Witnesses have said that Asia Bibi, the Christian mother of five who was sentenced to death in Pakistan, is living in deplorable prison conditions, which they describe as a "hell hole." Bibi is reportedly bombarded with constant pressure to embrace Islam, but refuses to deny her Christian faith.
Mission Network News reported on Tuesday that sources close to the ALIVE network of churches have managed to investigate conditions at the women's block in Multan Jail, where Bibi is being held.
According to MNN, those individuals found that the building "does not have any system of cross ventilation." more >>
A Yazidi woman who fled captivity at the hands of the Islamic State terror group has claimed that hundreds of others are taking their own lives rather than be subjected to sex slavery by the jihadists.
"We just want them to be rescued," Ameena Saeed Hasan said in a CNN report. "Hundreds of girls have committed suicide.
"I have some pictures of the girls who have committed suicide ... when they lose hope for rescue and when ISIS many times sell them and rape them ... I think there is maybe 100. We lost contact with most of them," she added. more >>
The U.S. government will continue to provide military assistance to four African nations that were recently found to be actively recruiting child soldiers in their national militaries. Child protection experts condemned the decision.
The White House announced Tuesday that at least half of the countries listed on its Child Soldiers Prevention Protection list would receive national interest waivers and subsequently would not lose military assistance despite the Child Soldier Prevention Act, which was passed in 2008. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan will continue to receive millions of dollars in U.S. military assistance and arms sales.
CSPA was enacted by Congress to restrict U.S. military support to governments that recruit children or people younger than 18 in their armed forces; however, the United States has taken to using waivers for select nations considered to be critical partners in countering terrorism. Other nations on the list are Myanmar (formerly Burma), Sudan, Syria and Yemen. more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini, has revealed that many of the updates from Iran on her husband's condition over the past three years have been coming from the pastor's parents. Naghmeh said that the trauma Abedini is going through is taking a toll on them.
"Though I am always looking forward to visitation days as my lone connection to Saeed, it pains me to know what my in-laws have lived through with their son. They live for these 15-minute visitations each week with their son, but watching your son endure the trauma of unjust imprisonment is brutal," Naghmeh said in an update earlier this week posted on the American Center for Law and Justice website.
"Increasingly, my updates from Iran come with many tears. The pain of seeing your son shackled, describing the pains in his body or the beatings he endures has at times been too much for his elderly parents. Today's update was told through uncontrollable tears. Having seen the pain of my own children, I can only imagine the pain Saeed's parents have endured the last three years," she continued. more >>
The state of Georgia has executed a woman despite last-minute pleas for mercy, including one from Roman Catholic Church leader Pope Francis. The woman reportedly sang the Christian anthem "Amazing Grace" as she was put to death via lethal injection, witnesses said.
NBC News reported that Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 47, was executed shortly after midnight on Wednesday. Gissendaner had been put on death row for the 1997 stabbing murder of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner, at the hands of her lover. She became the first woman executed by the state in 70 years.
Gregory Owen, who carried out the killing, is serving a life prison sentence, and is not eligible for parole until 2022. more >>
Muslim extremists burned down three churches in Tanzania last week and issued threats to the area's Christians, a leading persecution monitoring group has reported.
According to pastors who spoke with Morning Star News, three churches in northwest Tanzania were set ablaze last Tuesday causing everything inside them to burn. Fortunately, no one was injured.
The churches that were torched were the Pentecostal Assemblies of God, the Evangelical Assemblies of God and the Living Water International Church, all of which are located in the Kashfa village area in the Bukoba district. more >>