An increasing number of Christians are celebrating Purim, a traditionally Jewish holiday commemorating the Jews’ deliverance from a Persian plot as recorded in the book of Esther. Jews celebrate the Feast of Lots with food, drink, and a recitation with noisemakers.
The 2014 Major League Baseball season begins with the first MLB game ever in Australia. The Arizona Diamondbacks will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in a two-game series starting today in Sydney. The games will be baseball’s first serious entrance into the cricket-crazed nation.
While on his diplomatic trip to Europe, President Barack Obama plans to meet with Pope Francis for the first time today. According to the White House, the pair will discuss a shared “commitment to fight poverty and growing inequality.” But Francis may take the opportunity to discuss the Obama administration’s contraception mandate condemned by many American Catholics.
The biblical story of Noah will hit movie theaters across the United States today when a film by the same name debuts. The $130 million film stars Russell Crowe as Noah and Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah (see "Faithful to the Book? in this issue). Director and producer Darren Aronofsky promises the film will be faithful to the Genesis account—though he admits he added to the sparse narrative.
Today is the day homosexuals will be allowed to marry partners of the same sex across England and Wales. The date was set by a July 2013 law but doesn’t affect all of the United Kingdom. Same-sex marriage will likely be legalized in Scotland by 2014, but Northern Ireland has no such plans.