WASHINGTON — Human rights activists in 24 cities around the world protested outside Chinese embassies on Friday and delivered petitions calling on the Chinese government to stop killing North Korean defectors by repatriating them back to their home country.
While it is an offense punishable by death or imprisonment for North Korean citizens to defect from the country and the oppressive Kim regime, the Chinese government helps facilitate North Korea's crimes against humanity by refusing to grant North Korean defectors refugee status and by sending thousands of them back to North Korea knowing full well that they will be tortured, forced to do hard labor and even killed in political prison camps.
In 2014, a 400-page United Nations report extensively detailed the widespread torture and abuse that North Korea is responsible for and found that China is violating its responsibility under international human rights and refugee laws. more >>
The Episcopal Church continued its long trend of decline in 2015, with recently released statistics showing the Mainline denomination losing more than 37,000 members last year.
In statistics released earlier this week by the Episcopal Church Office of Research, in 2015 the Church had approximately 1.77 million members in its domestic dioceses, down from about 1.81 million members in 2014.
2015's membership numbers contrast strongly with the Episcopal Church's membership count 10 years earlier, which stood around 2.2 million members. This represents a decline of nearly 20 percent over the past decade. more >>
A Pakistani Christian boy who was arrested earlier this week could face the death penalty after he was accused of posting a picture on Facebook that Muslims consider to be blasphemous toward Islam.
According to the London-based charity British Pakistani Christian Association, 16-year-old Nabeel Masih, who lives in the town of Kasur in the Punjab province, was accused of posting a blasphemous picture on Facebook that reportedly showed the Kaaba (the building at the center of Islam's most sacred mosque in Mecca) with a pig's head on top.
Masih's alleged post was reported to local police by a Muslim friend who found it offensive. Masih was arrested and is being held at the local police station in Kasur until his trial. more >>
A United Church of Canada minister who is also a self-avowed atheist will remain ordained while the denomination continues its process of possibly defrocking her.
The Rev. Gretta Vosper, an openly atheist minister, is presently undergoing an investigation by the Church to determine if she can remain an ordained clergy or will be put on the UCC's Discontinued Service List (Disciplinary), which is tantamount to being defrocked.
In keeping with a recommendation from a Church committee, the sub-Executive of Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada announced on Thursday that the General Council will hold a formal hearing on Vosper. more >>
A pastor in South Africa has reportedly hanged himself after he accidentally sent pictures of his genitals to his church's WhatsApp group chat along with a message indicating that he was looking to cheat on his wife.
According to the South African news website Live Monitor, Pastor Letsego of Christ Embassy church in Limpopo recently intended to send pictures of his genital along with the caption "Wife is away, it's all yours tonight" to his mistress. The problem was that he sent the nude pictures and incriminating caption to members of his church instead.
After realizing that he had made an embarrassing mistake, the pastor left the group chat and became unreachable for congregants of the church to express their shock and anger over the pictures and message. more >>
Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who spent three-and-a-half years in Iranian prisons before being released in January, claims that the United States government wouldn't pay for a return flight home even though his family faced serious financial issues.
Abedini, who spoke at the Free Iran rally at the U.N. in New York on Tuesday, wrote an op-ed with the help of religious freedom advocate Lela Gilbert that was published by Fox News on Wednesday.
In the op-ed, the 36-year-old Idaho pastor said he feels like he and two other Americans held hostage in Iran were seen as nothing more than a "bargaining chip" to the U.S. government in its political dealings with the Iranian regime. more >>