PHILADELPHIA – The Justice Conference was designed to redeem the word "justice," founder Ken Wytsma explained at a Saturday press conference and interview with The Christian Post. Too often "justice" was simply an arguing point in a political debate between liberals and conservatives, but that misrepresents justice, he explained.
Justice is similar to truth, Wytsma explained, in that it exists always, everywhere, regardless of whether or not one thinks about it or searches for it. But, the way that justice has been used in political debates misrepresents its meaning.
"In the communities I've grown up in, there is this kinda left/right, Democratic/Republican, whatever it might be, battle that has gone on for a very long time where justice was thrown in as an arguing point in that debate, which really destroys the nature of what justice actually is. It throws it into a category or definition that is not correct. Until we understand justice correctly, we can't really have the right conversation. So, The Justice Conference was really my desire to try to redeem the word 'justice,'" Wytsma said. more >>
A Christian leader has stated that Iraqi Christians are deserting the region due to harassment from numerous bodies in the Middle East country.
Archbishop Mar Youhanna Boutros Moshe of Mosul for Syriac Catholics said the reasons for the migration of Iraqi Christians include their exposure to harassment by many bodies, security instability and a lack of job opportunities.
"In our meetings with organizations and relevant agencies, we always call for providing employment opportunities for our youth. We also encourage investment projects by Christian businessmen from inside and outside Iraq in areas with a Christian majority to help Christians stay in their homeland," Archbishop Moshe told MCN. more >>
A Utah-based nonprofit dedicated to monitoring religious freedom recently published an International Religious Freedom Scorecard, which uses a grading system to indicate each U.S. federal legislator's dedication to international religious freedom during the 112th Congress of 2011-2012.
The grading system uses tallied numerical points which indicate the level of a legislator's prioritization of bills, resolutions, and letters relating to international religious freedom.
"Religious Freedom is core to the very essence of being human," Lindsay Vessey, executive director of the newly-founded Venn Institute and former founder of Open Doors USA's advocacy program, said in a statement. more >>
Feng Jianmei, a Chinese woman who last June was beaten by birth control officials in the Shaanxi province and forced to abort her seven-month old baby girl, has spoken out for the first time since enduring her horrific tragedy, saying that she still deals with persistent medical issues due to the late-term abortion, and that she feels she and her husband suffered the greatest loss of all: the loss of a child.
Jianmei, whose forced abortion sparked global outcry against China's one-child policy after a photo of her lying next to her stillborn daughter went viral on the Internet, said in a recent interview with DragonTV that she lives in a different city than her husband, Deng Jiyuan, because she is still receiving medical treatment for her late-term abortion.
Additionally, Jianmei told the Chinese news channel, in Mandarin, that she currently lives in the Jiangsu province, away from her husband and family, because she felt too much emotional pain living in the province where she received the forced abortion. more >>
An Algerian judge under pressure from Islamists to uphold a Christian's conviction for alleged proselytizing rescinded his one-year prison term on Wednesday but doubled his fine, an attorney said.
Mohamed Ibaouene, 36, was shocked to learn on Dec. 11 that he had been convicted in absentia on July 4, 2012 by a court in Tigzirt, sentenced to one year in prison and fined 50,000 dinars (US $635) on a charge of pressuring a Muslim to convert. His attorney, Mohamed Benbelkacem, told Morning Star News that the appeals judge in Tindouf, in raising Ibaouene's fine to 100,000 dinars, must have realized there was no basis for the charge but was under pressure from Islamists to impose a sentence.
"The judge must have undergone some pressure to arrive at this sentence – that is the only explanation," Benbelkacem said. "That is why he had to choose to split off one of the two punishments; he could not decide for the punishment sought by the prosecutor, namely two years in prison followed by a 100,000-dinar fine, because it was unfair and unfounded. Unfortunately, we are faced with an act of injustice, and we intend to appeal." more >>
The Christian relief organization World Vision applauded the U.S. Senate passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act on Tuesday, but said the bill remains at risk unless the House also acts.
"This was a time to lead in the fight against modern-day slavery and the U.S. Senate rose to the occasion," said Jesse Eaves, senior policy advisor for Child Protection at World Vision. "At a time when it seems impossible to move important legislation, the Senate vote not only gives hope to millions of exploited men, women, and children around the world, but also to the thousands of advocates around the country who have worked tirelessly to push this legislation through. We now implore the House to take notice and follow suit so this life-saving bill can renewed."
Officials at World Vision said that at a time when bi-partisanship appears non-existent, the Senate "came together" to pass the bill that helps combat human trafficking. "However, the success in the Senate is still marred by partisan gridlock in the House of Representatives, and World Vision calls on both parties to put politics aside and pass this crucial bipartisan bill before the end of this Congress." more >>