A 15-year-old girl was brutally murdered in Houston, Texas, and police believe that her death was part of a satanic ritual led by a 17-year-old and 16-year-old. Both boys have been charged in her kidnapping and murder.
Jose E. Reyes, 17, is accused of the rape and murder of Corriann Cervantes, whom he kidnapped on Wednesday. Her remains were found on Saturday morning. She was found with an upside-down cross carved into her stomach and various religious items around her partially naked body. Police said that her body showed signs of being violently raped.
Reyes confessed to the crime and said he killed Cervantes so his friend could "sell his soul to the devil," according to KTRK. He was arrested after Webster Police received a tip that Reyes had confessed to a family member. Reyes, Cervantes, and the 16-year-old suspect all attended Clear Path Alternative School, but it was unclear why Reyes and his accomplice specifically targeted Cervantes. more >>
The Family Research Council has issued a court brief in Utah's appeal of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. The brief, filed last week, claims that the judge's ruling in December to overturn the state's ban on gay marriage was "deeply flawed."
The Christian lobbying group filed its amicus brief last Thursday in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, where the state of Utah is appealing federal Judge Robert J. Shelby's Dec. 20 ruling that overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage, passed by 66 percent of voters in 2004. Shelby wrote in his ruling that the ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution's right to equal protection and due process under the 14th amendment.
In their friend-of-the-court brief, the Family Research Council encourages the appeals court to overturn Shelby's previous ruling, saying that "the novel and unprincipled fundamental rights analysis on which [Shelby's ruling is] based are deeply flawed." The brief goes on to argue that the issue facing the appeals court is "not who may marry, but what marriage is." more >>
Names of over 100 priests and employees of a Missouri archdiocese that have credible accusations of sexual abuse against them have been released to a person suing the institution.
In response to an order from the Missouri Supreme Court, the Archdiocese of St. Louis turned over the list of individuals and complaints Wednesday to the plaintiff of a lawsuit leveled against them. The move came as the state's highest court denied a writ by the archdiocese to keep the records private for the sake of all involved, according to a statement.
"The archdiocese had litigated to protect the privacy rights of all involved, including victims who had no connection to current litigation and who had come forth confidentially regarding their reported allegation," reads the statement in part. more >>
A 5-year-old girl is dead after drinking 2 liters of grape soda and an unknown amount of water in a two-hour time frame. Her parents have been formally charged with first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated child neglect, and aggravated child abuse, given that the excessive fluid was an extreme punishment for "stealing" the mother's drink.
Randall Lee and Mary Lavonne Vaughn forced 5-year-old Alexa Linboom to drink a great deal of soda and water after she reportedly took some of Mary Lavonne's soda.
"They also failed to take care of the child once she was injured," Tennessee Attorney General Berkeley Bell told the Times-News. "Our position is it was a matter of several hours after the child started exhibiting serious symptoms, after the child was screaming out in pain, went into a paralyzed state, and became unconscious." more >>
Religious liberty advocates have applauded the recent remarks of President Barack Obama regarding the plight of Christians overseas.
At the 62nd annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., President Obama spoke about religious intolerance abroad and mentioned figures such as imprisoned Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini.
"We pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini. He's been held in Iran for more than 18 months, sentenced to eight years in prison on charges relating to his Christian beliefs," said Obama. more >>
More than a dozen members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church have managed to recoup some of their losses, originally totaling nearly $1 million, in a civil suit involving Bishop Eddie Long and alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind Ephren Taylor.
Thirteen former members of Long's Lithonia, Ga., megachurch recently reached a confidential financial settlement with the Christian minister, although neither he nor Taylor have admitted to any wrongdoing.
"I somewhat blame New Birth, because when this happened, instead of really showing us love, we were kind of looked at as outcasts," J.B. Bailey, one of the 13 victims who has recouped his money, told MyFoxAtlanta.com. more >>