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After the massive explosion on Aug. 4 in Beirut, Lebanon, some mental health professionals have offered to help those grappling with the shock and trauma of a blast that devastated a people wearied by severe economic turmoil and the coronavirus pandemic and related hardship.

Pope Francis on Wednesday warned against any prospect that rich people would get priority for a coronavirus vaccine. He also said it would be scandalous if all the economic assistance in the works, most of it using public funds, ends up reviving industries that don’t help the poor or the environment.

A quarter century after Israeli spies, a Canadian activist, and a Syrian rabbi smuggled nine rare medieval Jewish manuscripts out of Damascus, an Israeli court decided the books will remain under the National Library’s custodianship for their preservation.

A conservative South Korean pastor who has been a bitter critic of the country’s president has tested positive for the coronavirus, health authorities said Monday (Aug. 17), two days after he participated in an anti-government protest in Seoul that drew thousands.

Zimbabwe is embroiled in an economic and political crisis marked by human rights abuses, said the country’s Roman Catholic bishops, who were then criticized by the government as “evil” and trying to promote genocide.

On Thursday (Aug. 13), U.S. President Donald Trump announced Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed to diplomatic relations. But while many applauded the move as a step toward peace, others criticized it as another effort that undermines Palestinian hopes for sovereignty.

When the first COVID-19 cases hit Brazil in March, the government agency in charge of protecting the country’s Indigenous peoples ordered all civilians to leave the Indigenous reservations. But a new law made an exception for one group: Christian missionaries. And some people aren’t happy.

The world witnessed fleeting glimpses of the horror wrought on the Lebanese people on Aug. 4 through videos that circulated widely online, among them that dramatic footage as Rabih Thoumy celebrated Mass via livestream from Saint Maron-Baouchrieh church. He recounts the explosion and aftermath.

A court in Myanmar on Thursday sentenced the Canadian pastor of an evangelical church to three months imprisonment after finding him guilty of violating a law intended to combat the spread of the coronavirus. 

South Korean prosecutors arrested the elderly leader of a secretive religious sect Saturday as part of an investigation into allegations that the church hampered the government’s anti-virus response after thousands of worshipers were infected in February and March.