China recently deployed a deep sea oil rig and supporting vessels into waters long claimed by Vietnam, a move that angered Vietnamese bishops.
The meetings began with discussions of areas of commonality between Catholicism and Islam and concluded with a commitment to issue a joint statement.
The first global study of anti-Semitic attitudes shows that more than a quarter of the world's population harbors intense anti-Jewish sentiment, with region, more than religion, shaping people's view of Jews and Judaism.
The poll, released Tuesday by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League, also finds that a large proportion of the world has never heard of the Holocaust or denies historical accounts of it.
Of those polled, 46 percent have either not heard of the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews or think it is a myth or exaggerated.
Open letter to Pope Francis: The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's investigation of Jesuit Fr. Michael Amaladoss doesn't help the church's case in Asia.
A lack of courageous leadership has hampered the peace process, one woman said. "How many courageous hearts do we have in the world? Francis is a courageous heart."
Religious leaders, including a Catholic archbishop, called for prayers for peace while urging government and rebel forces in South Sudan to lay down their arms and allow a tenuous cease-fire to take effect.
Fighting between forces loyal to South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, Kiir's former vice president, flared Monday, two days after the parties agreed to the cease-fire.
The Vatican is investigating Fr. Michael Amaladoss for allegedly espousing unorthodox beliefs, raising questions about whether Pope Francis is moving the church in a new direction.
"We are alive and there is hope, a chance for a new beginning," just like the early followers of Jesus after his death.
The heads of Christian churches in the region plan to launch an international awareness campaign following a series of anti-Christian vandalism.
The Vatican issued an urgent appeal for the release of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.