People queue for tickets for papal mass ahead of historic visit

Christians queue outside the St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Abu Dhabi for tickets to the papal mass ahead of Pope Francis’ historic three-day visit to the United Arab Emirates, the first by a pope to the Arabian peninsula.

Xmas trees gifted to animals at Moscow zoo

Because Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas two weeks after December 25, Russians usually keep their decorations around a bit longer than Western Europeans. But now, as these festivities come to a close, people in Moscow are hurrying to get rid of their trees. With some being gifted to the elephants, monkeys, bears and other animals of Moscow zoo, that enjoy playing with or simply eating them.

Christians celebrate Epiphany with swim in Istanbul

The Patriarch of Constantinople celebrates the Epiphany Mass before blessing the waters of the Golden Horn with a cross that young Greek Orthodox Christians recovered by diving into the icy water. The winner this year is Mihalis Vosnakiris.

In South-East Turkey, all Christians pray under one roof

In Diyarbakir, the main Kurdish city of South-East Turkey, there were once 46 churches. But today, only one remains open. The others are either destroyed or were closed by the government during clashes between Turkish army and the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party, the PKK. Chaldeans, Armenians, Assyrians and even some Muslims, all come together to celebrate Christmas mass in the Holy Virgin Mary church.

China Cracking Down on Christians

(7 Aug 2018) Amid the atheist ruling Communist Party’s ambitious new effort to dictate — and in some cases displace — the practice of faith in China, Christians have seen their churches raided, their Bibles confiscated and their pastors arrested. (Aug. 7)

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Inside one of the few serpent handling churches in Appalachia

Just a few thousand Christians that prove their faith by taking up serpents during church services remain in the United States today. But their unusual and dangerous practice has put them at odds with their neighbors, the wider church and sometimes the law.

Coptic Christians battle prejudice in Egyptian football

Youth members of “Je Suis” football academy, an initiative to protect the rights of Christians in sport, sit together on a pitch in the country’s second city of Alexandria. Under the name “Je Suis” in French, or “I am”, the academy’s founder Mina Bendary started the initiative after being told by football club officials to use a different name to conceal his religion if he was to play professionally in the majority-Muslim country.