It's been almost 35 years since that fateful day on Dec. 8, 1980 ,when Mark David Chapman fired shots that echoed around the globe as they killed one of the world's most beloved singer-songwriters in ex-Beatle, John Lennon. But in Chapman's eighth parole board hearing this Wednesday, he told the New York state parole board that although he took Lennon's life in search of self-fame and notoriety, his life is no longer controlled by selfish demons and is now solely focused on the Lord Jesus Christ. Despite that claim, Chapman was again denied parole.
Chapman, who read a book on the Beatles when he was a child that had inspired him to become "somebody important or better," was lulled into a stark drunken depression in his life, unfulfilled as a security guard working in Hawaii. Upset because his childhood dreams of fame hadn't panned out, he stumbled across a picture of John Lennon and wondered "what would happen if I kill him?"
What happened was Chapman, now 59 years old, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years to life in a New York prison about 25 miles west of Buffalo and nearly 5,000 miles away from his wife. Having been denied parole eight times now, it is looking like Chapman may be there for life. Although Chapman has been able to sit and think about the heinousness of the premeditated murder he committed, that time has also allowed him to apparently come to Christ. more >>
Two southern Illinois women were arrested Wednesday after they were allegedly caught making methamphetamine in the downstairs kitchen of a church.
The women, Judith Hemken, 53, and Tiffany Burton, 26, reportedly poured the meth in the sink once a church member walked in on them. It is not clear whether they are part of Waveland Hillsboro Presbyterian Church, but they both face a maximum of 40 years in prison if found guilty.
"We've seen a lot of things sink into our lives and that's what we've seen drugs do to a lot of people," sheriff Jim Vazzi told St. Louis's FOX 2 News. "It makes you do things you've never necessarily do in your life, and now we've lowered ourself to going into a church and doing meth." more >>
A man was taken into custody for tossing books and knocking displays down all while referencing a particular scripture in Lakewood Church's book store yesterday.
Michael David Fletcher, 30, was arrested Thursday for causing the disturbance.
"The guy shows up and starts throwing books around and kicking stuff over," said Lakewood spokesperson Don Iloff to the Houston Chronicle. "Fortunately we have police on the premises almost all the time. He was quickly subdued." more >>
Despite how unsavory and barbaric Islamic groups and persons around the world have been acting—whether Nigeria's Boko Haram, Mesopotamia's Islamic State, Somalia's Shabaab—perhaps few things are as disgusting and cowardly as the Muslim rape of nuns: defenseless Christian women who sacrifice much of their lives to help sick and needy Muslims.
The latest such attack comes from Bangladesh, which is over 90 percent Muslim in population. In early July, dozens of men armed with machetes, knives and iron rods attacked the convent of PIME (Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions nuns in Boldipuku), a village mission in north Bangladesh.
In the words of Bishop Sebastian Tudu "the nuns were beaten and molested, ending when police arrived." more >>
British police and social care workers are facing mounting criticism after a major report revealed widespread failure to help at least 1,400 children in the town of Rotherham who were subjected to horrific sexual abuse, mostly by Pakistani criminal gangs between 1997 and 2013, out of fear of coming off as racist.
"By far the majority of perpetrators were described as 'Asian' by victims, yet throughout the entire period, councilors did not engage directly with the Pakistani-heritage community to discuss how best they could jointly address the issue. Some councilors seemed to think it was a one-off problem, which they hoped would go away," the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham wrote in its 157-page report.
"Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so," according to the report. more >>
The convictions of 16 Amish men and women in Ohio found guilty of beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow members of their faith have been overturned by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Appeals Court determined that the jury in the case was given incorrect instructions on how to deliberate the role of religion in the attacks, documents from the case state.
"No one questions that the assaults occurred, and only a few defendants question their participation in them. The central issue at trial was whether the defendants committed the assaults 'because of' the religion of the victims," the decision from the Appeals Court read. "When all is said and done, considerable evidence supported the defendants' theory that interpersonal and intrafamily disagreements, not the victims' religious beliefs, sparked the attacks." more >>