A human rights group has called on Egypt to drop charges against four Christian teenagers and their teacher who were accused of blasphemy for making a private video that mocks the Islamic State terror group.
Human Rights Watch issued a statement Sunday calling on Egyptian authorities to "quash blasphemy sentences handed down to four Christian boys and their teacher over a video mocking ISIS They should also revoke the penal code article that authorities use to prosecute blasphemy."
Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director for the group, added in a statement that the four children sentenced were only playing an immature joke. more >>
Three Christian teenagers have been sentenced to five years in jail by an Egyptian court after they were accused of mocking Islam.
The three boys, ages 15 to 18, were sentenced Thursday in Egypt's Minya province. They were charged last year with insulting Islam after recording a video while on a class field trip.
The video, recorded in January 2015, showed the boys pretending to be Islamic State militants by reciting Quranic prayers and pretending to slit each others' throats. more >>
Christians around the world are taking time this week to remember the 21 Coptic Christians who were beheaded by Islamic State militants one year ago in a threatening video to the "nation of the cross."
"One profound result and gift of this horrific act is that it brought people together," said Bishop Amba Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church, in a service of commemoration last week in the Chapel of St. Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster, London.
"These men paid the ultimate price, but gave us a cause to advocate for all those persecuted; they also showed us that there was a level of evil that we must all stand in solidarity against, and a level of courage, faithfulness and defiance that we must all aspire to," Angelos added. more >>
UNITED NATIONS — Former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has died, Venezuelan U.N. Ambassador Rafael Dario Ramirez Carreno, president of the U.N. Security Council for February, said on Tuesday. He was 93.
An Egyptian, Boutros-Ghali served one five-year term as U.N. chief from 1992 to 1996.
The 15-member Security Council observed a minute's silence. No further details on his death were immediately available. more >>
Over 150 Coptic Christians reportedly staged a sit-in protest on Sunday at the provincial administration office in Minya, Egypt, spreading awareness for the continued kidnappings of Christians across the country.
The protest in Minya specifically highlighted the case of an 18-year-old Coptic girl who has been missing for several days, with her family in the city of Samalot convinced she has been kidnapped, according to Fides News Agency.
"Kidnappings that target Christians remain a scourge for the Coptic community in many areas of Egypt. Already several appeals have been launched by Christian organizations to Egyptian authorities, including President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, so that adequate measures are taken to combat this phenomenon," the agency reported. more >>
Three Coptic Christian teens are set to stand trial in Egypt this week over allegations that they insulted Islam.
The three teens, all in high school, are scheduled to appear in court in the southern city of Minya this Thursday after they appeared in a video that allegedly mocked Islamic prayers and verses from the Quran.
The teens are shown in the video pretending to slit each other's throat, presumably to mock ISIS. more >>