Controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reportedly brought God into a debate on the death penalty on Monday, and asked why He doesn't intervene and stop babies from being raped and killed.
"The bleeding hearts, the priests and all, said there was death penalty before, and nothing happened. Then I can simply say, death penalty didn't work because it wasn't imposed. Every president along the way would just say, one because of the Catholic Church; second the bleeding hearts, because only God can kill. The problem there, I ask you, what if there is no God? So we allow the criminals? " Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang, according to The Manila Times.
"So where is now God when a one year old baby, 18-months-old baby is taken from the mother's arms brought under a jeep and raped and killed. So where is God?" he added. more >>
An atheist group celebrating the upcoming International Blasphemy Rights Day on Friday, has said that laws around the world that restrict or punish those who criticize religion take away the rights of atheists, Christians, and other people.
"In too many countries around the world, criticizing religion is illegal. We've seen the consequences of these laws too many times — when a tweet or a post on Facebook declaring one's atheism or questioning a tenet of religion leads to arrests, beatings, prison, and sometimes death sentences," the Center for Inquiry, which set up the first event in 2009, said in a statement on Monday.
"Sometimes religious militants make their own laws, deciding for themselves that expressions of dissent justify brutal killings, like the grisly murders of secularists in Bangladesh, or attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan," the group added. more >>
The Communist Party of China has intensified its ongoing crackdown of Christianity and other faiths with the publication of new rules and regulations that tighten the government's grip on underground churches, persecution watchdog groups have said.
China Aid, which reports on religious freedom issues in China, said late last week that the new restrictions are aimed at dispersing Christian house churches and silencing Tibetan and Xinjiang separatists.
The Revised Draft of Regulations on Religious Affairs is expected to formally come into effect early in October, and includes prohibitions on "organizing citizens to attend religious training, conferences and activities abroad," "preaching, organizing religious activities, and establishing religious institutions or religious sites at schools," and "providing religious services through the internet." more >>
Officials from the U.N., the United States, Russia, and other nations are pointing fingers and accusing each other of "barbarism" after the latest round of bombings by Syrian forces killed at least 85 people on Sunday in the besieged city of Aleppo.
Matthew Rycroft, British ambassador to the U.N., said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian allies have been carrying out war crimes against Syrian civilians in the continued bombings aimed at taking out rebel forces in the civil war.
"After five years of conflict, you might think that the regime has had its fill of barbarity — that its sick bloodlust against its own people has finally run its course," Rycroft said, according to CNN. more >>
WASHINGTON — Human rights activists in 24 cities around the world protested outside Chinese embassies on Friday and delivered petitions calling on the Chinese government to stop killing North Korean defectors by repatriating them back to their home country.
While it is an offense punishable by death or imprisonment for North Korean citizens to defect from the country and the oppressive Kim regime, the Chinese government helps facilitate North Korea's crimes against humanity by refusing to grant North Korean defectors refugee status and by sending thousands of them back to North Korea knowing full well that they will be tortured, forced to do hard labor and even killed in political prison camps.
In 2014, a 400-page United Nations report extensively detailed the widespread torture and abuse that North Korea is responsible for and found that China is violating its responsibility under international human rights and refugee laws. more >>
A Pakistani Christian boy who was arrested earlier this week could face the death penalty after he was accused of posting a picture on Facebook that Muslims consider to be blasphemous toward Islam.
According to the London-based charity British Pakistani Christian Association, 16-year-old Nabeel Masih, who lives in the town of Kasur in the Punjab province, was accused of posting a blasphemous picture on Facebook that reportedly showed the Kaaba (the building at the center of Islam's most sacred mosque in Mecca) with a pig's head on top.
Masih's alleged post was reported to local police by a Muslim friend who found it offensive. Masih was arrested and is being held at the local police station in Kasur until his trial. more >>