As the new year is already upon us, The Christian Post would like to offer a brief look back at the major issues and events of 2014.
Pastors in Houston were almost forced to hand over all their sermons that touched on the topic of homosexuality, a major U.S. megachurch became nonexistent, Christians around the world saw a rise in attacks especially with the rise of terrorist group ISIS, and fear spread around the world as the Ebola virus spread rapidly in West Africa. Below is the full top ten list.
1. Liberal Intolerance: 'Duck Dynasty,' Mozilla, Benham Brothers and Houston Mayor Subpoena Scandal more >>
A Christian organization that runs a restorative shelter program in the U.S. for women recovering from domestic human trafficking has pointed out ahead of National Human Trafficking Prevention month in January that anyone can be pulled into sex trafficking — its shelter has girls with master's degrees, and those that come from affluent families. The Samaritan Women organization urges churches to offer hands-on engagement and respond not with judgment, but with compassion toward victims.
The Samaritan Women is one if the organizations that appears in the newly released documentary "In Plain Sight," which seeks to raise awareness for National Human Trafficking Prevention month in January. more >>
The Islamic State released a new pamphlet teaching jihadis why it is permissible, under Islamic law, to enslave, abuse, buy, sell and have forced sexual intercourse with religious minority female and child captives.
The Research and Fatawa (Islamic law) Department of the Islamic State released a set of guidelines last week in the form of a frequently asked questions-style pamphlet, which posed serious ethical questions about the militants' sex slave practices. The questions are followed up with brief answers, using verses from the Koran and teachings of "Islamic scholars" to justify why Islamic law permits those actions. It also provides certain guidelines for the militants to follow.
According to the document, which was released on Dec. 3 and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, women of opposing religious views are viewed as a part of the al-harb (people of war). Once the women of the al-harb are captured, the pamphlet claims they are sexually permissible for fighters because of their state of "unbelief." more >>
To bring awareness to the sexual exploitation of women and minors in the porn industry and illegal sex trafficking business, a coalition of national organizations joined Morality in Media Tuesday for its annual national day of prayer to bring comfort and healing to all who are impacted by these sex industries.
Hysen Sisco, a spokesperson with Morality in Media, told The Christian Post that the "National Day of Prayer to Strengthen the Fight Against Pornography and Sexual Exploitation," asks "those concerned with the pervasive influences of pornography and other forms of sexual exploitation to pray for those involved in the fight and those struggling with the damaging affects."
"Last year, we saw an overwhelming outpouring of support from thousands around the country. Many wonderful events and opportunities occurred, we feel, because of these efforts," Sisco told CP. "We hope to get the same results so we can further our mission to defend human dignity and confront sexual exploitation." more >>
An Asian American couple held in a Qatar jail for nearly a year after the death of one of their adopted children will return to their home in the United States today after being acquitted of murder charges.
Grace and Matt Huang, previously detained, tried and convicted for allegedly starving their adopted daughter Gloria, were cleared of those charges over the weekend. However, Qatar officials had continued to bar the Huangs from returning to the states as late as Monday. Officials lifted the travel ban this week after U.S. Ambassador to Qatar Dana Smith filed a motion on the couple's behalf.
The Los Angeles couple moved to the Arabic nation in 2012 so that Matthew Huang could work with an international company constructing sites for the 2022 World Cup. Their lives were turned upside down when 8-year-old Gloria died in January 2013. more >>
Pope Francis and several of the world's leading religious leaders joined together in a pledge to end human slavery by 2020, focusing on the tens of millions of people "in chains" due to human trafficking and forced labor.
"The physical, economic, sexual and psychological exploitation of men and women, boys and girls, is chaining tens of millions of persons to inhumanity and humiliation," the pope said and signed the pledge to do "all in our power, within our faith communities and beyond" to end modern slavery by 2020.
The signatories of the declaration included Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury; Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee; Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi, an influential Shiite scholar; Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, as well as representatives for Ahmad el-Tayeb, a grand imam from Egypt. more >>