The Assembly of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Colombia has decried the human rights abuses continuing to take place in the country, where Christians are sometimes killed for offering a different way of life than joining drug trafficking groups.
"The situation is very delicate, and we as Bishops are the voice of those who have no voice, so we need to highlight that we are not living in human conditions in this area. We are forgotten by all, we have no protection, people live in anguish and without hope," said His Exc. Mgr. Julio Hernando García Peláez, Bishop of Istmina-Tado, according to Fides News Agency.
The region of Chocò was highlighted as a particular concern, where drug traffickers often prevent the presence of the services of the state. Mgr. Garcia added that security forces in the area also bare a good deal of responsibility for the violence, and claimed that some security members use civilians "to protect themselves from the fire of illegal armed groups, and innocent people die in these deadly clashes." more >>
Sudanese Christian mother Meriam Ibrahim said that her newborn daughter Maya, whom she gave birth to while in prison, will undergo an ultrasound to see if she can walk. Her family is currently staying at the U.S. Embassy in Sudan and hoping to be able to move to America soon.
While previous reports suggested that Maya is physically disabled, The Daily Mail reported on Tuesday that hopes are now that the two-month-old girl will be fine, but the ultrasound will be needed to confirm that she will be able to walk. A doctor who came to the U.S. embassy in Khartoum performed the physical examination.
The publication says that it spoke with Italian journalist and activist Antonella Napoli, who visited Ibrahim's family at th U.S embassy, and revealed that Meriam, her two children, and her husband Daniel Wani, an American citizen, are sleeping in the embassy and are being cared for by staff. more >>
Witnesses claim that Sudanese government officials recently destroyed a Christian church in the area of North Khartoum as congregants looked on.
Members of the Church of Christ in the Thiba Al Hamyida area of the country's capital told CNN journalists stationed in the area that they were given notification by government officials during their mass on Sunday that their church would be destroyed. One day later, a reported 70 security personnel, some dressed in plain clothes and armed with guns and tear gas, arrived at the church at around 10 a.m. and prevented congregants from entering. Church members then watched from outside as a bulldozer demolished their house of worship.
Security officials reportedly threatened to beat any church members who tried to stop the demolition. "They wanted to beat us or throw tear gas on us," one witness told Morning Star News, adding that no one was injured during the demolition that left the church in rubble by Monday afternoon. more >>
Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman who was recently released from prison after facing the death penalty, now says that her newborn daughter is physically disabled after she was forced to give birth in jail while in shackles.
Ibrahim, who is currently trying to leave Sudan after being freed from prison, spoke for the first time about the May 27 birth in a recent interview with The Guardian. At eight months pregnant, Ibrahim had been sentenced to death for apostasy and adultery due to her Christian faith. She was then forced to give birth while shackled in the Omdurman Federal Women's Prison in North Khartoum, Sudan.
Ibrahim, who also has a 21-month-old son, now says that because she was forced to give birth while her legs were shackled, her daughter, Maya, was born in an unconventional position and is now physically disabled. Ibrahim added that it is unclear at Maya's young age if she will need assistance for walking when she grows older. more >>
Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman recently released from a Sudanese prison after facing the death penalty, has sought refuge with her family at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum while they attempt to leave the African country.
Ibrahim was originally facing the death penalty for charges of apostasy and adultery, as she was accused of converting from Islam to Christianity as an adult and marrying a Christian man. After an intense international outcry, Ibrahim's charges were dropped when an appeals court found the lower court's death sentence ruling to be unfounded.
After Ibrahim and her family, including her husband, an American citizen, and their two children arrived at the Khartoum airport earlier this week to leave the country, they were reportedly re-arrested by 40 security agents over an issue regarding her emergency travel documents. Sudanese officials claimed Ibrahim was attempting to use documents from South Sudan when she needed a passport to leave the country. more >>
A Christian pastor imprisoned for his faith, who had been missing for nearly three weeks and feared to have been executed without notice by Iranian authorities, has been returned to prison in Ghezal Hezar Prison in Karaj, Iran.
Present Truth Ministries, which has been campaigning for Pastor Behnam Irani's release, said on Wednesday that the pastor has been able to get back in touch with his family.
"He was unable to say where he had been taken or what they did to him," the group reported. more >>