Religious freedom remains non-existent in the oppressive regime of North Korea's Kim Jong Un, with evidence showing that over 100,000 people, some spanning three generations back, are forced to work in back-breaking camps, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee reports.
"We know that for ordinary North Koreans there is no right to freedom of religion, [to] assemble, to petition their government. But what is so horrendous, is what happens to the 120,000 who have been arrested and put in these work camps, sometimes for three generations. The back-breaking work, the way they are beaten if they so much as smile," House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., illustrated in his remarks at the annual rally with the Korean Church Coalition for North Korean freedom.
Royce suggested that heavy sanctions against Kim have had some effect, as now there are successful broadcasting efforts into North Korea aimed at giving citizens the truth about what is happening in their own country. more >>
Australian Rugby star Jarryd Hayne believes God called him away from his NFL dreams that brought him to the United States last year.
Although he announced his NFL retirement last May so that he could try out for the Fiji Rugby Sevens team that would allow him to participate in the upcoming Olympic games, the 28-year-old did not make the cut. In a Facebook post announcing that he would not be joining the Fiji Olympic team, Hayne revealed that he would be returning home to Australia and take some time off.
"It was hard to comprehend and understand at first why I came here? Why God put me here, but deep down I knew there was a reason and a purpose," he wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday. "God takes you places not so you can achieve what you set out for, but to play a part and help something greater than yourself." more >>
Eight members linked to Pastor Kong Hee's City Harvest Church in Singapore have been hit by a new police report by former CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han, accusing them of "fraudulent misrepresentation" of facts, as Kong, Chew, and four other members await appeal decisions on a prior conviction.
TodayOnline reported on Wednesday that Chew, who was one of the six CHC leaders convicted and sentenced to prison, pending appeal, for misusing close to $35 million in church donations, has filed a police report regarding eight church members accusing them of fraudulent misrepresentation of facts about the church.
Police officials confirmed that a report has indeed been made, but could not provide many details. more >>
A conservative group is calling on the House Armed Services Committee to support legislation that would allow members of the U.S. military to protect Afghan boys from being sexually abused and tortured at the hands of ally fighters.
The issue revolves around Sergeant First Class Charles Martland, an American serviceman who was initially punished for defending an Afghan boy from being sexually abused as part of a ritual practice carried out by an Afghan Commander and U.S. ally in the war on terror.
The American Center for Law and Justice petitioned on behalf of Martland, who has since been allowed to resume his service, but has warned that children continue being exploited in the "bacha bazi" or "boy play" practice in Afghanistan, in which grown men force young boys to dress up like women before raping and sexually abusing them. more >>
My friend, Li Heping was "disappeared" on July 10, 2015.
Detained by China's security apparatus, Li Heping, a practicing Christian, has not been seen for 365 days by his wife or child, nor his chosen lawyers and diplomats rightly concerned about his safety.
Seized in the first wave of China's infamous "709" crackdown on hundreds of rights lawyers and activities, for a year Li Heping has been held in isolation, his only company round-the-clock security guards, punctuated by lengthy interrogations. Longtime observers of "disappeared" lawyers state there is a high probability of intense psychological and probably physical torture. more >>
PHILIPPINES—After the nation won the arbitration case against China over the sovereignty of the South China Sea, a retired diplomat suggested that newly elect president Rodrigo Duterte should consider restoring the 'South China Sea' name as a sign of nobility towards China.
According to former Ambassador Jose Apolinario Lozada, the name of the disputed sea has become very important to the Chinese people. He also pointed out that it's better to be noble enough by giving back the West Philippine Sea's original name.
Lozada also made an impressive suggestion saying that the diplomat must inform the Chinese that the Philippines are giving them more importance now than before. "The most difficult part after this is to convince China to recognize the authority of the Philippines over the islands and hopefully they will quietly leave," he said, "But if they will not leave then we will have to extend our hand of friendship to them and convince them that they are also a priority to our lives." more >>