WASHINGTON – A group of about 150 Christian clergy, leaders, and Congressmen have signed a pledge to support persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
Meant as a stance of solidarity with Christians in Syria, Iraq, and Egypt, the pledge was entered into the congressional record by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.).
"Now facing an existential threat to their presence in the lands where Christianity has its roots, the Churches in the Middle East fear they have been largely ignored by their coreligionists in the West," reads the pledge in part. more >>
A number of Hollywood stars, including Ellen DeGeneres and Jay Leno, are protesting the Beverly Hills Hotel, owned by Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who recently introduced the first phase of Sharia law in the Islamic country.
"I'd like to think that all people are basically good and when they realize this is going on, hopefully they'll do something about it," Leno said at the protest in front of the hotel.
BBC News reported on Wednesday that the Beverly Hills city council unanimously voted to condemn Brunei because of its harsh Islamic penal code, which is set to establish laws punishing homosexuality and adultery by death by stoning in future phases. more >>
Much like adultery and other sexual sins, the Bible speaks clearly about homosexuality and its implications, says Pastor Shane Idleman of Westside Christian Fellowship Church, who advises that individual's sexual preferences should change if they contradict the scripture.
In his blog, Idleman notes that many Christians tend to either insult homosexual individuals and show very little compassion toward them or "excuse their sin and look the other way." Idleman, who does not condone either behavior, points to biblical reasons why gay marriage is wrong.
"Would we say, 'I believe that those who embrace pornography can live in harmony with biblical Christianity?' Or, 'I believe that those who embrace adultery can live in harmony with biblical Christianity?' Of course not. Unfortunately, one of the greatest mistakes in our culture today involves not being able to discern between right and wrong. The battle cry is focused on individual rights, instead of what God's word says," Idleman writes. more >>
The leader of terrorist group Boko Haram said in a video on Monday that he is responsible for the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria, and revealed plans to sell them on the market because he says Allah told him to do so.
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah," the man, who identifies himself as Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, said in a video obtained by Agence France-Presse.
The United States has offered to help the Nigerian government locate a large number of girls believed to have been abducted by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Thursday that the US has been and will continue to help Nigeria regarding the mass abduction and overall antiterrorism efforts.
In a mass trial on Monday, an Egyptian judge sentenced 683 supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi to death for their alleged involvement in post-coup violence following Morsi's departure from office in 2013. The recent ruling has been denounced by human rights groups which argue such mass trials fail to find justice.
Judge Said Youssef announced his ruling Monday in the city of Minya, south of Cairo. Youssef said the 683 defendants, the majority of whom were tried in absentia, were guilty of participating in post-coup violence in August 2013. The violence occurred after the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and was prompted in part to violent clashes between police and Islamic protesters in Cairo.
The judge said his verdict must still be approved by the Grand Mufti, the leading Islamic in the nation, although this portion of the sentencing is reportedly considered to be a formality. more >>