The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia has upheld the cruel sentencing of liberal blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes, a $266,060 fine and 10 years imprisonment after being charged in 2012 with "insulting Islam through electronic channels."
Badawi, a father of three, ran the Liberal Saudi Network, a blog that advocated for debate on religious and political issues. He was initially ordered to receive his 1,000 lashes by cane in increments of 50 per week over the course of 20 weeks.
As previously reported, Badawi received his first round of 50 lashes on Jan. 9 in the public square in the city of Jiddah by a member of Saudi security forces. The flogging was captured on a cell phone video and posted to the Internet, which sparked protests and drew outcry from the United Nations, European Union, United States and other countries calling for an end to his brutal punishment. more >>
Bruce Jenner's transition into a woman named Caitlyn Jenner is an eternal issue that is an attack on the wisdom of God, according to popular hip-hop and spoken word artist Jackie Hill-Perry, a former lesbian that once suffered with gender identity issues.
Hill-Perry, 25, told Rapzilla that people in the LGBT community make sense of being able to change their body to match what they feel on the inside when God is not involved in the decision making. However, she believes making the decision to change what God has made is a prideful one.
"When God is involved, now it's a bigger deal. He created your body," she told Rapzilla. "He sovereignly allows you to be male or female, so for you to go against Him is an eternal issue. He created your body, so you don't have the right to say, 'I can do with it whatever I want.' That's the most prideful thing you can do because it's an attack on the wisdom of God." more >>
The European Court of Human Rights has backed an earlier decision by a court in France to allow a 39-year-old paralyzed man to be taken off life support by request of his wife. The man's Roman Catholic parents have strongly opposed the decision, however, stating they are against euthanasia.
BBC News reported that Vincent Lambert has been in a coma for seven years following a motorcycle accident, which left him tetraplegic, or without the use of his limbs and torso.
Although euthanasia is illegal in France, a 2005 passive euthanasia law allows doctors to withdraw care from patients, which effectively ends their life. more >>
WASHINGTON — The wife of American pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran for nearly three years because he held a Bible study, told Congress on Tuesday that despite being separated from both her husband and her children, Jesus has not abandoned her torn-apart family.
Speaking at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Americans currently imprisoned in Iran, Naghmeh Abedini explained that since her husband was detained in 2012 and sentenced to eight years in Iranian prison in 2013, she has needed to leave their two elementary-aged children at home while she has travelled across the globe to push for her husband's release.
"Most mornings like today, I wake up in a new hotel in a new city or country and am reminded of my new reality — a reality that includes lonely airports and empty hotel rooms," Abedini explained in her testimony. "This pain of this journey without my husband has only increased as I have had to frequently leave my children to advocate for my husband's release. The reality is, we are a family torn apart. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist group is being accused by local government officials of kidnapping over 500 children from the Anbar and Diyala provinces in Iraq, and there is fear that some of the children could be forced to carry out suicide bomb attacks.
Farhan Mohammed, a member of Anbar's Provincial Council, told the Turkish news organization Anadolu Agency on Saturday that the Islamic State abducted approximately 400 children in the Anbar towns of Ar Rutba, Al-Qaim, Anah and Rawa in raids that took place over the course of a week.
Mohammed further added that he believes more children in the area will be recruited to join ISIS and that they could be used to carry out jihadi attacks. more >>
Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, the Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo in Syria for the Catholics of the Latin rite, denied reports that a Syrian Christian fighter beheaded an ISIS terrorist for revenge, accusing the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights of spreading rumor based on "unreliable and unverifiable" information.
"The manipulation of information is also one of the means used to multiply the violence and horrors of this conflict," Bishop Abou Khazen told the Catholic Fides news agency. "We know that more than 230 Assyrian Christians abducted in the villages of Khabur are still held hostage by jihadists."
The bishop said British media picked up the story despite it being "unreliable and unverifiable." more >>