Jordan debating whether to open up to Shiite pilgrims


AMMAN, Jordan (RNS) — Jordanians are debating the possibility of opening the Sunni Islam-majority country to Shiite pilgrims long discouraged from visiting the tombs of the relatives of the Prophet Muhammad, most prominently Jafar, Muhammad’s cousin and the brother of Caliph Ali, the first Shiite leader. The debate was triggered by a Facebook post by … Read more

Pope Francis urges political leaders in Lebanon to overcome partisan interests


VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Pope Francis shone a light on the troubled country of Lebanon, currently faced with deep economic, social and political unrest, during an ecumenical day of prayer at the Vatican, calling the country’s political leaders to set aside self-interest for the benefit of their people. “Stop using Lebanon and the Middle East … Read more