Two Sudanese pastors who are potentially facing the death penalty after being arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up charges of alleged conspiracy and espionage, were removed from a low-security military prison and transferred to a more dangerous facility where they've been denied access to visitors, the pastors lawyers have said.
Revs. Peter Yen Reith and Yat Michael, who've been detained since the winter and charged with violating seven laws including spying, undermining the government and insulting religion, were transferred from the Omdurman Prison for Men outside of Khartoum — where they were allowed to see their families and lawyers — to Kober Prison in North Khartoum, a high-security detention center.
According to an advocacy group closely following the case, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, no one — not even their wives or lawyers — has been allowed to visit with the pastors since their transfer to Kober. more >>
A congregation in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi is being threatened by Muslim criminals who want to seize the church's land. The menacing group is trying to intimidate the Christian community by saying that they'll accuse them of the highly punishable offense of blasphemy if they don't vacate their church property and stop worshiping there.
Members of the Jerusalem Church, a Pentecostal, 300-family congregation in Karachi, have informed International Christian Concern that they've been receiving deadly threats from a group of armed Muslim miscreants, who are known for seizing property from the poor and various targeted killings.
Church members said they were approached in May by the group and were told to leave the church and never return. However, the interaction in May was not the only time that church members were confronted by the group, according to one of the church's pastors, Ilyas Masih. more >>
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., is urging the Department of Homeland Security to change the wording on naturalization tests and study materials to promote "freedom of religion" instead of "freedom of worship," stating that "freedom of religion" is the right to exercise beliefs, while "freedom of worship" confines acting on beliefs to location.
Lankford, co-chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus and former youth pastor, sent a Monday letter to secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, arguing that asking prospective citizens to identify "freedom of worship" rather than "freedom of religion" in question 51 of the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services civic test study materials contradicts the First Amendment, which James Madison introduced in his proposal of the Bill of Rights 226 years ago Monday.
"We are doing a great disservice to those seeking citizenship in this great country if we distort our history and fail to teach new citizens about the founding and constitutional principles of this nation," Lankford wrote in the letter. "How can your Department request that Congress create a new United States Citizenship Foundation when your own naturalization materials do not even accurately reflect the constitutional rights of American citizens?" more >>
The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia has upheld the cruel sentencing of liberal blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes, a $266,060 fine and 10 years imprisonment after being charged in 2012 with "insulting Islam through electronic channels."
Badawi, a father of three, ran the Liberal Saudi Network, a blog that advocated for debate on religious and political issues. He was initially ordered to receive his 1,000 lashes by cane in increments of 50 per week over the course of 20 weeks.
As previously reported, Badawi received his first round of 50 lashes on Jan. 9 in the public square in the city of Jiddah by a member of Saudi security forces. The flogging was captured on a cell phone video and posted to the Internet, which sparked protests and drew outcry from the United Nations, European Union, United States and other countries calling for an end to his brutal punishment. more >>
Boise State University has agreed to revise its speech policy after Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit last year on behalf of a pro-life student group that was censored on the Boise, Idaho, campus in 2014.
ADF and Boise State mutually agreed to end the suit after the school agreed to pay $19,900 in legal fees to Abolitionists4Life and $100 in damages.
In April and May of 2014, Abolitionists4Life hosted two events titled "Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust" and "What Has Roe Done for Us?" An official at the University demanded that the students had to use warning signs around their displays because they were deemed "controversial" in nature. The ADF pointed out in their lawsuit that the pro-life group was targeted with demands not consistent with other campus groups, including Planned Parenthood and an atheist group which both had free reign to disseminate their message on campus. more >>
A federal court has ruled that a Washington state public school district acted unconstitutionally when it suspended a student after he preached and handed out religious reading materials to classmates on school grounds during free time.
Michael Leal, a senior at Cascade High School in the Seattle suburb of Everett, was suspended three times last fall for continuing to provide students with pre-printed Christian pamphlets, which is a violation of the school's policy that does not allow students to distribute materials that they had not written themselves.
Leal, with the help of the Pacific Justice Institute, sued the school and stated that the school violated his free speech rights. more >>