NEW YORK — A former Pakistani parliamentarian advocating for equal treatment for religious minorities back home claims life is sometimes hell for the Islamic Republic's Christian minorities, who are often victimized by blasphemy laws and bear the brunt of public resentment against Western nations like the United States.
"Due to our faith, we are persecuted. People are killing us, people are burning us, and people are putting us in jail. And (the) state (has) failed to protect the rights (of Christians) and (have failed in) their responsibility," said political and human rights activist Pervez Rafique. "The state doesn't have any solid and concrete policy and agenda and plan to protect marginalized and persecuted Christians and other non-Muslims in Pakistan."
Rafique, a former minority member of parliament representing the Pakistan People's Party in Punjab, worked alongside Shahbaz Bhatti, the Christian minorities minister who was assassinated in 2011, as a chief coordinator for All Pakistan Minorities Alliance. At the time of transition prompted by Bhatti's murder, a clash with the former leader's family members forced Rafique and supporters to leave the organization he had served for more than 10 years. Since then, Rafique has helped found another group, with a similar name, the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance-Founders, which in combination with the PAK Christian Fellowship, represents around 25,000 people, he told The Christian Post. more >>
As a number of states are considering right-to-die legislation, a retired Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl champion linebacker, who is now battling the debilitating and fatal disease known as ALS, decried a Maryland physician-assisted suicide bill, saying it would rob society of "God given" life.
Forty-five-year-old O.J. Brigance, who won a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens in 2000, testified last Tuesday before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearing on the state's new "death with dignity" bill. The bill would make it legal for patients prognosed with six months or less left to live, who are mentally competent, to ask their doctor for life-ending medication.
"Every day, every hour, every minute, every second is God given and valuable," Brigance told lawmakers. "To enact this legislation would [risk] lives and possible future contributions of Marylanders." more >>
The Liberty Institute is accusing the U.S. Navy of violating federal law when it refused to grant religious accommodation to Navy chaplain, Wes Modder, who is facing potential discharge after complaints were filed over him voicing his Christian beliefs on homosexuality and premarital sex during counseling sessions with sailors.
After the commander of Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, Capt. Jon R. Fahs, sent a Feb. 17 memo to Navy Personnel Command suggesting that Modder be relieved of his duties, removed from the Navy promotion list, and possibly discharged, Modder and his attorneys at the Liberty Institute filed a request asking the Navy to grant Modder religious accommodation during his counseling sessions.
However, the request was denied on Tuesday in a letter sent by Fahs, which rejected the claim that Modder was being targeted because of his religious expression. more >>
A Massachusetts Christian academic institute under fire for maintaining a policy for students and faculty that only allows for sex within heterosexual marriage has reaffirmed its stance.
Gordon College, a Christian school located in Wenham, announced earlier this week that it's maintaining its conduct policy barring sex outside of marriage, including adultery and homosexuality.
Administrators at the college also announced Monday that they will form a task force called "Life Together" that will aim to work on human sexuality issues in the campus community. more >>
Actor Nick Searcy from the hit television series "Justified" will be directing a film about infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell who was sentenced to life in prison for committing crimes of infanticide and involuntary manslaughter inside his West Philadelphia abortion clinic.
"There are three aspects to this story that are fascinating — what happened; why it was allowed to happen; and why no one wanted to talk about it after it happened," said Searcy, who plays the role of U.S. Marshal Art Mullen in the FX series, and will direct the $2.2 million crowdfunded film project about Gosnell's "house of horrors" late-term abortion facility.
On May 13, 2013, Gosnell was sentenced to serve life in prison without parole for three counts of first-degree murder for killing babies born alive in his abortion clinic by cutting their spinal cords with scissors. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the 2009 death of Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old Nepalese refugee who died from a Demerol overdose administered by his untrained and unlicensed staff. more >>
The American Family Association, a Christian activist organization, has started a boycott against Planet Fitness gyms because of its "all-inclusive" policy that allows self-reporting transgenders to use locker and shower rooms designated for the opposite sex.
The AFA launched a movement on Tuesday calling on members of Planet Fitness, which has over 900 locations nationwide, to drop their gym memberships and email or call the CEO, Chris Rondeau, to inform him that the company's "all-inclusive" transgender locker room policy puts women and girls in danger.
Randy Sharp, AFA's director of special projects, appeared on Bryan Fischer's "Focal Point" show on American Family Radio to discuss the boycott. He said it's important that franchise owners feel the financial impact of enforcing such a "bad policy." more >>