Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda and mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, repeatedly warned his supporters against the formation of terror group ISIS, newly released documents by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed.
In one letter addressed to Atiyah abd al-Rahman, a now-deceased al-Qaeda figure, bin Laden said that efforts need to remain focused on attacking America, rather than establishing the Islamic State.
"You should ask them to avoid insisting on the formation of an Islamic State at the time being, but to work on breaking the power of our main enemy by attacking the American embassies in the African countries, such as Sierra Leone, Togo, and mainly to attack the American oil companies," bin Laden instructed, according to an English translation of the letter. more >>
In hopes of encouraging fellow Christians to stay in Pakistan in light of religious tensions, a Christian businessman in the country's largest city is building a giant 14-story cross outside the entrance to the largest Christian cemetery in Karachi.
Parvez Henry Gill, a devout christian who lives in Karachi, recently told The Washington Post that God came to him in a dream one night four years ago and challenged him with the divine task of finding a way to relieve Pakistani Christians from the constant fear of persecution and abuse frequently perpetrated by Pakistan's radical Muslim community.
"I want you to do something different," Gill remembers God telling him. more >>
Christian leaders in the Pakistani city of Lahore are saying that they've received death threats over the past few months because of their involvement in the building of churches in the area.
In a Monday interview with AsiaNews, Javed David, a Pakistani Christian activist, explained that he and at least three of his Christian associates have been threatened by an unidentified group of Muslims in the midst of outrage stemming from the construction of Christian churches.
David, who is the president of Hope for the Light Ministries, and his associates have been helping poor Christian communities in Pakistan build places of worship since 2013. more >>
Noman Masih, the 14-year-old Pakistani boy who was burned alive by a group of Muslim youths earlier in April and died from his injuries was targeted because he admitted that he was a Christian, watchdog group International Christian Concern has said.
The group shared Masih's own words from his hospital bed: "I have neither enemies, nor a dispute with anybody in the area I live. My tailor master asked me to go to the nearest market for some work and, on my way, [a] few men stopped me, asking my name and religion. I gave them my name and identified my religion as Christian. It was Friday prayers time and not many people [were] on the road."
The boy added: "Suddenly they started beating and abusing me. I tried to rescue myself, however, [I] couldn't. One of them threw kerosene oil and [the] other set me on fire. With the help of the locals around I managed to stop the fire, however, [I became] unconscious." more >>
Pakistani police officials are denying that Nouman Masih, the 15-year-old Lahore Christian boy who died last week after being burned for his faith, ever provided testimony indicating that he was attacked by two Muslim men, even though legal advocates can attest to the fact that he did provide police with such a statement.
According to the Pakistani news website Dawn.com, police in Lahore are saying that they never recorded a statement from Masih on how he suffered substantial burn wounds that covered 55 percent of his entire body, which ultimately led to his death five days later.
Acting Deputy Inspector General Rana Ayaz Saleem, head of the Lahore Police Investigation Department, told Dawn that no statement from Masih was ever recorded, and added that no religious motive in the attack was yet determined, even though Masih reiterated multiple times before his death that he was attacked for his faith. more >>
Pope Francis met with and prayed for the family of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, in the Vatican, and was urged to speak to Pakistan's government for her release.
"We are here in Italy to make sure we can be the voice of an innocent woman who has been suffering in jail for six years," Catholic News Agency quoted the woman's husband, Ashiq Masih, as saying after the brief meeting with the pontiff.
"Since the day Asia Bibi was arrested, our family is totally destroyed. The children cannot survive without their mother. Asia Bibi misses her children, the children miss her," Masih added. more >>