A conservative online publication has recently claimed that Syrian rebel forces are beheading Christians to drain their blood and sell it to Islamist radicals.
Jerome Corsi of World Net Daily reportedly talked with a nun in Syria via Skype who detailed for him the allegation.
"Sister Hatune Dogan told WND in a Skype interview that members of the Syrian opposition are draining the blood of Christians they behead and selling vials to Islamic radicals for $100,000 a piece," wrote Corsi. more >>
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reached out to Christians over the Christmas holiday in three visible ways. But Christian leaders have denounced his "hollow words."
In a Christmas statement, Rouhani "wished a new year full of cooperation, peace, security and tranquility for the Christians," Fars News reported. He also reached out to Christians through his Twitter account, proclaiming, "May Jesus Christ, Prophet of love & peace, bless us all on this day. Wishing Merry #Christmas to those celebrating, esp Iranian Christians."
But some were wary of his seemingly friendly words especially as Christians, including Iranian American Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, continue to be persecuted. more >>
What was the world like in 2013 for the planet's most marginalized and vulnerable communities?
1. Syria's Civil War more >>
Uganda has voted in favor of a bill that would make "aggravated homosexuality," including repeated gay acts, punishable by life imprisonment, and threaten jail for those who fail to report gay people.
While homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda, MP David Bahati, who was behind the bill, sought to strengthen existing laws.
"This is victory for Uganda. I am glad the parliament has voted against evil," said Bahati, according to AFP news agency. "Because we are a God-fearing nation, we value life in a holistic way. It is because of those values that members of parliament passed this bill regardless of what the outside world thinks." more >>
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon found that the National Security Agency (NSA) program which collects information on nearly all telephone calls made to, from, or within the United States is likely unconstitutional. Activists welcomed this decision as a step toward clearing up the "third party doctrine" and securing privacy for Americans in the digital age.
"If we don't roll back" the government's power to collect personal data, "the Fourth Amendment is going to be a hollow protection," Julian Sanchez, a research fellow at the Cato Institute, told The Christian Post on Tuesday. Sanchez explained the companies want to assure customers "that using online services doesn't mean you've handed the government your diary."
Judge Leon did not issue a final ruling on the case Monday. "Acting on a lawsuit brought by conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, Leon issued a preliminary injunction barring the NSA from collecting so-called metadata pertaining to the Verizon accounts of Klayman and one of his clients," Politico reported. Leon waived the injunction, however, allowing the NSA program to continue until a higher court ruled on it. more >>
Lawyers in China are currently partaking in a hunger strike to protest being blocked by the government's Communist officials from visiting a Christian pastor who is currently being detained by authorities. The lawyers argue that the police are violating state law by preventing them from accessing their clients.
Fifteen lawyers started their hunger fast Thursday to protest the pastor's detainment and have said that they will not stop the strike until they are able to see their client. The lawyers traveled to Nanle county in Henan to visit detained pastor Zhang Shaojie, the leader of a government-approved Christian church who was recently detained along with other church leaders under vague charges of obstructing government business. Two of Zhang's lawyers, Xia Jun and Liu Weiguo, told the Associated Press that they believe their client was arrested for resisting the attempts of the state to seize his church property.
"We strongly believe that this is a clear case of persecution of a religious group," Liu said in a phone interview with AP. more >>