Hundreds of Christians have reportedly been arrested in New Delhi, India, for protesting against a series of vandalism attacks against churches.
The police crackdown occurred on Thursday, when hundreds of demonstrators gathered around the Sacred Heart Cathedral, near the Indian parliament. Police barricaded the roads leading to the residence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and began arresting people for unlawful assembly.
At least 19 people are now dead and another 24 missing after a TransAsia Airways flight en route to the Taiwan-controlled Kinmen islands crashed into a river in Taipei, Taiwan after clipping a wing on a bridge moments after takeoff Wednesday.
According to the BBC, the aircraft which was carrying some 58 people, is now broken up and its fuselage remained half-submerged in the Keelung River as rescue workers converge on the scene. Reuters reported 15 people survived.
Chew Eng Han, the former City Harvest Church fund manager, admitted in court that he had inadvertently participated in the evangelism project that misused $19.2 million of church funds, claiming he thought he was doing the work "for God" and for pastor Kong Hee.
"I never had bad intentions to cause loss to the church," said Chew, according to The Straits Times. "Everything I did, I did it for God, and for Kong Hee, whom I thought was the man of God."
Chew said that the years he worked at CHC, one of the largest megachurches in Singapore, when he inadvertently participated in the scheme that funneled $19.2 million of church funds into the pop-star career of Kong's wife, Sun Ho, were some of the lowest in his life. more >>
Close to 300 Muslim students armed with iron bars and sticks attacked a Christian boys' school in northern Pakistan, reportedly in retaliation to French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's controversial drawings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. The attack left four Christians injured.
"It is very sad that Islamic radicals attack Pakistani Christians because of Charlie Hebdo. Christians condemn the blasphemous cartoons. It is a shame that even after 67 years since the birth of Pakistan, Christians have not yet been considered Pakistani citizens, but are seen as 'Western allies,'" Nasir Saeed, director of the NGO Center for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement, told Fides News Agency.
The attack occurred on Panel High School in the city of Bannu, in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Muslim students apparently were able to jump over the outer walls of the school and open the gates before attacking the Christians. more >>
A legal battle is underway in Pakistan for the three young children of Shama and Shahzad Masih, the Christian couple who were burned alive by Muslim radicals in November.
Fides News Agency identified the children as 6–year-old Saman, 4-year-old Sania, and 18-month-old Poonam. While the children are living with their maternal grandfather, there are five different applications that have been lodged at the Court of Lahore demanding custody.
Those applying to take the children are Mukhtar Masih, the grandfather; maternal uncle Yasin Masih; paternal uncle Iqbal Masih; the Legal Evangelical Association Development organization led by Christian lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill; as well as the nonprofit Child Protection and Welfare Bureau. more >>
President Barack Obama said that those who believe he is not a Christian do not know him, but even if he were not a Christian, there would be nothing wrong with that. Obama made the remarks in a speech in New Delhi, where he called on India to do more to safeguard religious freedom.
"In our lives, Michelle [Obama] and I have been strengthened by our Christian faith. Still, as you may know, my faith has at times been questioned — by people who don't know me — or they've said that I adhere to a different religion, as if that were somehow a bad thing," Obama said, according to ABC News.
"Every person has the right to practice their faith how they choose, or to practice no faith at all, and to do so free from persecution and fear." more >>