Authorities in the Aceh province of Indonesia began tearing down a number of Christian churches on Monday at the demand of hardline Muslims, as religious tensions have risen in the province in recent weeks.
According to Reuters, government workers in the Aceh Singkil district used axes and sledgehammers to dismantle several small Christian churches after many hardline Muslims in the area demanded that at least 10 Christian churches be demolished.
BBC reports that over 200 police officers and military personnel protected government workers as they destroyed the church buildings on the grounds that the structures lacked the proper building permits. more >>
The Islamic State terror group has beheaded a Sudanese Christian man named Mohamed Al-Ghaid in Libya.
IS has claimed that Al-Ghaid was killed to avenge the deaths of Muslims at the hands of Christians in Sudan.
Pope Francis says the Bible is "a highly dangerous book" due to the fact that so many people in the world are arrested or murdered for owning one.
In a prologue that is part of a youth Bible slated for publication this week, the pontiff wrote about the dangers of having a Bible, according to the Catholic publication Aleteia.
"There are more persecuted Christians in the world today than in the early days of the Church. And why are they persecuted? They are persecuted because they wear a cross and bear witness to Jesus. They are convicted because they own a Bible," wrote Francis. more >>
A former Houston Astros player has expressed his support for a referendum meant to overturn a controversial civil rights ordinance that critics say would let men use women's restrooms.
Lance Berkman, one of the Astros' all-time greatest players, spoke on behalf of the effort to defeat the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance next month via referendum.
Policing authorities in the town of Sargodha in the Punjab province of Pakistan have arrested and charged a Christian man known healing the sick with allegedly committing the crime of blasphemy.
According to the British Pakistani Christian Association, Naveed John, a Christian resident from the Maryam Colony in Sargodha, was arrested on Oct. 8 and has been languishing in prison since his arrest.
The humanitarian agency's report states that John was arrested after police officers found a sword in his room that featured verses from the Quran inscribed into the blade. Family members told BPCA that police officials have demanded that they pay a bribe if they want John to be released. more >>
Grand Ayatollah Ahmad al-Baghdadi, the leading Shiite cleric of Iraq, has claimed in an interview that "real Islam" consists of forcefully converting people into the faith, abducting Christian women, and destroying churches. The cleric's comments stand in contrast to other Islamic leaders, who have condemned terroristic actions.
Al-Baghdadi reportedly made the comments during a televised interview, Frontpage Mag said, in which the cleric claimed that Muslims are obligated to go on the offensive and conquer people of other faiths, when circumstances permit.
"If they are people of the book [Jews and Christians] we demand of them the jizya — and if they refuse, then we fight them. That is if he is Christian. He has three choices: either convert to Islam, or, if he refuses and wishes to remain Christian, then pay the jizya," the cleric reportedly said in the interview. more >>