A time of worship and prayer came to a horrific end Wednesday night, as a white gunman, identified as Dylann Roof, 21, opened fire during a Bible study in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, slaying nine people, including the church's pastor, in what the police have called a "hate crime" and the city's mayor has labeled an act of "pure hatred."
The suspect began firing at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Calhoun Street, one of the oldest black churches in the South with roots dating back to 1816, around 9 p.m. Wednesday night. Eight people were killed on the scene, while two others were transported to a nearby hospital, one of whom died along the way.
The gunman, believed to be Roof, successfully fled the church as remains at-large as of Thursday morning. more >>
As Pakistani lawmakers consider legislation to reform the nation's corrupt blasphemy laws, Islamic clerics are bashing the government for even considering such an option, and are calling for the release of the murderer of the Punjab governor who advocated for blasphemy reform in 2011.
Asia News reports that 10 Muslim scholars and a former Pakistani judge gathered recently at a "seminar for protection of the prophet's dignity" and expressed their concern over the proposed legislation that is attempting to add the word "intention" to the nation's blasphemy law.
Speaking at the seminar was former Pakistani justice Mian Nazir Akhtar, who represents Mumtaz Qadri, the bodyguard who killed Punjab Governor Salman Taseer for referring to Pakistan's blasphemy law as a "black law." Akhtar bashed the proposed legislation and asserted that those who insult the Muslim prophet Muhammad deserve to be killed and "sent to hell." more >>
Jewish author Avi Lipkin claimed Monday that "all" churches in America have been infiltrated by Muslim spies who frequently pretend to have found Christ but are really looking to provide intelligence to radical Muslims who will try to kill all Jews and Christians when jihad is ordered upon the U.S.
Lipkin, who has authored a number of books critical of radical Islam, frequently speaks at Christian churches around the U.S. to emphasize the importance of unity between the Jewish and Christian communities in standing against the advance of radical Islam. Lipkin, who immigrated from New York to Israel in 1968, spoke at this week's Future Conference held at Skyline Church in San Diego where he proclaimed that the world is facing the "most interesting" biblical period since the days of Jesus Christ and contended that the coming of the Messiah is just around the corner.
"We are realizing with our own very eyes fulfillment of more Bible prophecy than in any other generation in 2,000 years," Lipkin asserted. "I believe the Messiah is in our time and I believe Israel will realize its borders." more >>
A Christian man has shared his story of how he was imprisoned, tortured, and starved for his faith in an Eritrean prison, shedding light on some of the abuses the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights has recently accused the government of carrying out.
"They take you outside in the hot sun with nothing to make you suffer and leave you out in the cold at night. ... I was praying and God told me, 'Don't be afraid. It will pass. Stand in your faith,'" the man, identified as 'Yohan,' told International Christian Concern.
The persecution watchdog group added that Yohan had been "tied up like an animal" and forced to eat "trash mixed with dirty rain water," while bound outside and exposed to torrential rains, a burning desert sun at day and bitter cold nights. more >>
On the first anniversary of the Islamic State's capture of Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, the terrorist group released a 29-minute propaganda documentary showing never-before-seen footage of the group's takeover and also explained how the group established bureaucratic governmental services to serve the city's residents.
According to AFP, the propaganda film shows footage of ISIS forces strolling into the city without being contested by U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces, who are shown fleeing the city. The video also shows ISIS fighters freeing prisoners and being welcomed into the city by its residents.
"It was unthinkable that the advance would be so much greater than was planned," the video's narrator stated, according to a SITE Intelligence Group translation. " more >>
Pakistani Prison officials have confirmed that a Catholic death row inmate, who was tortured into confessing to three murders over 23 years ago when he was just 15 years old, was executed on Wednesday.
Aftab Bahadur, who was convicted of the 1992 killings of Sabiha Bari and her two sons, was hanged at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, but not before he had one last chance to proclaim his innocence.
"Aftab Bahadur was hanged at District Jail Lahore on Wednesday at 4.30 a.m.," an unnamed prison official told Reuters. "Before the hanging, he was crying and saying he was innocent." more >>