Seventeen were killed and 10 wounded on Monday after Muslim rebels in the Central African Republic attacked a church which had provided refuge for thousands of the country's beleaguered citizens. The Rev. Thibault Ndemaguia confirmed the number to the Associated Press several hours after the attacks.
Residents believe that the fighters attacked the Catholic Church compound in Bambari seeking revenge for the death of a young Muslim man, reported Reuters. Between 4,000 and 6,000 Christians are believed to have taken shelter at St. Joseph Cathedral of Bambari.
The Rev. Firmin Gbagoua, a priest at St. Joseph's, told Reuters that he believed the attackers assumed the cathedral was hiding members of the Christian militia, or anti-balaka. more >>
As the trial of Oscar Pistorius, who is accused in the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, resumed Monday, the victim's mother says she has forgiven the South African Paralympic athlete.
"I don't hate Oscar," June Steenkamp, the mother, told the Hello! magazine. "I've forgiven him. I have to – that's my religion. But I am determined to face him and reclaim my daughter. It's important for him to know that I'm there, that Reeva's mother, who gave birth to her and loved her, is there for her."
Prosecutors say Pistorius killed his girlfriend on Valentine's Day in 2013 after an argument. However, the Olympian claims it was an accident, that he fired four shots through a locked toilet door after he mistook her for an intruder. more >>
Sudanese Christian mother Meriam Ibrahim is facing a new lawsuit after her Islamic relatives submitted a case on Thursday trying to prove that she is a Muslim, which would make her marriage to a Christian man illegal under Islamic Shariah Law. The lawsuit could further delay Ibrahim's hopes to travel with her husband and children to the U.S. and seek refuge.
Abdel Rahman Malek, the lawyer hired by Ibrahim's Muslim family, said that the Khartoum Religious Court will be reviewing their case "asking to prove that Meriam Ibrahim belongs to her (Muslim) father and family," according to Reuters.
The 27-year-old woman was spared the death penalty after an appeals court overturned the sentence in June, which was originally imposed on her for marrying a Christian South Sudanese-American. Ibrahim was briefly detained last week following her release from prison, with Sudan's government accusing her of attempting to travel with falsified South Sudanese documents. more >>
The World Health Organization has said that "drastic action" is needed to stop the spread of the deadliest and largest outbreak of the Ebola virus in history, which has killed at least 467 people across West Africa since March.
CNN reported on Wednesday that African ministers and health experts are meeting in Ghana to try and coordinate efforts to stop the spread of the virus, which can kill up to 90 percent of those infected.
"One, [this is] the first time in West Africa that we have such an outbreak," said Dr. Peter Piot, who first discovered the Ebola virus in the 1970s. "Secondly, it is the first time that three countries are involved. And thirdly it's the first time that we have outbreaks in capitals, in capital cities." more >>
Witnesses claim that Sudanese government officials recently destroyed a Christian church in the area of North Khartoum as congregants looked on.
Members of the Church of Christ in the Thiba Al Hamyida area of the country's capital told CNN journalists stationed in the area that they were given notification by government officials during their mass on Sunday that their church would be destroyed. One day later, a reported 70 security personnel, some dressed in plain clothes and armed with guns and tear gas, arrived at the church at around 10 a.m. and prevented congregants from entering. Church members then watched from outside as a bulldozer demolished their house of worship.
Security officials reportedly threatened to beat any church members who tried to stop the demolition. "They wanted to beat us or throw tear gas on us," one witness told Morning Star News, adding that no one was injured during the demolition that left the church in rubble by Monday afternoon. more >>