Two South Sudanese Presbyterian pastors who faced death penalties on charges of espionage have been freed from prison after months in detention following a judge's order for their release on Wednesday.
As previously reported, pastors Yat Michael and Peter Yein Reith were arrested by Sudanese authorities last winter and detained without charges and prevented from access to their family and lawyers until March 1.
They were eventually charged with various crimes against the state, including criminal conspiracy, espionage, promoting hatred amongst the sects, blasphemy, undermining the constitutional system, obtaining official documents and disturbing the peace, two charges of which were punishable by death. more >>
The Boko Haram terrorist outfit in Northeast Nigeria has killed 16 Christian men on the shores of Lake Chad by slitting their throats, an international Catholic humanitarian organization is reporting.
According to the website for the Italian office of the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, the Islamic State-affiliated militant group sliced the throats of 16 Christian fishermen last Monday on Lake Chad in Nigeria's Borno state.
Although previous reports suggested that only 10 fishermen were killed by Boko Haram in attacks on three villages off the shores of Lake Chad, sources close to the incident told the Bishop Rosario Pio Ramolo, who presides over the Chadian Archdiocese of N'Djamena, that there were 16 victims, all of whom originated from Chad. more >>
A Christian student at the University of Cape Town was forced out of her position at the institution after she posted a message on Facebook deemed "anti-gay marriage."
Commenting on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that struck down all state-level gay marriage bans, Zizipho Pae, an economics and statistics major, was forced out of the Student Representative Council last week because she accused society of "normalizing sin."
After a meeting that included heated arguments, the university's student council voted 7 to 1 in favor of a motion to immediately remove Pae from her position, according to minutes posted online by the student group. more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham, who is also CEO of humanitarian relief group Samaritan's Purse, has backed the position of many Kenyan churches on homosexuality being a sin, and accused American President Barack Obama of promoting the "gay and lesbian agenda" to other nations.
"I didn't know that we were sending our president halfway around the world to promote the gay and lesbian agenda! Samaritan's Purse has an office in Kenya and has worked there many years, and I can tell you that the churches in Kenya know what the Bible says about homosexuality — it is a sin. Sin should not be embraced, but recognized truthfully for what it is and for its serious consequences," Graham wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.
"As a world leader, the United States of America is now exporting the acceptance of immorality via our president. What will the cost of that be?" he asked. more >>
After President Barack Obama called for gay rights in Nairobi on Saturday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta corrected his counterpart, saying homosexuality is a "non-issue" in Kenya and those rights cannot be "imposed" on the people of the East African country.
"For Kenyans today, the issue of gay rights is really a non-issue," President Kenyatta said at a joint-press conference with President Obama at the State House in Nairobi on Saturday, according to Daily Nation.
In Kenyan law, homosexual acts are illegal and carry punishments of up to 14 years in prison. more >>
Christian churches in Niger are facing a lack of resources and difficult conditions in rebuilding six months after the wave of angry Islamist attacks destroyed at least 70 houses of worship in revenge for Charlie Hebdo's drawings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
"Since these incidents, it is as if life had stopped," said Rev. Jacques Kangindé, leader of the Baptist "Roundabout" church in Niamey. "The church has become a source of curiosity for passers-by and a hide-out for idlers. Unfortunately our current church finances don't allow us to begin the reconstruction."