An official with the Church of Pakistan has confirmed that a Christian couple was beaten and burned alive over a false accusation made by their employer who claimed they ripped pages out of a Quran and threw them into a brick kiln furnace.
Raheel Sharoon, development officer of the Diocese of Raiwind, said Thursday that Shehzad Masih and his wife, Shamah — who were beaten in the streets Tuesday by a Muslim mob of 1,500 to 1,600 that tore off their clothes beat them before throwning them into a furnace — were killed because their employer said they owed him money, and he started the rumor to exact revenge.
"The real story is that the owner of brick kiln, Yousaf Gujjar, lent some money to the couple and when he asked for the money to be returned there was a confrontation since a majority of brick kiln workers cannot return their loans in cash, but do it by working at the brick kiln. After which he started spreading rumors of desecration of the Quran," Sharoon said, according to the Episcopal News Service. more >>
Pastor Dwayne Black made headlines this week along with fellow pastor Mark Sims and 90-year-old Arnold Abbott, for his for being arrested for feeding the poor and homeless in Fort Lauderdale. Pastor Black took time to speak with The Christian Post about his calling to feed the homeless.
Black, Sims and Abbott were all arrested on Sunday for feeding the homeless in a public area in the city. Just two days prior, Mayor Jack Seiler had signed a new law into place that places a restriction on feeding groups of people within city limits. However, the three men saw a need in their community and decided to take action, even if it meant legal trouble.
"We fed about six or seven people when the police approached," Black told CP. "We actually said a prayer and then gave communion to the homeless. If feeding them is going to get me arrested, let me get arrested for giving them communion. The police stayed off to the side, but then they suddenly made a move forward, and Abbott and I stayed." more >>
A labor leader who sought refuge in a Portland church was arrested on Thursday and a community, including several members of the clergy and the mayor, have spoken out and asked for him not to be deported.
Francisco Aguirre, originally from El Salvador, took refuge in the Augustana Lutheran Church for the first time since September in order to attend a court hearing on a drunk driving charge. He was immediately taken into federal custody and charged with illegally entering the United States before entering a guilty plea in the drunk driving case. Aguirre now faces deportation back to El Salvador.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has released close to 15,000 pages of files covering clergy sex abuse cases, including information on how it handled allegations against 36 priests. The Church admitted that it cannot change the past, but expressed hopes on rebuilding trust through transparency.
"As we said in January, we are committed to transparency with the people we serve," Cardinal Francis George said in a statement, according to CBS Chicago. "We cannot change the past but we hope we can rebuild trust through honest and open dialogue. Child abuse is a crime and a sin. The Archdiocese of Chicago is concerned first and foremost with bringing healing to abuse victims."
The newly released files add to another batch that was released in January on 30 other priests. Most of the abuse in the report occurred before 1988 and none after 1996, church officials said. more >>
Reaction to the dissolving of Mars Hill Church called for by its elders two weeks after the resignation of its founding pastor, Mark Driscoll, has been varied, including high praise for the controversial pastor's impact on the lives of people who attended his church, a letter of repentance to two former pastors signed by 18 former elders, and fond memories of an edgy congregation meeting in the Seattle area and taking on the world around them.
"Eleven years ago, I walked into a dimly lit former warehouse with crazy art hung up everywhere, tattooed and pierced guys and girls handing out pamphlets, hard rock reverberating through the dark-painted walls, and a short, kinda thick guy up on stage yelling at everyone," wrote Seth MacGillivray, a former long-time member and deacon at Mars Hill, in a post on his Facebook page Friday evening.
"The place was called Mars Hill Church. I was a new Christian, and had a view of most Jesus-followers as a cross between Ned Flanders and high school girls who listened to DC Talk. Here was something new: an ultra-orthodox view of the bible combined with a liberal view of the world," he continued. more >>
Brittany Maynard took her life on Saturday, Nov. 1, and now Vatican official Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula has condemned her decision to do so.
"This woman (took her own life) thinking she would die with dignity, but this is the error. Suicide is not a good thing. It is a bad thing because it is saying no to life and to everything it means with respect to our mission in the world and toward those around us," de Paula told Italian news agency Ansa.
Maynard was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in April and given only six months to live. She decided to take her own life as her condition deteriorated and planned everything out with her family. Maynard, her husband and parents moved to Oregon, where she could legally take an overdose of prescription medication in order to end her life. more >>