Frank Van Den Bleeken, a Belgian man serving a life sentence for rape and murder, has won the "right to die" in a landmark ruling after arguing he cannot control his violent sexual urges.
Belgium's euthanasia laws, which earlier this year also gave terminally ill children the right to have doctors end their lives, have been strongly criticized by pro-life groups.
Fifty-year old Van Den Bleeken, who was convicted in the 1980s, argued that he would never be freed and so wishes to end his life, BBC News reported. The ruling follows a three-year legal battle by the prisoner. more >>
WASHINGTON – In response to the plight of Middle East Christians fleeing from their homes in the wake of extremism and terror brought by the Islamic State and other terrorists groups, Christian leaders and advocates called on modern Muslim community leaders against radical Islam and warned that the plight of Christians could have disastrous consequences in the Middle East.
"The stakes are enormous," said Edward Clancy, director of outreach for the humanitarian organization Aid to the Church In Need, on Thursday. "Christianity might entirely disappear from the very region of its birth. Such a disaster would not only mean the loss of ancient patrimony, it would also mean the demise of a key player to society dominated by Islam and unfortunately dominated by a radical Islam that seeks to kill and destroy rather than to live side by side."
A top priest among Jordanian Christians said that Christianity needs support now that Christians are fleeing by the masses or suffering the consequences. He called out the modern Muslim community telling them it is time for them to help lead the charge against extremism and promote religious co-existence. more >>
WASHINGTON – Patriarchs from the Middle East gathered on Capitol Hill Wednesday to speak with members of Congress urging for further U.S. military aid for the new Iraqi central government and Kurdish peshmerga forces that are helping provide refuge to thousands of displaced Iraqi religious minorities being persecuted by Islamic State jihadists.
As forces from neighboring Kurdistan have helped clear paths for minorities to escape the atrocities in the Nineveh province and along with Iraqi forces look to push back Islamic State out of their strongholds, the Patriarchs said there is a need for increased military and equipment support with a great need for better weaponry.
"It seems that the Iraqi central government and the Kurdish region, they need help," said His Beatitude, Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. "What you call military intervention with Air Force it will be much needed [but] those militias of the ISIS, they have plenty of weaponry and they already robbed a lot of money and they have been assisted and financed by those radicals of the gulf countries. They have the offense they need. So the Peshmerga of Kurdistan and also the Iraqi central army need military assistance." more >>
WASHINGTON – As thousands of Christians in Iraq and Syria, and other parts of the Middle East, are being tossed from their homes, killed, raped and pillaged by Islamic State forces and other terrorist organizations, Princeton law professor Robert George claims that Christians in America and other westernized nations are too complacent to speak out against the persecution in the Middle East and urge their governments to take action.
"It must be a kind of complacency that comes with power and affluence," George said. "We are happy. We are content. We are not persecuted, or not very much. So, we do not see the persecution of our brothers and of our sisters on the other side of town."
Increasingly in the last few months, Christians and believers of other religions in areas of Iraq and Syria are facing the wrath of of the Islamic State's "cultural cleansing." This has caused thousands of Christians to either flee their home, convert to Islam, or face death by sword. more >>
As ISIS continues to pose a menace to religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, Christians from the region have spoken with horror about what the terrorist group is doing to their communities.
Auday P. Arabo, lay spokesman for the St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Diocese, told The New York Times that Iraqi Christians are calling it "a slow-motion genocide."