In the past three years, thousands of Christians have died at the hands of Boko Haram, an extremist group based in northern Nigeria, says Cardinal John Onaiyekan.
A report by Human Rights Watch, published in January, indicates that more than 3,000 people have been killed since 2009 by Boko Haram, a northern-based extremist group once known as the Nigerian Taliban.
During his lecture on Muslim-Christian relations at the University of St. Michael's College (Toronto), Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Roman Catholic Cardinal Archbishop of Abuja, warned that the violence perpetrated by the extremist group is threatening the Muslim-Christian harmony in Nigeria. more >>
A tragic story emerging from China this week, the details of which remain vague, indicates that a 13-month-old boy was crushed by a vehicle driven by family planning officials, who were fining the child's parents for violating the country's controversial one-child policy.
The incident reportedly occurred on Monday, Feb. 4, when 11 members of a nearby birth control office arrived in a large van at the home of Chen Liandi and his wife, Li Yuhong, who live near Wenzhou city in the eastern province of Zhejian.
The officials arrived at the couple's home to collect an unspecified fine, as the couple had three children, therefore violating the country's strict one-child policy, which permits each couple to only produce one child in an attempt at population control. more >>
ChinaAid, a Texas-based Christian non-profit organization that monitors religious freedom in China, said in its 2012 annual report on Monday that the Chinese government continues its uptick of persecution against Christians in the country for the seventh consecutive year.
The report examines 132 persecution cases involving 4,919 people, finding that persecution incidences rose 41.9 percent from 2011. Additionally, the number of people sentenced in cases relating to religious persecution jumped 125 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the group's finding.
"If the Chinese government had its druthers, religion would not be practiced at all within its borders," the organization stated on its website in response to the results of its 2012 persecution report. more >>
Political instability in Kenya, triggered by influences from the Muslim minority group al-Shabaab, is causing great concern over the future religious atmosphere in the Eastern Africa country, says Open Doors, a Christian persecution watchdog group. The organization is asking for prayer with less than one month to go before the country's general election.
"We are at a defining moment because these are the first elections under the new constitution with its many new structures and elective and nominative posts," explains the Open Doors coordinator for the region, who – as the case with most of the ministry's international field workers – remains anonymous for security reasons.
Al-Shabaab's success in pressuring the government to allow greater official influence for Islam is troubling, say Open Doors officials. Islamic family courts based on Sharia Law have been implemented in all counties – even in those with a low Muslim presence. It is feared that at least 10 of the counties with higher Muslim representation may push for the implementation of Sharia Law and may even be harboring ambitions to break away from the rest of the country, which is Christian dominated (83 percent). more >>
A new proposed amendment for the Virginia state Bill of Rights that would call on all public places and schools to allow prayer and religious activity passed a Senate Committee last week.
A Senate Committee in the Virginia General Assembly endorsed Senate Joint Resolution 287 on Jan. 29. Republican Sens. William M. Stanley, Jr., and Charles W. "Bill" Carrico sponsored the bill that would allow public officials, students, and others the right to participate in religious activity as long as they were not disruptive. The new bill will also allow for students to be dismissed from school assignments and presentations that conflict with their religious beliefs.
Stanley informed the panel that this amendment was crafted to ensure that people of all religions would not be penalized for expressing their right to religious beliefs. "All religions are under attack," Stanley said. "People of faith are under attack." more >>
A Christian advocacy group against the commercial sex trade and human trafficking has launched a social media campaign to coincide with the millions of people who will be interacting online during this Sunday's Super Bowl in New Orleans.
Shared Hope International says there were 12.2 million Super Bowl related posts on social networking websites during and after the game. "As a matter of fact, the halftime show alone garnered 862,000 comments," officials stated.
The organization said that these types of large numbers related to the game means there is "a chance for us together to get in the game and create awareness for the fight against human trafficking, through online advocacy." more >>