Humanitarian efforts in Somalia have ceased, as al-Shabaab rebels have announced a ban on International Red Cross (ICRC) workers from providing aid.
The drought that has taken over Somalia is quickly getting worse, and the ICRC ban will deeply concern aid workers and organizations in the region. Al-Shabaab claims that the ICRC has "repeatedly betrayed the trust conferred on it by the local population and, in recent weeks, falsely accused the Mujahideen [al-Shabaab fighters] of hindering food distribution."
A statement from al-Shabaab said, "A thorough inspection of ICRC warehouses and food depots throughout the Islamic Administrations governed by the Mujahideen has revealed that up to 70 percent of the food stored for distribution by the organization was deemed unfit for human consumption." more >>
A Pakistani Christian woman convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death has successfully appealed a court's ruling, just as a petition demanding her release has reached over 500,000 signatures.
Asia Noreen Bibi, whose case has received global interest, including that of Pope Benedict XVI, was sentenced to death by hanging in 2011 after spending more than a year in a Pakistani prison.
Asia Bibi, a wife and mother, is accused of making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad by Muslim witnesses, which she has denied. more >>
A Las Vegas pastor on the run has been arrested in Mexico and brought back to Nevada for trial stemming from child sex abuse charges.
Otis Holland, now in federal custody and awaiting extradition in San Diego, is being charged with 11 counts of sexual assault of a victim under 16, one count child abuse and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime, Henderson Police said.
He is accused of counseling troubled teens, bringing them home to a sound-proofed "torture" room in his home, and even videotaping them as he abused them. more >>
WASHINGTON – An expert on Islam said Thursday that the United States and other Western nations are indirectly aiding the spread of radical Islamic groups abroad.
Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, international director of U.K.-based Barnabas Fund, said at a lecture hosted by Family Research Council that the "Arab Spring" is a good example of how the United States and other nations are enabling the spread of Islamism, especially in Libya and Egypt.
In Libya, he said, the support given by NATO and the U.S. to the rebel group, known as the NTC, is a matter of concern. more >>
Although the year 2011 saw the greatest number of violations of human rights in China since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, watch dog organizations have no good news for the New Year, as some groups insist 2012 may be even worse.
On Jan. 1, more than 10 policemen led by the vice head of the local Public Security Bureau stormed into the home of Lou Yuanqi, one of the house church leaders in Huocheng County in Xinjiang (north-western China), according to information provided by Human Rights in China (HRIC), one of several human rights organizations monitoring persecution of Chinese citizens, including religious minorities.
No great damage was done and the church leader and his wife, present during the raid, are now fine. However, the incident was clearly meant to intimidate Lou as the leader of a house church – an institution detested by the Chinese communist government, according to reports from HRIC. more >>
Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, called Wednesday for national unity and an end to persecution in Egypt on the first anniversary of the revolution that brought more democracy to the nation but also increased violence against Christians.
Wednesday marked one year since Egyptians rose up Jan. 25, 2011, in revolution. Over 800 deaths later, Egypt has a new, democratically-elected, an mostly Islamic government and is starting to make its way towards putting the country's economy back on track.
The bishop offered prayers for the victims who died during pro-democracy protests in Tahrir Square and elsewhere in Egypt, evoking also Coptic Christians who died in separate incidents after the toppling of Egypt's president of nearly 30 years, Hosni Mubarak. Next to some follow-up protests against military rule, the country saw a different kind of fresh violence in the aftermath of the revolution - violence against the Coptic community, one of Egypt's oldest religious groups. more >>