A teenage Islamic State terror group supporter attacked a Roman Catholic priest with an axe at a church in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra in Indonesia, but failed to set off explosives that could have killed hundreds of worshipers during Sunday mass.
"A terrorism act was carried out Sunday morning at the Saint Joseph Catholic Church," said Rina Sari Ginting, spokeswoman for Medan police in a statement. "Police are interrogating the perpetrator... and will search his house for any bomb-making materials."
MailOnline reported that the 18-year-old IS attacker was carrying a backpack bomb when he attacked 60-year-old priest Albert Pandiangan inside St Yoseph Church in Medan. The explosives failed to go off, however, which prompted the attacker to pull out an axe from the bag, and slash the priest's arm. more >>
Persecuted Christians in India have been given hope for justice concerning the 2008 massacre in Orissa, where close to 100 Christians were killed in a riot, after the government revealed earlier this month that it will reopen 315 cases of violence.
Fides News Agency reported on Thursday that the Supreme Court of India has ordered the government of Orissa state to review all cases that were reported to the police at the time, but were not adequately investigated.
The violence on Aug. 25, 2008, against Christians in Kandhamal sparked by Hindu radicals who accused Christians of converting other Hindus to their religion, led to the destruction of 5,600 homes, along with 300 churches and other places of worship. more >>
The American Center for Law and Justice and other groups are calling on Christians to raise up their voices to support Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five whose death sentence appeal will be heard by Pakistan's Supreme Court in October.
Bibi was sentenced to death in 2010 on allegations of blasphemy after two co-workers accused her of insulting the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court set a date in October for her final appeal hearing to determine whether she will be executed or not.
The ACLJ is urging Christians to sign a petition, which has over 417,000 signatures as of Thursday morning, describing Bibi's case as the "ultimate human rights violation," and calls for her release. more >>
Death penalty is lawful under government statures and moral according to the Bible. These are the context of a privileged speech delivered in Philippine senate by Manny Pacquiao. The eight-division world boxing champion is a senator now in the Philippines. He is the figurehead in supporting the call of the new president Rodrigo Duterte for reinstatement of capital punishment in the country.
Initial stance on death penalty and the turnaround
To recall, senator Pacquiao initially lambasted the restoration of death penalty when he was then a congressman. Pacquiao presented a different stance immediately after assumption in his new office though. The twist favoring death penalty also zeroed in on drug dealers. more >>
UPDATE: 9:30 PM AUG. 24: Twelve people, including seven students, were killed in an attack on the American University in Kabul that sent hundreds of students fleeing in panic, police said early on Thursday, before the assault ended when two gunmen were shot dead.
KABUL — The attack began at around 6:30 p.m. local time (1400 GMT) on Wednesday with a large explosion that officials said was a car bomb followed by gunfire, as suspected militants battled into the complex where foreign staff and pupils were working.
Elite Afghan forces surrounded the walled compound and eventually worked their way inside, according to a senior interior ministry official. more >>
Pakistan's Supreme Court has finally set a court date for the final appeal hearing for Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five who was sentenced to death in 2010 on accusations of blasphemy.
According to the Christian persecution watchdog agency International Christian Concern, Bibi, also known as Aasiya Noreen, will have her final appeal heard before the country's highest court during the second week in October.
"The Chief Justice [of] Pakistan has ordered that Asia Bibi's appeal be fixed in the second week of October for final hearing," Bibi's Supreme Court lawyer Saif-Ul-Malook told ICC. "I will appear before the Supreme Court of Pakistan and argue her case while she will remain in prison. I hope [the] result will be an acquittal." more >>