China Aid Association revealed in its annual Persecution report that persecution of Christians in China continues to rise, with house and urban churches being some of the main targets.
According to the statistics, government persecution in the world's most populous country, where Christians make up only 3-4 percent, "worsened significantly" in 2013. Persecution rose by 38.82 percent since 2012.
"House churches in China had a difficult year in 2013, but we won't lose heart. Oppositely, only in such circumstances can churches be constantly purified, free of blemishes, mature and strong, and prepared for even greater mission," said Bob Fu, founder and president of China Aid. more >>
A massive volcano eruption Friday morning at Java island's Mount Kelud left at least three people dead and forced over 100,000 to flee the area, as the area was blanketed with ash and debris.
"The eruption sounded like thousands of bombs exploding," said 35-year-old farmer Ratno Pramono, according to The Associated Press. "I thought doomsday was upon us. Women and children were screaming and crying."
Disaster agencies said that the eruption on the country's most populous island could be heard 125 miles away, and spread debris 12 miles into the air, laying ash two inches deep in some places in the surrounding region. more >>
The U.S. State Department says it approves of the Rev. Jesse Jackson's offer to visit North Korea and hopefully secure the release of imprisoned American missionary Kenneth Bae, who is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence in the Asian country.
Marie Harf, deputy spokeswoman for the State Department, told reporters Sunday at a press briefing that the U.S. "certainly" supports Jackson's effort to visit North Korea and free Bae. Jackson was reportedly summoned at the request of Bae's family, who resides in Washington State, to help free their imprisoned relative.
"At the request of the Bae family, I think people are aware that Reverend Jesse Jackson had offered to travel to Pyongyang on a humanitarian mission focused on Bae's release," Harf said Sunday. "We support the efforts, of course, of the family, but also of Reverend Jackson to bring Kenneth Bae home. So again we want him to come home, the North Koreans should release him, and we stand ready to send our folks in certainly, Ambassador King, if they reissue an offer." more >>
Christians are being persecuted, sexually assaulted and attacked by mobs in India, and the crimes are going unpunished, according to testimony by Alliance Defending Freedom before the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.
"India, in spite of its long tradition for religious tolerance, finds itself in the throes of religious fundamentalism and violence against religious minorities for the past few decades. Reports by faith-based rights agencies show that Christians in India have suffered about 150 violent attacks on an average in the past few years," argued ADF attorney Tehmina Arora before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations.
"These attacks include physical and sexual assaults, murder and desecration of places of worship and graveyards." more >>
Parents of an unborn child with two faces and two brains are battling against the medical organization that wants them to abort the fetus. But Renee Young and Simon Howie, of Australia, say that they will do everything in their power to keep their child, no matter the odds.
"It'd be the same as being a child with autism or Down syndrome," Howie told "A Current Affair." "I don't believe in terminating the baby if it's healthy and growing fine, and everything is going to plan. Renee was the same."
Three-dimensional sonograms show that the child has two legs, two arms, one body and all vital organs, including a strong heart. Yet the child also has two faces with the same features, and two brains connected with one brain stem. Doctors have urged the couple to abort the child, but by the time the abnormality was discovered, it was too late for a traditional abortion. more >>
A 35-year-old tea picker from West Bengal, India, with a tail growing from the base of his spine since birth is now being worshipped as a god by hundreds of followers.
"Many people come to me. Some even from far off places. They feel that I am God Hanuman. My tail is good for me," said Chandre Oraon, the man with the tail, in a Barcroft TV interview.
Hanuman, according to pantheon.org, is one of three major Hindu gods with animalistic features. The monkey-like god is very popular in North India and is said to have a potent effect in warding off evil. People believe Chandre is a reincarnation of Hanuman. more >>