A group of at least eight Christian converts were beaten and arrested by Iranian authorities while they were gathered for worship inside a house church in the city of Karaj, an Iranian resistance group has reported.
According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, plainclothes officers raided the church earlier this month as part of a wide crackdown on house churches.
After raiding the house, the officers beat up the congregants and then confiscated their Bibles, other Christian literature and satellite dishes located on the premises. more >>
A 19-year-old Sudanese Christian woman has been sentenced to endure 20 painful lashes for the crime of "indecent dress" for wearing trousers on the way home from a church service.
Fardos al-Toum, who is one of 12 Christian women who were arrested on June 25 for wearing trousers and skirts while on their way home from a Baptist church function in Khartoum, was the first of the young women to be tried on July 6 on charges of indecent dress. Along with a 500-pound fine, which was paid for by rights activists, CNN reports that her lawyer says she has also been ordered to receive a torturous punishment of 20 lashes.
After they were arrested, the young women, who are thought to range in age from 17 to 23, were brought to the police station where two of them were freed — the other 10 were forced to strip out of their clothes. They remained detained for over 24 hours and were charged with indecent dress. more >>
A student in Nevada who wanted to start a pro-life club at her school, but was denied the request, has filed a complaint against her school district.
Angelique Clark, a student at West Career and Technical Academy in the Clark County School District, had her complaint filed Thursday in district court.
"Clark … wishes to exercise her free speech rights, protected by federal and state law, to create a pro-life club in order to educate her fellow students on the issue of abortion and to offer hope and resources to help in the cases of crisis pregnancies," read the complaint. more >>
A Sudanese court has fined three Christian girls on charges of "immoral dress" for wearing slacks and skirts on their way home from a Baptist church function in June, while it found four other girls who were wearing similar clothing innocent of the charges, the advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide has reported. During their apprehension, 10 girls from the church were forced to strip naked in front of police who inspected their clothing for compliance with Shariah law.
All seven girls were among a group of 12 Christian females who were arrested on June 25 while on their way home from a service at El Izba Baptist Church in Khartoum simply because they were wearing trousers and skirts, which police deemed to be immoral dress.
Two of the girls were released from police custody without charges, while the remaining 10 were forced by authorities to strip out of their clothes and later charged with indecent dress under Article 152 of the Sudanese Criminal Code. Advocates for the girls said they range in age from teens younger than 18 to early 20s. more >>
A three-judge panel at the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld two previous rulings on Thursday that found Christian cake artist Jack Phillips guilty of discrimination against a same-sex couple because he refused to make a cake for their wedding. The court ruled that Phillips cannot use his religious beliefs or free-speech rights to refuse to make such cakes.
"I think the ruling means that some Colorado citizens have a First Amendment right to believe what they want and to act on those beliefs — such as Lé Bakery Sensual of Denver or Azucar Bakery. As long as you hold the right view on same-sex marriage, you can act on your conscience," said Nicolle Martin, Phillips' lead attorney.
"But for people like Jack Phillips, you are not entitled to those beliefs." more >>
A fourth atheist blogger was killed in Bangladesh Friday when a gang of suspected Islamic extremists wielding machetes hacked him to death.
Niloy Neel, 40, was killed at his home in the capital city of Dhaka, becoming the fourth secular blogger to be killed in the Southeast Asian nation this year.