On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to punish North Korea for its February nuclear test, imposing a fourth round of tougher sanctions on the Asian country.
The sanction vote came hours after the country threatened a preemptive nuclear attack against the U.S.
In a statement released by the Korean Central News Agency, considered to be a mouthpiece for the state, the country argued that the United States "is set to light a fuse for a nuclear war," adding that, in response, North Korea "will exercise the right to a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors and to defend the supreme interests of the country." more >>
Institute on Religion and Democracy Director Faith J.H. McDonnell has criticized former controversial NBA star Dennis Rodman for his recent visit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, highlighting that thousands of Christians are currently suffering horrible abuse in the reclusive country.
"From incarcerating Christians and political prisoners in gulags to executing those caught fleeing over the Chinese border; North Korea's despotic rulers have consistently held the title of worst oppressors in the world," McDonnell said in a statement.
Rodman, who said on ABC's Sunday morning interview that Kim Jong-Un is a "good guy" and a "friend," visited North Korea for a basketball exhibition last week. He has been criticized by the general media for his seemingly friendly relations with a leader whose country has openly declared America to be an enemy and where people are denied their human rights. Rodman even suggested that President Barack Obama needs to call Kim so they can avoid war. more >>
Before leaving North Korea Friday as part of his "basketball diplomacy" visit, ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman praised leader Kim Jong Un for being an "awesome guy," adding he and his father were "great leaders."
Rodman, who is now the most high-profile American to meet Kim Jong Un, told local media outside of the Pyongyang's Sunan airport before departing that it was "amazing how [Kim Jong Un] was so honest."
"Guess what, his grandfather, and his father were great leaders, and he's such a proud man," Rodman, who was visiting the country along with the famed American basketball exhibition team the Harlem Globetrotters, said. "He's proud, his country likes him – not like him, love him, love him," Rodman said. "Guess what, I love him. The guy's really awesome." more >>
The inspiring, heartwarming, and challenging film about a Korean pastor who takes in and raises unwanted babies dropped in a box at his house in Seoul, South Korea, won the top prize – the "Best of Festival" Jubilee Award and the $101,000 cash prize that comes with it – at the 8th annual San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival earlier this month.
"The Drop Box," a 72-minute documentary film directed by 22-year-old Brian Ivie, is about South Korean Pastor Lee Jong-rak's efforts to use a drop box – built like a depository – to accept unwanted babies who are physically or mentally handicapped, or are just unwanted by their unwed mothers. Pastor Lee is the leader of Jusarang Community Church in Seoul, South Korea, the city in which the drop box is located.
These babies would have most likely ended on the streets without the drop box, which is available 24 hours a day and is built into a wall on Lee's home. Above the slot a sign reads, "A place to leave babies." There are blankets and towels inside of the lit and heated box to keep the baby warm, and when someone places a baby in the box, a bell rings to notify Pastor Lee, his wife and staff workers. Once brought inside the home, Lee, his wife and a small team of workers feed and clothe the babies. more >>
Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organization, has called on the Indonesian president to adopt a "zero tolerance" method to attacks on religious minorities.
In its report "In Religion's Name: Abuses against Religious Minorities in Indonesia," HRW criticizes President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for failing to protect religious minorities from growing religious intolerance and violence.
HRW says that such violence is "on the rise" in the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation. more >>
In a rare instance in Pakistan, a judge granted bail to a pastor accused of blaspheming Islam because the complainant admitted that he had mistakenly accused him, attorneys said.
Karma Patras, a 55-year-old pastor of Bado Malhi, Sangla Hill, had been languishing in Sheikhupura District Jail since October after preaching on Christ's sacrifice at a funeral attended manly by Christians. Some Muslims present thought he was speaking against the Islamic animal slaughter ritual observed at the time, and Patras was confused when police showed up at his home later that day (Oct. 13) and arrested him on charges of defaming Islam.
Victims of false accusations of blasphemy in Pakistan usually spend months in jail without trial, and then many more months after conviction; if charges are dismissed, it does not usually happen until cases reach appeal, as most trial judges cannot withstand the pressure of furious Islamic extremists. Retraction of an accusation is also rare in Pakistan. more >>