nobel peace prize

Graffiti in Bogotá, Colombia. via svenwerk /

The “No” vote on a proposed peace deal in Colombia between the government and rebel group FARC has shocked virtually everyone.

People of conscience and faith here in the U.S. should pay close attention to Colombia for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that the struggle for peace there presents a mirror to our own fears and dispositions and to the global logics of the war on terror and drugs. One thing that the results of the plebiscite revealed is that it is hard to change public imagination overnight after spending decades of fueling war, demonizing enemies, and seeing issues one-dimensionally.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Baz Ratner

Peres, who was 93, was the last major surviving founder of Israel, and evolved from a hawkish defender of the Jewish state to a champion of the two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians would co-exist in peace.

Religious leaders remember him for reaching out to people he once considered his enemies.

Kaitlin Hasseler 03-31-2016

Do you know who she is?

Too often the stories of women are overshadowed, undervalued, dismissed, forgotten, ignored, and simply overlooked. The stories exist — they are there — it took our group less than a half hour to recount 17 stories back to back. But the collective awe that we felt — the pat on the back we were giving ourselves — felt bittersweet. How often had we heard these stories preached from the pulpit? Or shared in Sunday school and small group?

Mussie Zerai. Image via Alessandro Bianchi / REUTERS / RNS

A surge of migrant deaths in deadly voyages across the Mediterranean Sea has become a modern-day refugee crisis.

But the Rev. Mussie Zerai, a 40-year-old Roman Catholic priest from tiny Eritrea, north of Ethiopia, has moved to help migrants trapped in the North African deserts and rickety wooden boats drifting across the sea.

“It is my duty and moral obligation as a priest to help these people. For me it’s simple: Jesus said we must love one another as we love ourselves,” Zerai said in a telephone interview.

The little-known priest, now based in Rome and Switzerland, was among this year’s nominees for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Pope Francis. (The prize, announced Friday, was awarded to the National Dialogue Quartet, which helped build a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia.)

the Web Editors 10-10-2014

 1. A Fitting Nobel for Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi
“The Nobel committee has given an award to a seventeen-year-old, the youngest Peace Prize laureate ever. In one way, that is an act of faith about what and who Malala Yousafzai will become—not only about who she has been.”

2. Lecrae: 'Christians Have Prostituted Art to Give Answers'
"Christians have really used and almost in some senses prostituted art in order to give answers instead of telling great stories and raising great questions," says the wildly successful rapper.

3. WATCH: Columbus Day Under Attack
The Seattle City Council voted to replace Columbus Day with ''Indigenous Peoples Day." Leave it to Stephen Colbert to defend this "traditional holiday."

4. Islam and the Mother Lode of Bad Ideas: The Bill Maher, Sam Harris, and Ben Affleck Debate
Sam Harris says, "Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas." But isn''t saying this, in fact, scapegoating Islam and Muslims?

Pope Francis during a homily he delivered in Sibari, Italy, on June 21, 2014. Creative Commons image by Christoph Wagener/RNS.

Pope Francis is tipped to win this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, according to some of the world’s leading bookmakers.

The Argentinian pope is currently the 5-2 favorite to win the award, which will be announced by the Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway, on Oct. 10, according to British bookmaker William Hill. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power also considers him a leading contender.

The pontiff’s odds have fallen from 11-4 in a sign of his worldwide popularity.

“When the odds get shorter, that’s when you sit up and pay attention,” said Jon Ivan-Duke, spokesman for William Hill. “Maybe there’s some divine inspiration at work.”

Nevertheless, Francis is facing stiff competition from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Desmond Tutu at Clowes Hall, Butler University. Photo via RNS/Butler University

Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his fight against apartheid in South Africa, continues to speak around the globe on justice and peace. Butler University and neighboring Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis announced Thursday that they would name a center for the 81-year-old icon.

Just before the announcement of the new center, Tutu spoke with Religion News Service about faith and justice, Israel and Palestine and Pope Francis’ recent selfie and lifestyle choices. Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Photo courtesy RNS/Flickr.

Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg in 2008. Photo courtesy RNS/Flickr.

Will native son and national hero Nelson Mandela survive his latest bout with illness? That is the single question dominating headlines, speeches, twitter, and conversation throughout South Africa.

It’s an unusual situation in a country where death is an off-limits topic due to local culture. But as locals brace themselves, anxious, and hopeful, they remain stoic and protective, insisting on Mandela’s privacy as he battles a lung infection. And they say he has a right to be left alone.

“This is a man who gave so much of himself to this country,” said Roseline Wilson, 30, an insurance company representative in Johannesburg. “He must rest. He has suffered too much in his old age.”


Duane Shank 04-23-2012

Quote of the day.
"Most people were spanked when they were kids, and they think that's the proper way to discipline. They make the erroneous correlation that spanking equals good discipline and if a child isn't behaving, he must not have been spanked enough -- that's fallacious." George Holden, a Southern Methodist University psychology professor, is chairman of the 2011 Global Summit on Ending Corporal Punishment and Promoting Positive Discipline.
(USA Today)

Ms. Maathai's life and work are examples of the truth of the adage, "Nothing is more powerful than a made up mind." She made up her mind that planting trees is a way to make life better for rural women and for all of humankind. She wanted to plant one tree for every person in Kenya. An the Green Belt Movement has planted tens of millions of trees.

the Web Editors 09-26-2011
[caption id="attachment_34047" align="alignleft" width="216" caption="Antichrist with the devil, from "the Deeds of the Antichrist" by Luca Signorelli, 1501."][/caption]
I believe deeply in the power of nonviolence, first as a Christian, and second as one committed to seeing the principles of human dignity, freedom, and justice advanced throughout the world.
Gary M. Burge 02-02-2011

For an entire week now we've watched tens of thousands of Egyptians march demanding a change in government. The police force has collapsed. The army is out in force. Residents are policing their own neighborhoods. President Mubarak is weighing his options. And the West is wondering what will happen next.

Timothy King 01-26-2011
Another State of the Union has come and gone. The kingdom of God did not come with it, and the sky did not fall.
Some people in the world are large. They occupy a large space, cast a large shadow, reach for large and lofty goals.

When my children were young, I took them with me to vote. Before we went into the polling place, I said to them, "We vote because somebody died so we could have the right to vote." Now I think the reason we vote is because somebody lived so we could have the right to vote.

Aaron Taylor 06-17-2010
Last night I googled the words "drone attacks Obama" to verify if President Obama has indeed increased unmanned
Margaret Benefiel 02-04-2010

In past years, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, focused primarily on business and politics as usual. Any talk of the World Economic Forum's soul would have fizzled quickly.