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Click READ MORE at the end of each press release to link to the full press release you would like to view. All press releases will be available 30 days from the original post date.
To add yours, please call Wendy Gustofson at 573-884-4044 or email wendy@religionnews.com


Aug. 26, 2014
New books and key experts available in time for October Synod on Marriage and Family

Ignatius Press delivers one stop for resources into hotly debated topics at Vatican meeting

SAN FRANCISCO – Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, the indissolubility of marriage, cohabitation and contraception are just a few of the many controversial topics to be discussed when Catholic bishops from across the globe meet with Pope Francis at the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops Oct. 5-19 at the Vatican.

Ignatius Press, one of the largest religious publishers in the world, is publishing four books in the fall that will address issues of the upcoming synod. The Catholic publisher will also have a number of authors available to comment on the topics before and during the Synod. READ MORE...



Aug. 26, 2014
2014 Book of the Year Award Goes to Liguori Publications

Meditations on Vatican Art Takes Top Prize

Liguori, Mo. — Meditations on Vatican Art, published by Liguori Publications, has received the prestigious 2014 Book of the Year Award from the Association of Catholic Publishers.

The award recognizes the best in Catholic publishing and considers the quality of both content and design. This coffee-table art book with meditations by Fr. Mark Haydu of the Vatican Museums makes Vatican art treasures more accessible to readers. The award is even more noteworthy because Fr. Haydu is a first-time author.

This book is the first in a series on meditating with Vatican art. A second book, which focuses on angels, will be released later this year.

The judges praised the book. “Meditations on Vatican Art compels the reader to pray in a 28-day retreat format,” noted one judge. “The book engages multiple senses to create a prayer experience that is engaging on multiple levels. The format of the book physically is a beautiful complement to its compelling prose.” READ MORE...



Aug. 14, 2014
Chart-topper “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Inspires New Recording, Based On Same Timeless Wisdom as Soundtrack From Provocative New Movie THE SONG In Theaters Sept. 26

The Byrds’ Roger McGuinn Re-Cuts Iconic Song for Anticipated Movie Soundtrack

Album Features Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, McGuinn, NEEDTOBREATHE and 11 Original Songs

Capitol Records to Distribute Soundtrack for THE SONG On September 16

(Nashville, Tenn.)— Ancient biblical text that inspired The Byrds’ No. 1 hit “Turn! Turn! Turn!” will now provide a cinematic backdrop for the provocative new film, THE SONG, releasing nationwide from Samuel Goldwyn Films and City On a Hill Studio on September 26. In honor of the film, The Byrds’ Roger McGuinn has re-arranged the band’s timeless classic for THE SONG ALBUM, which will release September 16 from Capitol Records (Christian Music Group). The 15-track project features musical icons such as Ricky Skaggs, Americana Vocalist of the Year Emmylou Harris, McGuinn, as well as the stars of the film, Alan Powell of Anthem Lights and Caitlin Nicol-Thomas.

“‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’, based on the book of Ecclesiastes, is my favorite song,” says rock legend Roger McGuinn. “It was a pleasure to work with Ricky, Emmylou, and friends to re-record this version for the movie and soundtrack.” READ MORE...



Aug. 13, 2014
New book imprint to offer romance novels that promote abstinence

Pelican Book Group, a division of Pelican Ventures, LLC, has announced the creation of its new imprint,Pure Amore, to launch books beginning in October. Pure Amore will be the first romance genre imprint to promote abstinence before marriage. Editor in Chief for Pelican, Nicola Martinez, says the content of the books will be something both Christians and non-Christians will embrace, but that there was a specific goal in mind while forming the new imprint.

“I wanted to produce something that would help young people to see how precious the gift of their virginity is to their future spouse,” says Martinez. “The truth is that each individual is worth waiting for and lovemaking is intended to create a bond with only one special person. To believe and act on this one truth will, across the board, increase self-worth and peer respect, strengthen marriages, cut the rate of unwanted pregnancy, and so many other things. As a Christian publisher that publishes romance—promotes lasting love between a man and a woman—I felt we could definitely do something to promote chastity.” READ MORE...



Aug. 12, 2014
Aid to the Church in Need-USA, a papal agency, launches major campaign to support besieged Christians in Iraq and Syria

NEW YORK—Responding to what Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic leader Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako has called “a human catastrophe and the risk of a real genocide,” Aid to the Church in Need-USA (ACNUSA) has launched a major campaign to provide humanitarian aid to the Christian community in Iraq that has been terrorized by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for more than six weeks.

ACNUSA has made two initial grants, $135,000 for emergency aid for Iraq’s Christian refugees and $186,000 in support of the Christian community in Syria. There, continued fighting between the regime and the opposition, the devastation caused by the civil war to-date, and targeted attacks are causing enormous suffering to local Christians.
READ MORE...



Aug. 6, 2014
Do Christians Feel Any Self-Accountability?

William Pillow, Jack McMahan, and Lillian Stover Wells, PhD

Bible literalists say that we are born in sin, inherited from the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Christians claim to be saved from their sins by the crucifixion of Jesus, intended by God as atonement for their sins. Question: are Christians saved from inherited sins, sins committed until Jesus died on the cross, sins since his death, or all of their sins?

People generally hope to make it to Heaven. Christians expect an End of Time with the Day of Judgment when the world will be destroyed, Jesus will return, and all humans will be raised from their graves, judged, and divided between eternal destinations of Paradise and Hell.

Therefore the point of this article is to ask how Christians view their personal accountability during life on Earth. This seems especially pertinent given the scientific facts that our bodies disintegrate in the grave or are cremated, as the Vatican has now accepted. Also, NASA has now identified other planets that may sustain life. Doesn’t this illustrate that the spirit world is far greater than we ever realized? Is God still ours alone? READ MORE...



Aug. 6, 2014
Buddhist Youth Step Up Momentum toward Nuclear Abolition, Spread Message of Peace

Soka Gakkai Youth in Japan Push for Nuclear Abolition toward 70th Anniversary of Atomic Bombings in 2015

HIROSHIMA, JAPAN: On August 6, members of the Soka Gakkai lay Buddhist association gathered for a memorial prayer meeting in Hiroshima to mark the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city. Prayers were offered in memory of victims of the atomic bombings and for all victims of war. A similar meeting will be held in Nagasaki on August 9.

The results of a survey on attitudes toward peace and nuclear weapons carried out by Soka Gakka student members in five prefectures close to Hiroshima were also announced. An increased proportion of respondents (75%) felt it is important for young people to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to raise awareness of the true nature of nuclear weapons and strengthen commitment to abolishing them. READ MORE...



Aug. 5, 2014
New BELIEVE ME Theatrical Trailer Intros Millennial Satire On Faith

Micro-Payments Motivate Fans to Spread the Word, Riot Studios’ Edgy Satire Hits Theaters Sept. 26

AUSTIN — Does the guy holding the microphone always hold the truth? Already ruffling feathers, and with over half a million views on its teaser trailer, Riot Studios now releases the official theatrical trailer for their religious satire BELIEVE ME, which challenges the power of platforms. BELIEVE ME debuts simultaneously in theaters and on demand Sept. 26.

Riot Studios, the Austin-based “Millennial” production company, also has released an original and booming grassroots marketing campaign to pay fans who share the trailer on social media. “The online generation suspects sponsored content,” producer Alex Carroll, explaining Riot’s proprietary system said. “So we’re paying fans, even motivating them, to do what fans do: to tell their friends. What better way to hear about a new movie?” READ MORE...



Aug. 4, 2014
Nancy Writebol Returning to U.S. Tuesday for Further Treatment; American Missionary with Ebola Remains in Stable Condition

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Nancy Writebol, the American missionary who contracted Ebola while serving in Liberia, is expected to return to the U.S. for further treatment on Tuesday, according to SIM (www.simusa.org), the Christian mission organization with which she serves.  She remains in serious, but stable, condition.

Writebol was serving on a joint team with Dr. Kent Brantly of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization, when they both contracted the virus.

The same medical evacuation plane that brought Brantly back to the U.S. for treatment on Aug. 2 is on its way to Liberia to pick up Writebol. The plane, which is equipped with a unique containment unit, will fly into Dobbins Air Force Base near Atlanta. Writebol will then be transported to Emory University Hospital and placed in a special isolation unit set up in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). READ MORE...



Aug. 1, 2014
Global Day of Prayer for Christians in Iraq

Feast of the Transfiguration—Aug. 6, 2014

“Please stop, I ask you with all my heart, it’s time to stop. Stop, please.”

Inspired by these words of Pope Francis (June 27, 2014), the international pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need, united with His Beatitude Louis Rafael Sako, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq, appeals to all persons of good will to join in a Global Day of Prayer for Peace to be held on August 6, 2014—the Feast of the Transfiguration.

The feast of Transfiguration marks the moment when Jesus, on Mount Tabor, appears to three of his disciples in a state of glory, shortly before His ultimate trial on Calvary. This feast holds out a sign of hope for humanity: it is a source of courage when obstacles appear impossible to surmount; a sign that light is stronger than darkness; and testimony that death can turn into life.

Meant to be observed in churches and homes across the country, this Global Day of Prayer in the midst of so much suffering in Iraq—particularly for the ancient Christian community of Mosul—tells the world at large that US Christians have not forgotten and abandoned their suffering brothers and sisters. READ MORE...



July 30, 2014
“Beasts from the East”

Fairfax, VA (For Immediate Release) -- Eastern Christian Publications announces the publication of a series of original Catholic devotionals entitled The Blessed Book of Beasts, written by Jonathan Scott.  Featuring virtually every animal named in the Bible, it uses classical literary forms from the Middle Ages, and is designed to delight the imagination and lead the heart towards devotion.

The books have been written for families– children, parents, grandparents – and feature over 100 classical engravings. The late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who had the opportunity to view early drafts of the work, described the books as “an answered prayer to all who believe.”

A Bestiary is a literary collection of animals, each one of which conveys a moral lesson about goodness. The first known Bestiary was written by an unknown author in the first century. In the Bible, God uses animals to help teach wisdom. We immediately think of the talking donkey in the Book of Numbers who prods the prophet Balaam towards the path of God. The writer of the Book of Proverbs, as well, describes several animals as being exceedingly wise. READ MORE...



July 30, 2014
Faith groups join call for an arms embargo on Israel

For immediate release – July 30, 2014 – It is with heavy hearts that we compose this statement.  At the time of this writing, the Israeli military’s ground, naval, and aerial bombardment of Gaza has killed more than 1,280 Palestinians.  The vast majority of these victims were civilians, according to the United Nations.  Palestinian rockets and anti-tank fire have killed two Israeli civilians, one Thai migrant worker, and 53 Israeli soldiers (one Israeli soldier has been reported as “missing” by Israel and “captured” by Hamas).

We deplore and condemn the use of violence by anyone, anytime, anywhere. For, each of these casualties is a child of God; each has a name; each has a family; each has a life story that has come to an abrupt and tragic end.

These deaths do not occur in a vacuum.  The current onslaught takes place within the context of a seven-year old Israeli and Egyptian imposed blockade of Gaza and forty-seven year old Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. READ MORE ...



July 30, 2014
BCWI Announces 2014 Best Christian Workplaces

Mercer Island, WA – The 2014 Best Christian Workplaces rely on inspirational work and effective communication to create a flourishing culture that meets the needs of those they serve. Best Christian Workplaces Institute announces that 76 distinguished organizations have earned Certification as Best Christian Workplaces for 2014. Each year since 2003, BCWI has identified the list of Certified Best Christian Workplaces. This year is the largest participation level since the inception of the program.

Certified Best Christian Workplaces are global and represent all facets of ministries from churches, schools to universities, parachurch missions to product and services, book publishers to radio stations. These Certified organizations exceed the percentage of engaged employees vs. norms. READ MORE...



July 29, 2014
Kendrick Brothers Wrap Filming On Anticipated Fifth Movie

Faith Film From Creators of COURAGEOUS Highlights Power of Prayer, a Regular Practice for Nine of 10 Americans


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Alex and Stephen Kendrick—creators of hit faith films FIREPROOF and COURAGEOUS—have just wrapped principal photography on their anticipated fifth movie—a family drama with humor and heart focused on the power of prayer and its primary role in the Christian life.

“We made this film to inspire, challenge and motivate families to fight the right kind of battles and to fight them the best way possible,” said Director and Co-Writer Alex Kendrick. “We have plans for everything—careers, finances, health. But what about a strategy for prayer for our lives, our spouses and our children?”

The Kendricks’ fifth film is their first project independent of Sherwood Pictures, the movie ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church. Pre-production began in 2013 with the blessing and support of the Sherwood family, where they remain associate pastors. READ MORE...




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