North Korea's Communist regime denies it had any involvement in the recent death of a pastor who assisted defectors in China.
Voice of the Martyr's Korea co-founder Pastor Eric Foley reported that the body of Pastor Choong Ryul Han of the Changbai Church in Jilin province was discovered last Saturday with fatal stab wounds.
He wrote that witnesses said the pastor suffered an axe blow to the head and multiple stab wounds to his stomach. more >>
The criminal complaint and sex assault trials in Cologne are now underway with the case of a 26-year-old Algerian man charged with attempted sexual assault and theft, as the German city seeks to bring justice for the mass New Year's Eve attacks against women.
BBC News noted that over 1,000 criminal complaints were filed over the violence on the night, including hundreds of alleged sexual assaults, with women stating that they were surrounded by large gangs of men, many of them with North African or Arab appearance.
The 26-year-old Algerian man in question, the first of the many trials to come, is accused of participating in a group of 10 men who groped a woman in the city's main railway station. more >>
A Franciscan priest in Aleppo, Syria, says the country's war is worse now than it has ever been before, and the remaining Christians are trying to help the suffering and share God's love in the midst of an "eerie, cemetery" nightmare.
"Never, since the beginning of this terrible war, were things as bad as they are now. I have no words to describe all the suffering I see on a daily basis," Fr. Ibrahim Alsabagh told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, according to the Catholic Herald.
Aleppo has been torn apart in the ongoing civil war in Syria, besieged by the government forces of President Bashar Al Assad and the various rebel groups seeking to take out his regime. The Islamic State terror group has also been battling in the area, leaving around 50,000 Christians and other civilians surrounded by dangers from all sides. more >>
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has found that religious minorities in Iran, including Christians, continue experiencing severe human rights abuses, closing in on one year on the historical nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and Western nations.
The major report, released only a couple months shy from the one year anniversary of the nuclear deal reached in July 2015, found that religious freedom conditions "continued to deteriorate" over the past year, with Christians, Baha'is, and the minority Sunni Muslims facing the most persecution at the form of harassment, arrests, and imprisonment.
The key findings noted that under President Hassan Rouhani's administration, the number of religious-based arrests has increased, despite Iran's continuous denial that it is violating people's human and religious freedom rights. more >>
Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the Indian priest kidnapped two months ago from a nursing home in Yemen where 16 people were killed, is still alive at the hands of Islamic State radicals, according to rumors, but his fate remains uncertain.
"The last words, which are quite reassuring, I received indirectly about 10 days ago. I was told that Father Tom is alive, and that his return to freedom could be imminent. But since then nothing has happened. We hope and pray for him," Bishop Paul Hinder OFM Cap, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, told Agenzia Fides in an update on Tuesday.
The priest was initially feared to have been crucified by the extremists on Good Friday, but subsequent information from the Catholic Church denied the rumor, instead suggesting that he was still alive and that negotiations are being carried out with IS for his release. more >>
An Indian Catholic bishop who was kidnapped by unknown abductors, beaten and interrogated about the finances of his diocese has been freed.
Bishop Prasad Gallela, who serves the diocese of Cuddapah in the Andhra Pradesh state in southeast India, went through the details of his recent abduction in an interview with the Catholic news outlet UCANews.com.
The 54-year-old Gallela explained that he was on his way home from mass at Karunagiri Shrine on April 25 when unknown abductors came in two vehicles and took him to an undisclosed location. more >>