The Iranian regime has charged evangelical house church Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani with committing national security crimes and has given him just one week to raise $33,000 for bail or face re-arrest and imprisonment.
According to a press release from the Christian persecution watchdog group Christian Solidarity Worldwide shared with The Christian Post, Nadarkhani, who was sentenced to death in 2012 on charges of apostasy, was summoned to appear before the Islamic Revolutionary Court in the town of Rasht on July 24 and was charged with "acting against national security."
The charges stem from a raid conducted on Nadarkhani's home by security forces in May, which was a part of an intelligence crackdown on the Christian community in Rasht. more >>
Jihadis affiliated with the Islamic State stormed a church in Normandy, France, during morning mass on Tuesday, and brutally murdered an 84-year-old priest and took nuns and worshipers as hostages.
Two assailants stormed the Church of the Gambetta in the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray district of Normandy around 10 a.m. local time. They took five people hostage, including the priest, identified as Father Jacques Hamel, two nuns and two parishioners.
Hamel eventually lost his life, as the men slit his throat with a knife. The assailants also left three others wounded. more >>
Fears that Nigerian Christians are facing ever-increasing bloodshed and violence are growing, human rights groups have warned, with the government failing to persecute and bring to justice the Islamic radical factions that killed over 4,000 Christians in 2015 alone.
"As we speak, none of the perpetrators has been fished out and put on trial. That is to say the government is fully aiding and abetting the sundry ethno-religious cleansing and butcheries. It also partakes circumstantially and vicariously, if not directly," said Emeka Umeagbalasi, chairman for the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law.
Christian Prisoner Maryam Zargaran, who has now spent over three weeks on a hunger strike in Iranian prison, has been denied a release on medical grounds by the Iranian court, despite reports of her worsening medical condition.
Mohabat News reported Monday that the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence has refused to grant Zargaran's release despite signs that she is developing multiple sclerosis. The Christian woman began her second hunger strike on July 5 in protest against the treatment she has received in prison, and reports are saying that she has become very weak, with her long-term heart condition posing an increasing health risk.
Zargaran's family were allowed to visit her in prison recently, but revealed that she refuses to receive treatment at the prison clinic because staff mistreat her there. more >>
Human rights groups have been speaking out against what they say is an alarming escalation of violence in several attacks against Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Christian community, with police providing little if any protection for victims.
Mina Thabet, programme director for minorities and vulnerable groups with the Egyptian Commission of Rights and Freedoms, told AFP that attacks on Coptic Christians have been "escalating in a very short time."
There have been a number of reports in separate Egyptian villages in recent weeks of large Muslim mobs torching Christian houses, preventing them from establishing churches and gathering to worship. Christians have been beaten and threatened against practicing their faith, while police and government officials have been failing to punish those responsible, Thabet said. more >>
Questions remain about the fate of abducted Indian priest Tom Uzhunnalil, who was abducted in March by armed militants in Yemen, even after a video was reportedly released on social media purporting to show a frail, weakened and bearded Uzhunnalil being beaten.
Footage and a photograph were posted on Uzhunnalil's Facebook page on Tuesday by a person claiming to be a "Yemeni friend" of the abducted priest who was kidnapped during a raid on a Missionaries of Charity retirement home in Aden in which militants took the lives of 16 civilians and four nuns.
The photo shows a frail and weak man with a large gray beard clutching his chest. The caption included with the photo stated that "an entreaty seeking his release would be uploaded soon." more >>