Christian leaders in Israel are outraged after vandals entered a historic Protestant cemetery, knocking over stone crosses and breaking them into pieces this month. Home to graves from prominent Christians who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries, the attack is just the latest in a series if as many as 17 vandalism incidents targeting Christian sites in Israel over the past three years.
"We are striving so hard to promote dignity and respect among the living. And here we have our dead people ... vandalized," said the Rev. Hosam Naoum, caretaker of the Protestant cemetery told the Associated Press. "No human would agree with this."
Among those buried in the cemetery are Horatio G. Spafford, writer of the hymn, "It Is Well with My Soul," several noteworthy archeologists, and the founder of a local orphanage who helped modernize Jerusalem. more >>
The European Parliament passed a resolution Friday calling for Iran to release Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in the country for over a year for his Christian faith.
The American Center for Law and Justice has launched the largest campaign in its history to have Abedini released by sending thousands of letters to Iran's president Hassan Rouhani. The legal group announced Friday that in addition to this campaign, it has also successfully convinced members of the European Parliament to issue a resolution requesting Abedini's release. This effort was championed both by the ACLJ and its European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice.
The resolution states that the European Parliament "[i]s deeply concerned about the fate of Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been detained for over a year and was sentenced to eight years of prison in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs," according to a press release composed by the ACLJ's Executive Director Jordan Sekulow. more >>
AMMAN, Jordan – Just the mention of traveling to the Middle East today may raise red flags given all the unrest the region is experiencing. However my recent weeklong tour of Jordan left me with a new understanding and appreciation for a country I can only describe as an oasis of glistening water in an unsettled desert.
I had the privilege of being part of a delegation of religious journalists invited as guest of the country's tourism bureau to experience the country. Having never traveled to the Middle East I was a bit leery about the trip, as were my family and friends. I had to ask myself if I would be safe during our journey and would my experience make a lasting impression in my faith walk.
The answer; yes and yes. more >>
Routine medical tests to "detect" homosexuals could soon be used in Kuwait and other Gulf states in a bid to keep banned gays from entering Gulf states according to an official from the Kuwaiti health ministry.
Yousuf Mindkar, director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry notes in a Gulf News report that a central committee responsible for the status of expatriates will be looking at the proposal when it convenes on November 11.
"Health centers conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC)," said Yousuf. "However, we will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states," he said, in a quote from Kuwaiti daily Al Rai on Monday. more >>
A Saudi preacher has received the sentence of eight years imprisonment and 800 lashes for the murder of his 5-year-old daughter, who he allegedly raped and severely beat to the point of death two years ago. The sentence has been blasted as lenient by activists in the country, who had campaigned for an appropriate sentence to be handed down in the run up to the case.
On Monday a judge found Fayhan al-Ghamdi, a preacher who often appears on television in Saudi Arabia, guilty of beating and torturing his 5-year-old daughter, Lama, to death back in 2011. Along with the sentence of eight years and 800 lashings, the judge also ruled that Ghamdi pay $270,000 in "blood money" to his ex-wife and the girl's mother, Syeda Mohammed Ali. The girl's mother had previously requested a payment of $2.7 million.
"The girl's mother ceded her original request to sentence the father to death," Mohammed Almadi of Saudi Arabia's Human Rights Commission told CNN recently. "She has since asked for the father to pay her blood money instead, which is her right in the Saudi legal system." Under Saudi law, because the mother accepted the "blood money" offer, she could no longer pursue a life sentence charge for her former husband. more >>
A number of Christians in Syria are deciding to stay behind and heed what they say is God's call to reach out to their Muslim neighbors despite the violent attacks against them, persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA has shared.
"There are some Christians who are fleeing because they have no other choice, but there are many Christians who have really felt God's call to stay in town, even though they have been attacked and targeted because of their faith. They realize that God's using them, and (are reaching) out to their Muslim neighbors," Emily Fuentes, PR and Communications Coordinator at Open Doors USA, shared with The Christian Post in a phone interview on Friday.
Several reports have noted that the two-and-a-half-year civil war in Syria, which has caused over 100,000 deaths and forced over 2 million people to flee the country, is also bringing increased persecution for Christians as the Islamic extremists gain influence. more >>