Two South Sudanese Presbyterian pastors who were imprisoned for over half a year in Sudan and faced the death penality for espionage and other conspiracy charges have finally made it home after they were banned from leaving the country following their release earlier this month.
Yat Michael and Peter Yein Reith arrived home in Juba on Wednesday after being arrested and imprisoned last winter and subsequently hit with various trumped-up charges of crimes against the state that could have been punishable by death.
The Islamic State terrorist group has released pictures and video purporting to show militants bulldozing a nearly 1,600-year-old Christian monastery, while a claim has been made that the jihadis have also dug up and desecrated the bones of a martyred Christian saint.
As Islamic State captured the Syrian town of al-Qaryatain in the Homs province and kidnapped over 230 Syriac Christians earlier this month in what was deemed ISIS' biggest military advance since it took over the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in May, it's believed that some of the kidnapped Christians were taken from the town's ancient Syriac Catholic Mar Elian Monastery.
This week, IS-affiliated social media accounts posted images and footage showing the destruction of the monastery, which was founded in the year 432 and was also the location where priest Jacques Mourad and a church volunteer was abducted in May. more >>
Stirred by a report of how the Islamic State uses the Quran to justify systematic sexual violence against women and young girls, Hillsong Church pastor Bobbie Houston has called on women everywhere to pray over the shocking and abhorrent situation in any way they know how.
After reading The New York Times Aug. 13 feature "ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape," Houston posted a fervent prayer request on her Instagram account, alerting potentially more than 100,000 followers to the powerful report.
The Times feature, written by Rukmini Callimachi, highlights how "the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria," using the Quran in support. The radical Sunni militant group uses the barbaric practice as a recruiting tool to grow its numbers. more >>
After winning support for gay marriage through the image of the monogamous same-sex couple, a coalition of LGBT groups has released a joint statement in solidarity with Amnesty international's recent support for decriminalizing prostitution.
Multiple United States-based LGBT groups released the joint statement Thursday in support of the recently approved resolution by Amnesty International championing the decriminalization of sex work.
Signed by the Transgender Law Center, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the National Center for Transgender Equality, the statement applauds prostitution as a survival skill for runaway gay youth. more >>
Evolutionary biologist and atheist professor Richard Dawkins has spoken out against the government of Paraguay's decision not to perform a late-term abortion on a raped 11-year-old girl, and slammed Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's faith-based morality as "truly loathsome" for siding with the decision.
"Mike Huckabee demonstrates how truly loathsome faith-based "morality" can be. People have been known to vote for him," Dawkins wrote Thursday on his Twitter page.
Sixteen fighters from the Islamic State terror group have reportedly contracted the HIV from two Moroccan sex slaves, and as a result have been ordered to carry out suicide bombings and sacrifice their lives.
"Most of those infected are foreign militants who had sexual intercourses with two Moroccan women. The women passed on the disease to the militants before their infection was revealed. We were ordered by the group's local leadership to transfer the infected militants to a quarantine center in the city," a Syrian doctor in the city of al-Mayadeen in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, told ARA News earlier this week.
After IS leadership found out that the two Moroccan women, who have since escaped to Turkey, tested positive for AIDS, they ordered more of its fighters to carry out medical tests in order to avoid further spreading the disease. more >>