Although Reuters reported Monday night that one of the most prominent jihadist groups in the Sinai Peninsula region of Egypt has pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State caliphate, confusion remains as to the extent of the groups' connection as The Institute For the Study of War claims the reports of allegiance are false.
Reuters reported that the terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, or "Partisans of Jerusalem", issued a statement Monday night saying that the group is loyal to the Islamic State and also labeled ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the caliph (Muslim prince) of all nations.
"After entrusting God we decided to swear allegiance to the emir of the faithful Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, caliph of the Muslims in Syria and Iraq and in other countries," the statement said. more >>
The future of the first potential Christian faith-based law school in Canada is in doubt after the British Columbia Law Society rejected an earlier approval of the new law school at Trinity Western University because of the school's stance against homosexual activity.
In April, the British Columbia Law Society's Board of Governors, commonly known as the Benchers, voted, 20-6, against a motion that would have prevented Trinity Western University Law School graduates from being accredited to practice law in the province. On Friday, the Benchers voted, 25-1 with four abstentions, to rescind its previous approval after its members voted overwhelmingly in a membership referendum to disapprove the Trinity Western's accreditation earlier this summer.
"The referendum enabled all of BC's lawyers to have a say in whether the Benchers should recognize the Trinity Western University law school," British Columbia Law Society President Jan Lindsay said in a statement. "In their meeting, the Benchers considered the results of the referendum in the contest of the many other factors related to this issued and have now passed a resolution disapproving of the proposed law school … for the purpose of the law society's admission program." more >>
An angry Muslim mob viciously murdered and cremated a Christian couple for allegedly desecrating the Quran in Pakistan on Monday.
A police officer on the scene described the attack that took place in the town of Kot Radha Kishan, located around 40 miles away from the city of Lahore, according to the BBC.
"A mob attacked [Christians] after accusing them of desecration of the Quran and later burnt their bodies at a brick kiln where they worked," he said. "Yesterday an incident of desecration of the Quran took place in the area and today the mob first beat the couple and later set their bodies on fire." more >>
As more Catholic and Jesuit universities in the United States begin offering benefits to the same-sex spouses of their employees, Catholic church leaders are starting to speak out in objection to their local universities starting to provide those benefits to gay and lesbian spouses.
Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska became the latest Jesuit institution to offer the benefits to the same-sex spouses of their employees, as the school announced the change in its policy last week.
Although the state of Nebraska currently has a ban against gay marriage, the president of Creighton University, the Rev. Timothy Lannon, said the decision was made so that those employees who were wed to a member of the same-sex in another state could receive the same treatment all of the other married employees are receiving. more >>
The highest court in the state of New York unanimously voted last week to approve the marriage between a half-uncle and his half niece, ruling that the marriage did not violate the state's statute against incestuous marriages.
The New York Court of Appeals voted, 6-0, last Tuesday to approve of a marriage between a Vietnamese woman and her uncle. In 2000, a 19-year-old immigrant, Huyen Nguyen, married her mother's half brother, 24-year-old uncle Vu Truong, who is an American citizen, in order for her to gain permanent United States citizenship.
After getting married, Nguyen was given temporary citizenship. After six years of marriage, Nguyen applied for her permanent citizenship in 2006. But when the Department of Homeland Security found that that the marriage between Nguyen and Truong was incestuous, the department began the process for Nguyen's deportation. An immigration judge agreed that their marriage in Rochester was invalid due to incest. The New York Appeals court overturned that decision, though, arguing that state's marriage statute did not specify incest to include the union of half-uncles and half-nieces. more >>
Roman Catholic Church bishops from the Province of Acapulco in Mexico are urging families to hold on to hope as authorities continue searching for the 43 students kidnapped by drug cartel gunmen. Many of the students are feared to have been massacred, and even burned alive.
"United in pain and suffering, we greet you so you can feel our comfort and our hope, along with feelings of sympathy for the disappearance and death of your children, on Sept. 26, in the city of Iguala," reads the statement by the bishops from the Archdiocese of Acapulco, published by Fides News Agency on Monday.
"We encourage you to continue to look ahead. You have to keep walking because God always has good things for his children. Have hope because hope pushes to keep fighting, to continue to live with dignity, to continue working for a better world," the statement added. more >>