One of two South Korean men that were detained late last year by the North Korean government on charges of espionage has been identified as a Presbyterian pastor who has dedicated much of the last 13 years to missionary work benefiting North Korean defectors in China.
After a North Korean state news agency announced last week that the country was holding two South Korean men accused of espionage, the General Assembly of Presbyterian Churches in Korea, a Seoul-based Protestant association, identified Kim Kuk Gi last Friday as one of their own registered pastors and demanded that he be released.
"He was carrying out missionary works for North Korean defectors in [the Chinese port city of] Dandong," a representative from the Presbyterian assembly told Voice of America News. "He bought noodle makers and tofu machines to send to the North, as well as sewing machines." more >>
The al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia has released a new ISIS-style execution video purporting to show the execution of a group of male Somali civilians who were forced into the sea to swim for their lives and fatally gunned down by a firing squad of militants using machine guns.
In the 2-minute video titled "Remembrance 2," released by al-Shabaab's media wing al-Kataib Foundation, extremists are seen leading at least six fully clothed male civilians that look to be in their 20s to the ocean and forcing them to swim out to sea. Once the men began swimming for their lives, the militant gunmen unloaded a barrage of bullets, brutally killing the civilians.
Along with the splashes from bullets hitting the water, the video also shows the bullets drilling victims in their heads. The video then shows the men's dead bodies floating in the water. The bodies are thought to be left unburied and one even washed up on the shore, the AhlulBayt News Agency reported. more >>
Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana addressed the backlash over his Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Sunday in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
"I support religious liberty, and I support this law," Pence said. "But we are in discussions with legislative leaders this weekend to see if there's a way to clarify the intent of the law."
The law is meant to protect individuals and businesses from performing services that infringe on their religious beliefs. For example, a Christian business that does not want to serve a gay couple would have the freedom to withhold services without fear of legal retribution. Opponents of the law say that it is a blatant form of discrimination, and Stephanopoulos asked the governor whether he regretted signing the law into effect. more >>
A mixed Sunni-Shia family that once lived in ISIS' Iraqi stronghold of Mosul but has fled to live in the Kurdish north after the militant group took over the town last June, has provided deeper insight and revelations about the horrors that people living under the jihadis brand of sharia rule must deal with.
In an interview with the Iraqi news website Rudaw that was published on Tuesday, the Al-Saraj family, with the father being a Sunni and the mother being a Shia, explained that although they are now living in the Kurdish town of Dohuk, they still maintain contact with their friends and loved ones that are still inside Mosul and subjected to the barbarity of the group's rule.
While it is no secret that the Islamic State regularly amputates the hands of grown adults who have been accused of stealing inside its strongholds, apparently no exception is given by the militants when a child is accused of stealing. more >>
After America's first ever Islamic tribunal was established in Irving, Texas earlier this year, the town's city council dealt the local Muslims a blow by passing a resolution in support of new state legislation that would forbid the implementation of any "foreign laws," including sharia.
Irving Mayor, Beth Van Duyne, has been thrust into the national spotlight after taking a hard stance against the imposition of sharia by a Sunni mosque that formed the Irving Islamic Tribunal in January in order to provide koranic counseling and mediation for social disputes in the Muslim community.
After the Irving city council passed the resolution last Thursday to support Texas House Bill 562, which would forbid the use of "foreign law" and would also codify the supremacy of U.S. and state law, Muslims in the town were disgusted with the city's resolution, saying that it deliberately targets Muslims and spreads "Islamophobia." more >>
A mass grave of about 70 to 100 corpses, with the majority of them having their throats slit, was discovered near the Nigerian town of Damasak last week, and is believed to be the brutal handiwork of the Islamic State's newest affiliate group, Boko Haram.
According to a witness who spoke with Reuters, soldiers from Niger and Chad, who were responsible for initially driving Boko Haram out of the town, found the mass grave left under a concrete bridge.
The bridge is believed to have been an execution site for the militant group, which has killed over 10,000 people in the last year and has seized a sizeable area of Nigeria's northeastern Borno state. more >>