As many as 300 slaves were rescued on Good Friday from an isolated island in Indonesia, where they were forced to work as fisherman and catch seafood that was eventually sold in supermarkets in the United States.
An investigation by the Associated Press revealed that many of the migrant workers, who eventually wound up on the Indonesian island of Benjina and were duped into working 20 to 22 hours a day in unpaid slave labor, were tricked into going to that particular island.
With many of the migrant workers coming from Burma, also known as Myanmar, in search of job opportunities, many of them were told that they would be offered good-paying jobs in Thailand. Instead, they were fooled into hopping on a boat, which took them thousands of miles from their homes and dumped them on the island with no way to return home. They were then forced to catch fish without pay for the Pusaka Benjina Resources fishing company. The fish they catch are then sent back to Thailand and shipped to supply chains. more >>
In speaking at the National Press Club on Tuesday, best-selling author, former Muslim and outspoken critic of Islam, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, offered five amendments to the religion of Islam that Muslims should take seriously if they really want to bring about a peaceful reformation to their religion.
In discussing her new book, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, Hirsi Ali explained that in the last five years she has seen a wave of Muslims throughout the world express interest in reforming Islam so that it is not brutally oppressive toward women, those who break Islamic law, and religious minorities.
Hirsi Ali, who is originally from Somalia and is a survivor of genetal mutialiation, further explained that Islam needs to follow in the footsteps of Christianity and Judaism, which have both previously undergone their own reformation periods. more >>
A rally was held in North Charleston, South Carolina, Wednesday morning, one day after a white police officer was charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black man.
A group of human rights activists, mostly made up of local residents and religious leaders, gathered outside of North Charleston City Hall today to protest police brutality in the wake of the death of Walter L. Scott, who was fatally shot by North Charleston Patrolman First Class Michael T. Slager, 33, on Saturday.
Some protesters wore shirts with the words "I Can't Breathe" emblazoned on the front while clutching signs that read "Black Lives Matter" as a nod to high profile cases that have sparked ongoing racial unrest around the country. more >>
The brother of a Pakistani human rights lawyer who is defending the family of two teen Christian girls, who were gang raped in the middle of the night last December by five Muslim men, was shot by an enraged Muslim after consistently refusing to settle on a court-avoiding legal compromise.
Pervaiz Gill, the brother of attorney Sadar Mushtaq Gill, was shot in the back last Wednesday in Kasur after declining multiple times to agree on a legal settlement in the court case brought forth by the Christian teens' father, Ilyas Masih, the British Pakistani Christian Association reported.
Masih is seeking justice for his two daughters, Sherish and Farzana, who were abducted from outside their home last Dec. 3 and were gang raped by a group of Muslim men. The two girls were found lying unconscious the next morning along the roadside several miles away from their home village of Jaranwala. more >>
Rev. Franklin Graham has spoken out in support of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's decision to sign the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, but some conservatives, such as Dr. Robert Jeffress, are now concerned that Pence may be "capitulating" to the opposition.
After initially signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law on March 26, Pence immediately faced backlash from gay rights supporters. State leaders and businesses vowed to boycott the state of Indiana, accusing the state of anti-gay discrimination. Early Monday morning, Republican leaders in the Indiana General Assembly held a press conference to address the concerns and criticism. They ruled out a repeal of the law but said they would issue clarification to help others understand the law better.
Graham issued a statement of support for Pence on Monday, stating that Pence was "taking a lot of heat for doing the right thing. He is being attacked by the LGBT community, liberal politicians, and liberal media who don't want Christians' freedoms to be protected. Thank God for politicians like Governor Pence who are not afraid to take a stand regardless of the political consequences. We need more men like him in public office across this country and in Washington who are willing to stand for right over wrong." more >>
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 >>