A Chinese Christian immigrant may have another opportunity at U.S. citizenship after failing an immigration judge's "bible quiz."
Chang Qiang Zhu, a Chinese Christian who previously sought asylum in the U.S. from the religious persecution he suffered in China, has been given another chance to plead his asylum case by a U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 2009, Chang asked immigration judge Barbara Nelson for U.S. asylum, claiming that he had been beaten and imprisoned in the Asian country for months after attending a church that wasn't sanctioned by the Chinese government. Chang told Nelson that while he was in prison, he told Chinese authorities the story of Apostle Paul from the bible. more >>
The Indian village where a woman was ordered to be gang-raped on the orders of a kangaroo court earlier this week has defended the men who participated in sexually violating her.
Both women and men alike in Chowhatta in West Bengal, India, have come to the defense of the at least a dozen men who attacked a woman, who was punished for having a relationship with man who lived outside of their town.
Authorities have been hampered in their investigations into the horrific gang rape incident, according to The Times of India. Local residents have said that they do not want authorities entering Chowhatta and "interfering in our daily lives." They have also moved to prevent journalists from entering the village and "demeaning their culture." more >>
A church in Australia was taken by surprise when the building it was renting for worship services for the past 14 years was sold with little notice. The building has become the first mosque in Toowoomba, Queensland.
"It was a complete surprise," John Solomon, pastor of Westside Christian Church, told the Sunshine Coast Daily on Friday. His church had been renting a building from Lifeworks Uniting Church for 14 years. Lifeworks Uniting Church then proceeded to sell the building to the Islamic Society of Toowoomba.
"We continued operating in the good faith that we would be advised if we needed to relocate," Solomon explained. "Then the April settlement date was brought right forward and we had to find a new place, quick smart." more >>
A 70-year-old British man has been sentenced to death by the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi which found him guilty of insulting Islam and committing blasphemy by claiming to be a prophet. The court rejected claims that he is mentally ill.
"[Muhammad] Asghar claimed to be a prophet even inside the court. He confessed it in front of the judge," Javed Gul, a government prosecutor, told Agence France-Presse news agency.
The British man, who is from Edinburgh, Scotland, was reportedly arrested in 2010 after writing several letters claiming to be a prophet. His lawyers argued that he has a history of mental illness, but a medical panel rejected the evidence. more >>
Chinese LGBT groups are speaking out against controversial gay reparative therapy methods, which include electroshock therapy and pornography, used in the world's most populous country, arguing that such practices are deeply damaging to individuals.
The LGBT Center in the capital, Beijing, has criticized methods which include connecting a wire to a person's genitals while a doctor administers electric shocks as the person watches a pornographic film, in hopes that it would eliminate undesired sexual attraction. Gay rights groups have argued that such methods "deeply damage homosexuals' physical and mental health, and worse, infringe on their self-respect," according to AFP.
The news agency added that in the past month it has contacted five different clinics in China that claim to offer "sexuality adjustment" therapy through means including hypnosis, drugs and electric shocks, and reported on a number of cases where people have said they suffered trauma after giving them a try. more >>
An Australian photographer is helping a local indigenous community raise $1.2 million to build a 65-foot neon cross in the country's outback area known as the Northern Territory, about 150 miles from Alice Springs.
Ken Duncan, an acclaimed Australian photographer and Christian, is helping the indigenous communities of Papunya and Haasts Bluff erect the giant neon cross on an area in the Northern Territory known as Hat Hill. The cross will sit atop the large hill and be illuminated with LED-lights. Duncan is helping to raise the $1.2 million needed for the project through his foundation Walk a While, which helps indigenous youth in the country develop an interest in the creative art.
Duncan's Help Raise the Cross fundraiser asks for "financial and practical assistance from the Christian community" to help raise the funds, as the cross is a religious symbol and therefore cannot be funded through tax deductible donations. more >>