End of the Age News
By Anthony Vandagriff
POPE FRANCIS’ CHRISTMAS ADDRESS
As the classic Christmas songs says, “it’s the holiday season,” and on Christmas day, Wednesday, approximately 70,000 people gathered at St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Francis was making his first Christmas address and as he has done during his nine months of service, he drew a large crowd.
The pontiff mentioned things similar to his predecessors such as peace being achieved in Syria and in Africa. He even continued to wish for a favorable outcome in the Israeli/Palestinian peace negotiations which have been in progress for the past five months.
However, Pope Francis caught many off guard during this address. Not only did he reach out to the 1.2 billion Roman Catholics but he spoke to the atheists as well. He spoke for a global peace amongst all groups.
He was quoted saying, “I invite even nonbelievers to desire peace…Let us all unite, either with prayer or with desire, but everyone, for peace.” This did not appear to be a call for atheists to come to the Catholic faith but possibly a call for global peace or a move to ecumenism.
Pope Francis did mention the conflict between Muslims and Christians and unfortunately we witnessed another clash between these two groups in Iraq on Christmas.
37 CHRISTIANS KILLED IN IRAQ
In a Christian neighborhood of Baghdad, two explosions occurred taking the lives of many Christians. A car bomb went off near a church which resulted in 26 casualties and another bomb went off in an indoor market which killed another 11 people.
As a result of the 37 senseless deaths, the US has spoken out. The US embassy in Baghdad said the Christian community of Iraq “has suffered deliberate and senseless targeting by terrorists for many years, as have other Iraqis.” They continued that they, in the strongest terms, condemn these attacks.
There was not a group found conclusively guilty for these attacks although some are suspecting Al Qaeda because supposedly one of their goals is to eliminate the remaining Christian community from Iraq. Although the US spoke against these attacks there does not appear to be a clear plan of action to prevent these attacks from happening again.
IRAN CLASHES WITH US OVER NEW SANCTIONS
In other news, concerning Iraq’s neighbor, Iran, another clash is taking place. It appears the US is considering new added sanctions and Iran is not very happy about it. Over a third of Iran’s parliament signed on to a bill which would accelerate their nuclear program if the US continues with the new sanctions.
Some in the US feel this is a bluff and that Iran is not in the position to make a move like this. However, Iran reportedly has completed 80% of the process of having weapons grade uranium. Iran denies they are using it for weapons yet the majority of the rest of the world feels Iran is lying about their intentions.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister warned, “no new sanctions will be accepted and any new sanctions will kill negotiations.” If negotiations become hopeless and Iran ultimately produces nuclear weapons, like many suspect, the world will need to keep close eyes on the Middle East.
As always it’s been a pleasure updating you on the events taking place in our world today. The Middle East is dominating the news and coming events in the Middle East may drastically affect the course of our world.