Syria's civil war is increasingly seen as stoking a regional conflict based on religious differences. But don't forget about political motives, analysts say.
BEIRUT — Groups in Lebanon and regional powers such as Iran, Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have all taken sides in the Syrian civil war. While politics remains at the heart of the dispute, the battle has taken on an increasingly sectarian character, cutting along the Sunni/Shia lines of demographically divided Lebanon. full story
MANDALAY, Myanmar — Bagan, the seat of an ancient empire; Mandalay, the base of the British colonial era; and Naypyidaw, the absurdly sprawling contemporary capital. And all along the way, one scene after another seemed to reveal a complex nation brimming with change and challenges. full story
RIO DE JANEIRO — The warm reception will be greeted with relief within the church, which has been hemorrhaging followers to evangelical Protestant churches across Latin America in recent decades, and whose election of a leader from the continent indicated a resolve to tackle the Pentecostal challenge in a region that is home to around 42 percent of the world’s Catholics. full story