The annual report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom shows that 12 of the 17 nations with the worst record of religious freedom are Islamic or Muslim-majority countries.
USCIRF, an independent federal government advisory body, has recommended that the State Department add eight more nations and retain nine existing nations to its list of "countries of particular concern," or CPCs, where particularly severe violations of religious freedom are perpetrated or tolerated.
Of the eight new additions to the CPC list, seven are Islamic or Muslim-majority nations: Central African Republic, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria and Tajikistan. The other nation is Vietnam. more >>
Islamic State militants in the group's Libyan outpost of Derna have publicly crucified three brothers belonging to a local prominent family after one of the brothers was accused of supporting the Libyan government, which under ISIS' Sharia law is equivalent to the executable offense of apostasy.
According to the Libya Herald, a photo circulated last week purporting to show three members of the Harir Al-Mansouri family being crucified near the group's Islamic court in the Mediterranean coastal town of Derna, after they refused to turn over their brother, whom the group accused of supporting the Libyan National Army.
The report adds that as many as eight members of the family, including two sisters, were killed when the militant group began a 12-hour bombardment on the family's home when they refused to surrender their brother. The public crucifixion was supposed to serve as a warning to the town's residents to not challenge the sovereignty and authority of ISIS. more >>
Iconic singer Beyonce recently urged fans to donate money to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in a bid to support the organization's efforts to ease civil unrest in Baltimore.
In an Instagram post shared with her 31 million fans on Thursday, the Grammy award-winning artist wrote "people are hurting" in a caption beneath a photo of a man wrapped in what appeared to be the American flag with various names on it, including Freddie Gray. The post garnered 300,000 likes within the first three hours of its posting.
"Join us in supporting the NAACP to help in the cleanup efforts and to provide housing, food and supplies to those affected by the unrest in Baltimore," she wrote alongside a link that directs you to an NAACP donation page. more >>
NEW YORK — A representative of North Korea's Communist regime disrupted the United Nations' "Human Rights in the DPRK" hearing with an anti-U.S. rant in an attempt to discredit North Korean defectors' testimonies given before the committee on Thursday.
Organized by the United States and South Korea, the hearing at U.N. headquarters in New York City was moderated by award-winning author Barbara Demick and featured the testimonies of three North Korean defectors who shed light on the atrocities they endured before gaining asylum in various other countries.
Following Joseph Kim's opening description of early life in North Korea, including losing his father to starvation and his own narrow escape from the same fate, a diplomat from North Korea's U.N. mission interjected with a tirade directed at both the defectors and the U.S. more >>
As angry rioters took to the streets of Baltimore this week and destroyed cars, injured 98 police officers, and burned homes and businesses, local pastors have spoken out against the violence and one even called the riots an attempt by Satan to take control of the city.
When the worst of the Baltimore riots went down on Monday, Michael Crawford, the pastor of Baltimore's Freedom Church who also serves as a church growth strategist for the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network, was set to board an airplane headed for Florida but said he knew that God was calling him to remain in Baltimore and pray for the well-being of his city.
Former Florida governor and potential Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush stated that Christians in America and abroad should have protection to act upon their beliefs.
In a speech at a major Hispanic evangelical gathering, the former Florida governor shared his thoughts on religious liberty and other issues.
"There is no more powerful or liberating influence on this earth than the Christian conscience in action and today in America it is important to respect and to protect Christians acting on their faith," said Bush. more >>