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Ahead of Christmas, a towering wooden screen — once blackened with soot from millions of worshipers’ candles — is being restored to its gilded glory in the Church of the Nativity, built at the site where many believe Jesus was born. But few visitors are expected to see it this Christmas holiday season.

The U.S. State Department has added Russia to its list of nations it considers among the world’s most egregious violators of religious freedom. Russia joins Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan on the list of “countries of particular concern.” 

As the United Nations Climate Conference (known as COP26) gathers world leaders in Glasgow, Scotland, to discuss climate change, people of faith long active in environmental advocacy haven’t succumbed to pessimism.

Around the world, faith leaders and environmental activists increasingly joining the fight against climate change. And some believe systemic change to protect those most vulnerable to the climate crisis must come from world leaders meeting at the U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

President Joe Biden said Pope Francis told him he should continue to receive Communion, as the world’s two most prominent Roman Catholics ran overtime in highly personal discussions on climate change, poverty, and the coronavirus pandemic.

As world leaders prepare to gather next week in Scotland for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), this edition of A Public Witness mines what this international effort entails and why Christians spend time advocating in such meetings.

The fashion industry continues to struggle with wage gaps and sustainability, according to a report from an Australian Christian watchdog group, despite marked improvement in how the industry treats workers and sources its goods over the past few years.

A group of 17 missionaries including children was kidnapped by a gang in Haiti, according to a voice message sent to various religious missions by an organization with direct knowledge of the incident. 

In Exodus 13, the Israelites carried the bones of Joseph as they left Egypt toward the promised land. This can be seen today as Jews in Poland buried the remains of a Jew who died during World War II.

Apostolic groups that infuse traditional beliefs into a Pentecostal doctrine are among the most skeptical in Zimbabwe when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, with an already strong mistrust of modern medicine. But some members are trying to change that.