct. 1 on a pastoral visit in Cesena, Italy. In his message for World Communications Day in May 2018, the pope will highlight the importance of truth.

VATICAN CITY — Given the strong divisions sparked and fueled by "fake news," Pope Francis is highlighting the importance of truth in his message for World Communications Day.

The message will call for studying the causes and consequences of baseless information and will promote "professional journalism," which always seeks the truth and therefore peace and understanding in the world, the Vatican Secretariat for Communication said, announcing the theme.

Rev. King’s words on nonviolence need to be lived today, speakers say

Faith leaders gathered near the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C., to commemorate Rev. King’s 1957 essay about “Nonviolence and Racial Justice.”

WASHINGTON — The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s support of nonviolence to bring about social change applies as much to today's society as it did when Rev. King put his philosophy to paper 60 years ago, said speakers at an Oct. 2 news conference at the memorial dedicated to the civil rights figure in Washington.

The news conference was scheduled in advance of, and held the day after, the Las Vegas shooting spree that killed 59 people and injured more than 500 people. That fact only underscored the importance of Rev. King's message, according to the speakers.

Once abandoned himself, Kenyan man now shelters thousands of kids

Charles Mully, pictured with young people in a scene from a documentary about his life, was abandoned by his family and later became a successful businessman and founder of Mully Children’s Family to help thousands of abandoned children.

WASHINGTON — Charles Mully has had an incredible life story. And he's not finished yet.

The Kenyan-born Mully, 68, was abandoned by his family when he was 6 years old. For a decade, he scratched out a living for himself. At age 16, he encountered Christ in a personal way and later became a successful businessman, but he ditched it all to establish the Mully Children's Family, a home to shelter kids who had been abandoned like he once had been.

A film about his life, "Mully," was shown at about 750 U.S. theaters, but for only a three-day window, Oct. 3-5.

Do not let hate, violence 'have the last word,' says Las Vegas bishop

People mourned at an interfaith memorial service Oct. 2 in Las Vegas for victims of a shooting spree directed at an outdoor country music festival late Oct. 1. A gunman perched in a room on the 32nd floor of a casino hotel unleashed a shower of bullets on the festival below, killing at least 59 people and wounding more than 500.

LAS VEGAS — At an emotional interfaith prayer service at Guardian Angel Cathedral, Las Vegas Bishop Joseph A. Pepe told those filling the pews Oct. 2 that "in the face of tragedy we need each other."

"And in the face of violence, we stand together because we cannot let hate and violence have the last word," he said in his remarks at the evening service.

"We gather from all faiths and walks of life. We pray and sing and listen to the word of God to remind ourselves that amidst this tragedy, God is with us," Bishop Pepe said. "God cries with our tears."

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