As Christian persecution across the globe reaches levels never before seen, churches throughout the U.S. will devote time during Sunday worship services to pray for victims by taking part in "Stand With the Persecuted Sunday."
Eight prominent religious liberty organizations — Open Doors USA, the Institute on Religion & Democracy, The Voice of the Martyrs, In Defense of Christians, Christian Solidarity Worldwide USA, International Christian Concern, 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative and the Family Research Council — are calling on over 40,000 American churches to designate a small portion of their services this weekend to pray for those around the globe that have been persecuted because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
Besides prayer, the initiative also calls on churches to show a brief video highlighting the plight of Christians across the world, distribute a special bulletin insert, participate in practical ministries and promote policy and legislation designed to protect the persecuted. more >>
Islamic State militants have reportedly murdered Muslims who helped Christians escape the wrath of the brutal terror group in the besieged Syrian town of al-Qaryatain.
It was widely reported after IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) conquered the town of al-Qaryatain last August, the group kidnapped as many as many as 230 Assyrian Christian hostages and forced them to sign contracts that required them to submit to IS' laws or be killed. Now that the town was liberated by Russian-backed Syrian forces earlier this month, local sources have been able to detail the plight of Christians and their quests to escape from the town under IS' rule.
According to sources who spoke with Fides news agency, many of the Christians who were kidnapped by IS in the town were freed on or around Oct. 10, 2015. It was in October that Christians, aided by Muslim friends, began to flee the city. more >>
Conservative author Ryan Anderson has outlined three major hypocrisies found in the Left's outrage and over religious liberty laws recently passed in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi.
Anderson, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and author of the book Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Liberty, wrote a Monday op-ed for The Daily Signal criticizing liberal entertainers, businesses and governors who claim that the laws outright legalize discrimination against the LGBT community and are now trying to use their influence to coerce the states to repeal the laws.
"At issue are a Mississippi law that narrowly and carefully protects the rights of religious charities, small businesses, and select public servants and a North Carolina law that reasonably protects privacy and safety in public restrooms, while leaving private institutions free to set their own bathroom policies. These laws, apparently, are now unacceptable to some voices on the left," Anderson wrote. "But are they really? The hypocrisy in their opposition suggests otherwise." more >>
The family of a Canadian megachurch pastor who has been sentenced to lifetime of hard labor in North Korea after being accused of committing crimes against the Communist Kim regime fears his health might be failing him.
Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, the pastor of Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Mississauga, Ontario, was arrested in North Korea last January. Although he was there during a humanitarian trip, state prosecutors accused Lim of using the "false pretense" of humanitarian aid to enter into North Korea to use religion to attempt to overthrow the Kim regime.
International children's relief organization UNICEF has reported a 10-fold increase of child suicide bombers being used in attacks by Nigerian terror group Boko Haram.
"Let us be clear: these children are victims, not perpetrators," Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF regional director for West and Central Africa,.said Tuesday. "Deceiving children and forcing them to carry out deadly acts has been one of the most horrific aspects of the violence in Nigeria and in neighbouring countries."
The report by the organization noted that while there were four reported child bombers in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger in 2014, that number rose to 44 in 2015. What is more, 75 of the children involved in such attacks were girls. more >>
The Islamic State terror group killed 21 Christians in the Syrian town of al-Qaryatain after taking control of the city last year, a prominent clergy member has said.
After al-Qaryatain was liberated from IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) by Russian-backed Syrian forces earlier this month, Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, the head of the Syrian Orthodox Church, explained in an interview with BBC that the militant group showed no mercy on some Christians that remained after the group took control of the area last August.
Following the takeover of the al-Qaryatain, IS kidnapped as many as 230 Christians who lived in the town. According to the patriarch, the militant group executed at least 21 of those Christians, with three Christian women being among those executed. more >>