A North Hampton, Ohio, pastor has extended forgiveness to a self-described militant atheist who beat him severely last year and will now serve years in prison.
"I would want him to know going into prison hearing from me that I've extended forgiveness for him," the Rev. Norman Hayes, pastor of The Bridge Community Church, said according to WDTN.
James Maxie of Springfield was found guilty of felonious assault and sentenced to eight years in prison, Springfield News-Sun reported on Wednesday. Maxie assaulted Hayes in October 2013 at the North Hampton church after the pastor asked Maxie's girlfriend if she felt safe around him. The beating left Hayes with a broken nose, bruises and three cuts requiring stitches across his face. more >>
An inspector general's report has revealed that Russia withheld important information relating to the radical-Islam background of one of the Boston Marathon bombers, that could have potentially prevented the attack that killed three people and injured over 260 in April 2013.
One of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was a "follower of radical Islam and a strong believer" and had "changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country's region to join unspecified underground groups," the Russian government shared with the FBI in 2011, two years before the attack.
Russian officials then declined several requests for additional information, however, which could have prevented the bombing, according to law enforcement agencies, the report said, according to The New York Times. more >>
The parents of a first grader are suing a Pennsylvania school district, accusing it of violating their son's constitutional rights when a teacher forbade him from distributing Valentine's Day cards containing a religious message to his classmates.
Donald and Ellen Abramo filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday on behalf of their son, identified in legal documents as "J.A.," against the Nazareth Area School District in Northampton County, Pa. The lawsuit alleges that J.A.'s constitutional rights were violated by a first grade teacher at Shafer Elementary School in Nazareth during a class "Friendship Day" party on Feb. 19, when the young boy attempted to pass out Valentine's Day cards to his fellow classmates.
The school's policy banning candy in class caused J.A. and his siblings to create Valentine's Day cards with the message of St. Valentine written on the piece of paper. The message read: "Happy Valentine's Day! St. Valentine was imprisoned and martyred for presiding over marriages and for spreading the news of God's love. In honor of St. Valentine's Day, I want you to know that God loves you!!!" It also included a reference to John 3:16, according to the lawsuit. more >>
A Florida atheist accused of attacking his roommate with a butter knife for resembling Jesus is requesting he be represented by an atheist attorney.
Gustav Potthoff, 51, reportedly requested on Tuesday that he be granted an atheist attorney to defend him as he faces aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges. The accused told a judge in Orange County that he should be allowed to have an atheist attorney because "it's just my human rights and everything else." "I'm allowed to be with someone of my own kind," he added.
The judge told Potthoff that if he would like to request a specific attorney, he'll have to pay for the legal service with his own money. Otherwise, he'll be receiving a public defender. "It's a sacrilegious thing," Potthoff, who is reportedly indigent, replied to the judge, according to The Orlando Sentinel. more >>
Defense lawyers for Singapore megachurch pastor Kong Hee have insisted that no evidence exists to prove that he and five other City Harvest Church leaders misused church funds to pay for the popstar career of Kong's wife, singer Sun Ho, as the trial entered its 42nd day.
Six City Harvest Church leaders are facing prosecution for their involvement in the alleged misuse of funds, accused of spending close to $41 million on Ho's career. Pastor Tan Ye Peng, members Chew Eng Han and Lam Leng Hung, accountants Serina Wee Gek Yin and Sharon Tan ShaoYuen, and pastor Kong all face 10-20 years if convicted.
A Florida pastor was convicted Tuesday of attempted grand larceny after he allegedly tried to sell five fake paintings to an undercover cop. The pastor's lawyers have said they disagree with the verdict and are looking into appeal options.
A jury for the Supreme Court in Manhattan, New York, found Kevin Sutherland, pastor of the nondenominational Mosaic Miami Church, guilty of second-degree attempted grand larceny after he allegedly tried to sell five fake paintings by British artist Damien Hirst to an undercover cop for $185,000. The paintings were meant to be a part of the famed artist's dot and spin collection.
Sutherland had reportedly purchased the fake works from forger Vincent Lopreto, who worked out of Laguna Beach, Calif., selling dozens of counterfeit Hirst works on the internet via eBay. Lopreto also supplied buyers with fake signatures and phony letters of authenticity. The forger had been a cooperator with investigators against Sutherland. more >>