Uganda has voted in favor of a bill that would make "aggravated homosexuality," including repeated gay acts, punishable by life imprisonment, and threaten jail for those who fail to report gay people.
While homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda, MP David Bahati, who was behind the bill, sought to strengthen existing laws.
"This is victory for Uganda. I am glad the parliament has voted against evil," said Bahati, according to AFP news agency. "Because we are a God-fearing nation, we value life in a holistic way. It is because of those values that members of parliament passed this bill regardless of what the outside world thinks." more >>
Groups of women in southern Nigeria have been protesting in front of government offices in Enugu State against the killing of women through "fetish activities" and forced marriages to traditional gods.
"Essentially these practices are very rare in occurrence. The population is mostly made up of Christians and Muslims. But what I suspect is going on is some kind of commercialization on part of the so-called animist priests, who have always been on the periphery – a collection of people who still indulge in some of these rituals. But most of these practices are not based on any profound beliefs," said Pastor Laolu Akande, executive director of Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Tuesday.
According to BBC News, the protests were held earlier this month as 11 local women have lost their lives because of such activities. The women were reportedly dressed in black and held palm leaves, declaring that forced marriages to traditional gods goes against articles in Nigeria's constitution. more >>
Nigerian televangelist and Pastor Chris Okotie stands by the inflammatory comments he made during a recent church service in which he claimed that "all Catholics will go to hell" and called the pope "an Anti-Christ', among other things. The controversial preacher's remarks were widely reported online by Nigerian media and swiftly rebuked by religious and nonreligious readers.
Fifty-five year old Okotie, while preaching in his Household of God Church in Ikeja area of Lagos, western Nigeria, said the Catholic church is "a counterfeit church set up by Satan" and that Catholics "bow to idols and crucify Jesus every Sunday when they eat bread claiming they are eating Jesus' body." more >>
South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela, was laid to rest on Sunday in an eclectic collision of old and new world pomp which left his people in tears as elders from his Xhosa tribe reportedly offered blood from a slaughtered ox to guests in a traditional ritual.
A report from MailOnline noted that the beloved global icon who died at 95 on Dec. 5 was finally buried Sunday after 10 days of mourning and a four-hour state funeral attended by an array of international figures such as the Prince of Wales, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson and American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson.
"Yours was truly a long walk to freedom, and now you have achieved the ultimate freedom, in the bosom of your maker," said armed forces Chaplain General Monwabisi Jamangile. more >>
In a fitting tribute to the love former South African President Nelson Mandela had for song and dance, Woolworth's South Africa recently collaborated with the Soweto Gospel Choir to create a moving rendition of Johnny Clegg's 'Asimbonanga' in one of their stores, and some viewers of the performance online have been confessing it left them in tears.
A video of the moving performance was posted on YouTube by the store on Monday and already it has been viewed more than a million times.
"This is truly incredible, watching it gave me goosebumps. Imagine the emotions of the people who experienced this beautiful Soweto Gospel Choir LIVE. Nice one Woolworths, in true Mandela style. WOW!" wrote Donna Matthews after listening to the performance. more >>
Egypt's new draft constitution, to be voted on in a national referendum in January, is being hailed for its improvements over the 2012 Islamist-backed constitution. But the new constitution still has a number of shortcomings on religious and personal freedoms, according to concerned Egyptian Christians and human rights groups.
"Personally I'm cautiously optimistic," said Halim Meawad, co-founder of Coptic Solidarity, a U.S.-based international Coptic Christian human rights organization.
Meawad said the draft constitution is an improvement over the Muslim Brotherhood constitution of 2012, particularly with elimination of Article 219, which defined aspects of Sharia law on which legislation could be based. Article 219 and other aspects of the 2012 constitution led many liberal and Christian leaders to boycott the Muslim Brotherhood government, eventually culminating in popular protests and the military's ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. more >>