BREAKING NEWS: US Bishops Rush To Israel As Ground Offensive Continues (BosNewsLife In-Depth)

By BosNewsLife Chief International Correspondent Stefan J. Bos with additional reporting by BosNewsLife Chief Middle East Correspondent George Whitten in Israel ap_israel_offensive_gaza_victim_05jan09_190JERUSALEM/GAZA CITY (BosNewsLife)-- More than half of the United States' Lutheran bishops were on their way to Israel Monday, January 5, amid international concerns that an Israeli offensive against the militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip would lead to more suffering of civilians, including the territory's Christian minority.

URGENT BREAKING NEWS: Israel Launches Ground Offensive In Gaza (UPDATE 4)

(ADDS COMMENTS DEFENSE MINISTER, IDF, MORE DETAILS) By BosNewsLife Chief Middle East Correspondent George Whitten reporting from Israel and Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent at BosNewsLife News Center
picture4JERUSALEM/GAZA CITY (BosNewsLife)-- Israel has begun a major ground offensive in the Gaza Strip aimed at destroying the terrorist infrastructure of the militant Islamic group Hamas, Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed late Saturday, January 3.

BREAKING NEWS: Israel Strike Near Gaza Church Kills Dozens; Hamas Warns Retaliation

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife with BosNewsLife sources and reporting from the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem ap_gaza_israel_airstrikes_palestinians_01jan09GAZA CITY/JERUSALEM (BosNewsLife)-- Christians in the Gaza Strip have mourned dozens of people who were killed when an Israeli air strike damaged a Baptist church while hitting a nearby police station, as part of Israel's military campaign against the Islamic militant group Hamas, BosNewsLife established Friday, January 2.

BREAKING NEWS: Israeli Airstrikes Kill Over 300 In Gaza; Christians In Crossfire

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife ap_gaza_israelwarplanes_29dJERUSALEM, ISRAEL (BosNewsLife)-- The World Council of Churches (WCC) condemned on Monday, December 29, ongoing Israeli airstrikes against the militant Islamist group Hamas and its infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, which reportedly killed over 300 Palestinians, injured up to 1,000, and put the territory's Christian minority in the crossfire.

URGENT BREAKING NEWS: Christians In Crossfire As Israel Strikes Kill 205 (Developing Story)

By BosNewsLife News Center with reporting from the region ap_gaza_attack_190_engBETHLEHEM/JERUSALEM (BosNewsLife)-- Minority Christians in Gaza and the West Bank faced a dark night Saturday, December 27, as Israeli air strikes against suspected Hamas militants killed hunderds of Palestinians, and Christmas lights were shut off around Bethlehem, which Christians consider Jesus' birthplace, to protest Israel's actions.

BosNewsLife Launches New Website And “Worthy” Partnership

By BosNewsLife News Center BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)-- Central and Eastern Europe's first Christian news agency on the Internet, BosNewsLife, has launched a new website ( and a strategic partnership with Worthy Ministries, an organization specialized in Christian news "and spreading the Gospel around the world," its founder confirmed Friday, December 5.

Israel, Europe Remember Kristallnacht’s 70th Anniversary With Solemn Ceremonies

JERUSALEM/BERLIN (BosNewsLife)-- From Jerusalem to Berlin, people on Sunday, November 9, commemorated the 70th anniversary of 'Kristallnacht,' a night that became the prelude to the Holocaust, in which some six million Jews perished. International diplomats were among those attending a ceremony in Israel as it marked the 'Kristallnacht, the Nazi-inspired riots in which hundreds of synagogues and thousands of Jewish-owned businesses were ransacked in Germany and Austria. "They robbed everything out of the store and the synagogue was burning," recalled Holocaust survivor, Gerhard Mashkovski.At least 91 Jews were killed in the violence whipped up by Nazi stormtroopers and close to 30,000 Jews were arrested in the two-day pogrom and sent to concentration camps. Holocaust survivors and their descendants, and the German and Austrian ambassadors to Israel attended a solemn ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial here in Jerusalem on Sunday, November 9.Austrian Ambassador, Michael Rendi said it was important that Austria took over this year the presidency in the International Task Force on Holocaust Education, on Holocaust remembrance, on research. "I think it says and it shows that we have learned a very painful lesson. And the knowledge that is given on to the next generations is the key," he said.Kristallnacht, which means "Night of the Broken Glass," is seen as the beginning of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War II. On Sunday, November 9, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel "will never forgive or forget" the atrocities of Adolf Hitler's Germany. EUROPE REMEMBERS Events were also held in Germany itself and other European nations to remember the Kristallnacht.In Nazi Germany persecution of the Jewish population had begun long before Kirstallnacht. After Hitler had come to power, laws were passed placing restrictions on Jews, on where they could work, on who they could marry and where they could receive medical help.But on the night of November 9, 1938 the anti-semitism turned physical, Jewish people recalled. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was therefore crucial to "fight with determination" against racism and anti-Semitism. "Indifference is the first step toward endangering essential values," Merkel said during a speech at Germany'a largest synagogue in Berlin's Rykestrasse. "Xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism must never be given an opportunity in Europe again."Kristallnacht, often viewed as the first major act that ultimately led to the Holocaust, was met with indifference by many Germans in 1938, Merkel noted on Sunday, November 9."There was no storm of protest against the Nazis, but silence, shrugged shoulders and people looking away -- from individual citizens to large parts of the church. We cannot be silent, we cannot be indifferent, when Jewish cemeteries are desecrated and rabbis are insulted on the street," she said at the ceremony, attended by Jewish representatives and diplomats. LINGERING PAIN German-born Pope Benedict XVI, speaking in Vatican City Sunday, November 9, voiced his lingering pain over the Kristallnacht. "Still today I feel pain over what happened in those tragic events, whose memory must serve to ensure such horrors are never repeated and that we strive, on every level, against all forms of anti-Semitism and discrimination.""I invite people to pray for the victims of that night and to join me in expressing profound solidarity with the Jewish world," the pontiff told crowds at the Vatican after his regular Sunday Angelus address.Pope Benedict, born Joseph Ratzinger in Bavaria in 1927, was forced to join the Hitler Youth as a teenager, though both his parents opposed the Nazis. Earlier this year the pontiff spoke in New York about his teenage years being "marred by a sinister regime," Reuters news agency reported.The pope is reportedly being lobbied by Holocaust survivors and their descendants to halt the process of making his wartime predecessor Pius XII a saint. Some Jews accuse Pius, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust. The Vatican says he worked behind the scenes to help save many Jews from certain death. END (With reporting by BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos).