The Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors has released its annual list of countries where Christians face the greatest persecution and found that it has reached unprecedented levels worldwide as over 7,000 Christians were killed for their faith between Nov. 1, 2014, and Oct. 31, 2015.
Although the California-based ministry, which works in over 60 countries, stated last January that 2014 was the worst year for Christian persecution than any other time in modern history, the organization said during the rollout of its 2016 World Watch List that 2015 surpassed 2014 as the deadliest year for Christians worldwide.
Open Doors found that over 3,000 more Christians were killed for faith-related reasons during its reporting period for the 2016 World Watch List than it found during the reporting period for the 2015 report. Additionally, over 2,400 churches were attacked, damaged or destroyed during the reporting period, which is more than double the number from last year. more >>
A day that began with a longtime Christian couple worshiping in church ended tragically Sunday night in an apparent murder-suicide that their pastor has called "demonic."
Police told NBC Washington that 40-year-old Andre T. Howell, a chief petty officer in the Navy, fatally shot his 39-year-old wife, Naomi H. Howell, then turned a firearm on himself in their Lansdowne townhome in Leesburg, Virginia.
The couple's young daughter, whom several reports list as between 4 and 5 years old, was inside the home at the time of the incident but wasn't physically harmed. The couple have a second daughter together who was reportedly away at college at the time. more >>
Over 200 people were arrested on Monday at a large anti-Islamisation protest in the German city of Leipzig, clashing with police over the mass sex assault attacks carried out by suspected refugees on New Year's Eve.
BBC News reported that close to 2,000 supporters of the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West movement (Pegida) marched through Legida in protest against Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door refugee policy, which saw Germany welcome in close to 1.1 million asylum seekers in 2015.
The nation was rocked by news of mass sexual assaults in Cologne and other cities over New Year's Eve when thousands of suspects believed to be from Arab and North African backgrounds groped, assaulted, and in some cases raped women out on the streets. Well over 500 cases of assault were reported in Cologne, sparking protest marches in several cities. more >>
A Protestant Christian church was burned by suspected Islamic radicals in the village of Bath in Pakistani Punjab, leaving Christians in the community fearful and asking for protection.
Fides News Agency reported that the Protestant Christian congregation called "Apostolic Church" was set on fire last week following a dispute between Christians and Muslims in the village. The attack occurred the day after a prayer vigil for Epiphany on Jan. 6, when an arson destroyed the church building.
Pastor Zulfiqar of the Apostolic Church revealed that Bibles and sacred vessels were burned in the fire, and suggested that the earlier dispute between Muslims and Christians might have had something to do with the attack. more >>
World leaders need to continue their compassion toward migrants despite concerns of national security, Pope Francis said Monday.
Speaking in his annual address to the diplomatic corps of the Holy See, Francis argued it's possible for European countries to accept migrants without sacrificing their national security or culture, saying that global leaders must "overcome the inevitable fears associated with this massive and formidable phenomenon."
The pope went on to argue that the recent, massive influx of migrants from primarily Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq to European countries "seems to be undermining the foundations of that 'humanistic spirit' which Europe has always loved and defended." more >>
A 22,000-member Methodist megachurch in Kansas has hired a man who was found guilty of murder and then exonerated after 24 years behind bars to be its newest associate pastor after he completed seminary in December.
Although Darryl Burton grew up in the Baptist faith, he stopped going to church during his teen years, became increasingly disillusioned with religion and grew to be a skeptic of God. As Burton distanced himself from the church, his grandmother warned him that "one of these days, boy, you are going to need Jesus. I hope you remember to call on Him."
While Burton didn't think much of his late grandmother's words at the time, those words rang through his head as he sat for two decades in prison after he was convicted in 1985 for a murder he didn't commit. more >>