Four Iranian Christians are set to receive 80 lashes each as punishment for drinking communion wine at a house church, while Iran faced further criticism in a U.N. report on its human rights record.
"The sentences handed down to these members of the Church of Iran effectively criminalise the Christian sacrament of sharing in the Lord's Supper and constitute an unacceptable infringement on the right to practice faith freely and peaceably," said Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), who reported the news earlier this week.
"We urge the Iranian authorities to ensure that the nation's legal practices and procedures do not contradict its international obligation under the International Convent on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to guarantee the full enjoyment of freedom of religion or belief by all of its religious communities." more >>
Malala Yousafzai survived the Taliban's attack on her life. She rallies for the rights of girl's right to education. She is the youngest Nobel peace prize nominee and the winner of the European Union's prestigious Freedom of Thought award. She is adored by media as she promotes her new autobiography. She is invited for special visits national leaders to discuss terrorism. At the tender age of 16, she is an international hero.
The world is cheering on Malala as she stands up for her beliefs, and rightly so. Malala's bravery and passion for girls' education is an inspiration to an entire generation. But all the international accolades, media attention, and political gushing over the heroic teenage activists begs the question: If Malala was a Christian standing up for girls' right to believe in Jesus, would she still receive the same worldwide praise? Sadly, the answer is no.
Asia Bibi is an advocate from Pakistan too. But you probably have never heard her name. She is sitting in a Pakistani prison on death row. Her crime is her Christian faith. After being drug through the streets of her village, pelted with stones and beaten by Muslim extremists she was asked to either renounce Jesus Christ and convert to Islam for face death. Asia stood up for her right to place her faith in Jesus. Where are her prizes from the international community or her story featured on the on the nightly news? more >>
A Pakistani minister in Scotland has forgiven the suicide bombers who murdered his mother and other family members in attacks at All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, that killed 122 last month.
"It is wrong what these people did but I forgive them...Forgiving is what we learn from the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why I forgive," Aftab Gohar, a Church of Scotland minister, who lost his 79-year-old mother, nephew, niece, two uncles and other friends and relatives, told BBC News.
After the Sunday service on Sept. 22, bombs packed with ball bearings to ensure maximum carnage exploded, killing and wounding dozens who were socializing in the courtyard and lining up to receive food, Two Islamist militant groups with links to the Taliban later claimed responsibility, arguing that the attack had been a response to U.S. drone strikes. more >>
Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and left for dead last year, but the 16-year-old is now on a world tour promoting her book, "I am Malala" and speaking with people about her passion for education. Yousafzai most recently met with President Barack Obama and asked him to stop using drones on her home country of Pakistan.
"I thanked President Obama for the United States' work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees," Yousafzai said in a statement following the meeting. "I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education, it will make a big impact."
Yousafzai was specifically targeted by the Taliban for her activism and willingness to speak out about the right of young girls to receive an education. She was very passionate about education and kept a blog about her desire for every girl to receive an education. Taliban members upset about her actions boarded a bus one year ago and shot her in the head and neck, leaving her for dead. more >>
Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani education advocate and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, wowed a television audience earlier this week when she was asked how she would respond to the Taliban members who, last October, shot her in the head and neck as she was traveling from school.
Yousafzai was a guest on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" when she was asked how she would respond if she was attacked by the Taliban again. She was previously shot in the head in October 2012 after advocating the importance of female education in a BBC blog.
The brave young advocate told Stewart that although her initial reaction would be to fight back with force, such as hit the Taliban member with a shoe, she would ultimately choose to react peacefully so as to not repeat the cruel behavior inflicted upon her. more >>
WASHINGTON – Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has declared that he will work tirelessly to free Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor jailed in Iran for his Christian faith.
In a speech Friday morning before a large crowd at the Values Voters Summit, Paul exclaimed that Americans, including himself and the federal government, should do their utmost to see that Abedini is freed.
"In Iran, American pastor Saeed Abedini is detained indefinitely, facing physical and psychological torture. They ask him to renounce his faith," said Paul. "I've introduced a resolution to the Senate that says and calls for and says we should do everything within our power, within our voice, from the White House, from the State Department, from our government to release Saeed Abedini." more >>