An 18-year-old Pakistani woman survived being shot twice and thrown in a canal by her family in an attempted honor killing for marrying the man that she loved.
"It is an honor-related incident," local police chief Ali Akbar told Reuters.
"The victim, Saba [Maqsood] ... married her neighbor Muhammad Qaiser for love five days ago against the wishes of her family. They took her to Hafizabad, shot her twice and threw her in the canal after putting her in a sack, presuming that she was dead." more >>
Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mother sentenced to death for apostasy, is challenging the court's ruling by claiming that there have been procedural errors in her case. She has also explained that she was raised as a Christian, and so did not convert from Islam.
Ibrahim's lawyer, Eman Abdul-Rahim, indicated that the imprisoned mother will be challenging the court, according to The Associated Press.
Ibrahim was sentenced to 100 lashes and death for converting from Islam and marrying a Christian man, which goes against the country's strict Islamic laws that dictate children must follow their father's religion. The mother explained, however, that her Muslim father left when she was young, and so she was raised as an Orthodox Christian by her Ethiopian mother. more >>
Christians and religious minorities face a "unique" form of religious freedom restrictions in Saudi Arabia, a persecution watchdog group says, noting that not a single church is allowed to exist in the country.
"Not a single church or other non-Muslim house of worship exists in the country," says Bandar al-Aiban, the director of the Saudi National Human Rights commission. Churches are not allowed to exist "because the entire country is a 'sacred mosque' for Islam's holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina."
International Christian Concern has highlighted the extent of the restrictions in Saudi Arabia, which is officially an Islamic state, and the consequences they have on the millions of Christians, who are mostly foreign workers, living there. more >>
At least 200 people were killed and three villages were raided in a major new offensive by Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria on Monday. The gunmen reportedly dressed like soldiers and tricked the locals before carrying out the massacre.
"We all thought they were the soldiers that we earlier reported to that the insurgents might attack us," said one community leader who escaped the massacre, The Associated Press reported.
The attacks focused on the villages of Danjara, Agapalwa, and Antagara in northeastern Nigeria. The terrorists reportedly drove into the villages in pickup trucks used by the military and said that they were soldiers who were there to "protect" the villagers. As people gathered in the center, the gunmen began shouting "Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar" (God is great), before they opened fire. more >>
On death row in Sudan last week, Meriam Ibrahim gave birth to a girl, whom she named Maya. The 27-year-old prisoner of conscience is now a step closer to the gallows. On May 15, Meriam was sentenced to be hanged for apostasy from Islam, but the execution was ordered delayed until the then-8-month pregnant defendant delivered and weaned the baby.
Notwithstanding its assertion last weekend that Meriam would be released "in a few days," by Monday Sudan had made it clear it has no such intention. Her defense lawyer is now pursuing legal appeals, but Meriam's only real hope of being spared lies in the moral pressure created in the court of public opinion.
Meriam's case turned on the question of her religious identity-whether she is lawfully a Christian, a faith she inherited from her Ethiopian Orthodox mother and embraces, or whether, because her father was a Muslim, she too must be a Muslim, even though he abandoned the family when she was young. more >>
Persecution watchdog group Open Doors has released its top 10 list of countries where Christians face the most violent attacks for their faith, with Nigeria topping the list.
"The alarming trend of violence against Christians in Nigeria over the past months highlights the lack of religious freedom they have and the daily dangers they face from the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram and other violent Islamic organizations," said Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. David Curry.
"Going to school, attending church or identifying yourself as a Christian is a very brave decision in Nigeria. It is turning into a bloodbath. Christians in the West must stand in the gap with our prayers and support." more >>