1. The stories of Christian persecution from last week’s #WeAreN2016 international congress on religious freedom in New York City continue to pour out. A priest and a religious sister shared their testimonies with the congress about how they and their people have kept the faith amidst the atrocities of a civil war that has been going on for five years.

2. An oldie but a goodie: In honor of May the 4th be with you (and with your spirit (sorry not sorry)), we re-ran the story about the conversion of the actor who played Obi-Wan Kenobi. If any of you Star Wars fans out there missed this story the first (or second) time around, you’ve got to check it out. 

via starwarsalways.wordpress.com

via starwarsalways.wordpress.com

3. As scientists have determined that some effects of the Zika virus may be more dangerous than originally anticipated, Latin American pro-life leaders are speaking out against the encouraged abortions for women infected with the Zika virus. The leaders argue that the abortion push demonstrates a “eugenics mentality”, and that scientists need to “fight the mosquito, not the children.”

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4. An increasing number of Christians are ditching traditional health insurance for health-sharing groups like Samaritan Ministries. Member families pay a monthly premium that covers each other’s health care costs, and they can volunteer to pay even more for others’ needs. Here’s how it works.

5. In Pope news: Pope Francis received the prestigious International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen as an award for his for efforts to unify Europe. In his acceptance speech at the Vatican, the Holy Father encouraged the European leaders present to return to Europe’s foundational values, and to return to a level of generosity and solidarity such as was seen following World War II.

Also, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, a throwback to that time Pope Francis tried on a sombrero during his trip to Mexico:

Briefs: How often do you pray for persecuted Christians? The pictures of the renovation of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York are a must-see. Speaking of renovated Churches, check out our Facebook live (well, not anymore) tour of the new Newman Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. If you live in Philly, you could meet Jesus. Sort of. This is one of the most satisfying smack-downs of the culture of death and ideological colonization you will ever watch. Mother’s Day is this Sunday – don’t forget to call your mom. And tell her about these awesome mom-Saints who totally get it.

And finally, Pope Francis never fails to deliver on weekly cuteness. Here he is greeting a blind girl at an audience in Rome:

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