Monday's Religion News Roundup: Holocaust Remembrance * Rick Warren's son * Juche

berryJews and gentiles around the world will stop today to remember the 6 million killed in the Shoah.

Meanwhile, Israeli researchers say anti-Semitic attacks have surged, as extremist parties grow in Europe.

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren's son died on Friday, in what California police are calling a suicide.

Warren and his wife, Kay, shared their grief in a letter to his Saddleback Church, and said their son, Matthew, had long suffered from depression.

Christian leaders rushed to console the Warrens on social media, but Ed Stetzer says churches need to stop pretending that mental illness is not a real issue.

In another untimely death, J. David Kuo, an evangelical who spearheaded but later criticized President George W. Bush's faith-based office, died on Friday. He was 44.

President Obama hosted an Easter prayer breakfast at the White House on Friday morning, and issued an executive order extending the faith-based advisory council late that afternoon. 

Pope Francis has charmed the public, but now comes the hard part of his new job: reforming the Vatican.

NCR's John Allen visited the shanty towns in Buenos Aires where the future Pope Francis began his ministry.

Jesuits are seeing an upsurge of interest in their order since Francis was elected pontiff, reports the AP's Rachel Zoll.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said a federal judge's easing of restrictions on Plan B "makes young adolescent girls more available to sexual predators."

Egyptian Christians clashed with a mob on Sunday, killing one and turning Cairo's Coptic cathedral into a battleground, the AP reports.

A 19-year-old Tunisian who bared her breasts and taunted Muslim hard-liners say she now fears for her life and wants to take refuge abroad.

Jean A. Stevens became the first woman to offer a public prayer at the worldwide Mormon meeting on Saturday. Meanwhile, some Mormon women said they'll continue to press for the priesthood.

A Mormon apostle told 20,000 churchmembers gathered in Salt Lake City not to pick and chose from among the Ten Commandments. Senior Apostle Boyd Packer told Mormons to avoid the "tolerance trap."

As North Korea rattles its sword, the Economist examines the world's 10th largest religion, juche, which is basically the country's national ideology, including near-worship of the ruling Kim family.

Peter Smith explores a more irenic ideology: the work of Kentucky farmer and poet Wendell Berry.

This has been a sorta sad roundup, so let's leave on hopeful words from Berry:

Found your hope, then, on the ground under your feet.
Your hope of Heaven, let it rest on the ground
Underfoot. Be it lighted by the light that falls
Freely upon it after the darkness of the nights
And the darkness of our ignorance and madness.

Yr hmbl aggrgtr,

Daniel Burke 


  1. My sympathies to Warren and his family. This is a good reminder to not hold yourself and your family up as some super-religious group. We all have problems and whatever was troubling young Warren unfortunetly got the best of him. Sad. I truly hope something good can come out of this trajedy, like the fact that sometimes mental health counseling is needed even for the most faithful.

  2. On another topic this is also the perfect time to remember the 6,000,000 Jews & others killed in the Holocaust. What will it take for this world to learn not to hate based on race religion or anything else for that matter. Blaming any one culture or group for another nations problems is not the answer. Peace it appears, is still a very far away subject for most of this world and hate of others, for whatever reason does not help any problem. I wish for peace! Confucious once said “when you go to seek revenge, dig two graves.’ So true, yet so ignored.

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