The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has found that religious minorities in Iran, including Christians, continue experiencing severe human rights abuses, closing in on one year on the historical nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and Western nations.
The major report, released only a couple months shy from the one year anniversary of the nuclear deal reached in July 2015, found that religious freedom conditions "continued to deteriorate" over the past year, with Christians, Baha'is, and the minority Sunni Muslims facing the most persecution at the form of harassment, arrests, and imprisonment.
The key findings noted that under President Hassan Rouhani's administration, the number of religious-based arrests has increased, despite Iran's continuous denial that it is violating people's human and religious freedom rights. more >>
Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the Indian priest kidnapped two months ago from a nursing home in Yemen where 16 people were killed, is still alive at the hands of Islamic State radicals, according to rumors, but his fate remains uncertain.
"The last words, which are quite reassuring, I received indirectly about 10 days ago. I was told that Father Tom is alive, and that his return to freedom could be imminent. But since then nothing has happened. We hope and pray for him," Bishop Paul Hinder OFM Cap, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, told Agenzia Fides in an update on Tuesday.
The priest was initially feared to have been crucified by the extremists on Good Friday, but subsequent information from the Catholic Church denied the rumor, instead suggesting that he was still alive and that negotiations are being carried out with IS for his release. more >>
An Indian Catholic bishop who was kidnapped by unknown abductors, beaten and interrogated about the finances of his diocese has been freed.
Bishop Prasad Gallela, who serves the diocese of Cuddapah in the Andhra Pradesh state in southeast India, went through the details of his recent abduction in an interview with the Catholic news outlet UCANews.com.
The 54-year-old Gallela explained that he was on his way home from mass at Karunagiri Shrine on April 25 when unknown abductors came in two vehicles and took him to an undisclosed location. more >>
A decorated United States Army Green Beret who faced involuntary discharge for confronting an Afghan police commander who raped a 12-year-old child will be exonerated and reinstated, the Army Board for Correction of Military Records confirmed last week.
The U.S. Army announced last August that it was going to expel Sergeant First Class Charles Martland after he and team leader Daniel Quinn physically confronted a police commander in Kunduz, who had kidnapped and raped a local boy and beat his mother after she reported the incident to U.S. troops.
The incident happened during Martland's second deployment to Afghanistan in 2011 when he and Quinn confronted the police commander after hearing the 12-year-old boy's testimony and allegations of rape and abuse. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist organization is employing yet another cruel and sick way to punish women who chose not to adhere to the militant group's strict dress code by locking them in cages with skeletons.
Last Friday, the militant group locked at least two women inside cages with skulls as punishment for not following the Shariah dress code in the jihadists' Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, The Independent reports.
According to the British news outlet, the incidents were uncovered by the media activist network Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), which reports on human rights abuses committed by IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) from inside the group's caliphate in Syria. more >>
Horrific stories of the ongoing genocide being carried out by the Islamic State terror group against Christians and other religious minorities were shared at a conference in New York last week, with one account revealing that a couple was sent the body parts of their dead daughters, along with a video of them being raped and tortured.
The Catholic News Agency described the stories shared by human rights activists at the #WeAreN2016 international congress on religious freedom as "graphic, brutal and raw."
"One account told of a couple whose children had been captured by ISIS militants. When they answered their door one day, they found a plastic bag on their doorstep. It contained the body parts of their daughters and a video of them being raped and tortured," the report described. more >>