U.S. and German representatives drew attention to the plight of American pastor Saeed Abedini at the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, saying his human rights are being violated as he remains imprisoned in Iran.
"We take this opportunity to call once again for the release of dual U.S.-Iranian citizen Saeed Abedini, who is currently being held in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Paula Schriefer, who led the U.S. delegation, on Monday.
Schriefer noted that religious minorities in Iran, including non-Shia Muslims and Baha'is, are subject to harsh treatments. And despite Iran's change in administration, with the election of President Hassan Rouhani, there has been no significant improvement to the country's human rights situation, she added. more >>
Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby signed an agreement Monday to support an anti-slavery, anti-human trafficking initiative. The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion backed the initiative known as the Global Freedom Network.
"Many are already engaged in the struggle and we join them with much to learn as well as much to contribute. All are called to join common cause to end this crime and suffering," said Welby. "We are struggling against evil in secret places and in deeply entrenched networks of malice and cruelty. No one of us is strong enough, but together we are ready for the challenge God is placing before us today, and we know that he will strengthen us so that all people may live in freedom and dignity."
In a statement released honoring the occasion, Welby said that the joint endeavor was part of the efforts to have Anglicans and Catholics united. more >>
India suffers from an abysmal literacy rate, weak infrastructure and rampant poverty. But one of the toughest challenges the world's second largest country must confront in the 21st century is how it will better serve its declining and vulnerable female population.
The causes discouraging families and communities from raising and protecting girls and women are explored in "Veil of Tears," a new documentary from Gospel for Asia, which releases in the U.S. on March 28. more >>
As Christians around the world were being called on to pray for 33 people reportedly facing execution in North Korea for their alleged involvement with a foreign missionary, a new film that dramatizes the stories of "secret Christians" living under the oppressive regime is being lauded for its powerful presentation.
The plot of the film, "The Apostle: He Was Anointed by God," revolves around a character named Chul-ho (Kim In-kwon) "who wants to lead villagers across the river to China and from there to South Korea. He, his family and friends, face varying degrees of terrorism by North Korean soldiers, some of them glad to accept bribes, others promising to get tough against dissidents in their midst," explains a review of the Korean-language film on Forbes.com.
Human right groups reminded the international community that a promise was made never to allow the atrocities of Nazi Germany to be repeated again, and in that light pushed Congress to approve a bill detailing new sanctions and action steps against North Korea and the human rights abuses it is inflicting on its own people.
"When the full scale of the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany against the Jewish people was realized, the international community vowed never again would the world stand by and allow this type of cruelty to occur again," Suzanne Scholte, chairman of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, said in a statement at a Capitol Hill panel on North Korea on Wednesday.
"Yet, if you are a North Korean these words ring hollow because we have known of these atrocities for decades and yet we are allowing them to continue. Consider that the North Korean political prison camps have been in existence 10 times longer than the Nazi death camps, three times longer than the Soviet gulag, and existed even longer than the China's laogai." more >>
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Members of a Conservative Political Action Conference panel have called for attendees to stop the Internal Revenue Service's alleged targeting of conservative organizations.
Featuring individuals who have been audited by the IRS for their connections to Tea Party organizations, the panel detailed their objections on Thursday to what they call the "IRS Targeting Scandal."
Cleta Mitchell, partner at the law firm of Foley & Lardner, LLP, told those gathered at the Chesapeake room of the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center that "we have to stop them!" more >>