Four Iranian Christians are set to receive 80 lashes each as punishment for drinking communion wine at a house church, while Iran faced further criticism in a U.N. report on its human rights record.
"The sentences handed down to these members of the Church of Iran effectively criminalise the Christian sacrament of sharing in the Lord's Supper and constitute an unacceptable infringement on the right to practice faith freely and peaceably," said Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), who reported the news earlier this week.
"We urge the Iranian authorities to ensure that the nation's legal practices and procedures do not contradict its international obligation under the International Convent on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to guarantee the full enjoyment of freedom of religion or belief by all of its religious communities." more >>
A recent Arabic article appearing in Egypt's Al Ahram newspaper titled "Is Terrorism Jihad?" written by Islamic law expert Dr. Abdul Fatah Idris offers important lessons-from the fact that jihad does involve subjugating non-Muslims to why the Western mentality is still incapable of acknowledging it.
Idris, professor and chairman of Al Azhar University's Department of Comparative Jurisprudence at the Faculty of Sharia Law, is a well-reputed legal scholar. He begins his article by defining terrorism and quoting several international bodies that, in his words:
define terrorism as an act of violence or threat of violence coming from an individual either on his own volition or in participation with other individuals. It targets people or organizations or places or means of transportation or the general public in order to threaten or cause injuries or deaths of the people or simply to cripple the effectiveness of international organizations or to cause the loss or damage of those places or properties or to tamper with transportation to interfere in the friendly relations between countries or between the inhabitants of several countries or to extort concessions from some countries. more >>
Thousands of Coptic Christians arrived at the Church of the Virgin Mary in Cairo's Waraa neighborhood Monday to pay their respects to four victims who were shot and killed in the same building the night before during a wedding ceremony for three Coptic couples. The attack is the latest among increasing violence towards the Coptic minority from Islamic extremists in the country.
Various chants from funeral attendees could reportedly be heard as hundreds of Copts filed through the church's doors. "With our blood and souls, we will redeem the cross" some chanted as the four funeral caskets were about to be carried into the church, according to the Associated Press.
Some of those attending the tragic ceremony expressed anger towards Sunday night's shooters, yelling: "Justice or to die like them," and "Raise your head, you're Coptic." more >>
A Turkish businessman has opened the country's first online sex shop catering to Muslims by selling products in a less-explicit manner that secular online sex stores. Along with selling merchandise, the website also reportedly offers advice for Muslims, such as information on how to have "halal sex," or sex that is lawful under Islam's Sharia law.
Entrepreneur Haluk Murat Demirel, 38, started the "Halal Sex Shop" after his friends told him they were seeking sex advice but found secular online sex stores to be too explicit. "Online sex shops usually have pornographic pictures, which makes Muslims uncomfortable. We don't sell vibrators for example, because they are not approved by Islam," Demirel told Reuters.
The website presents its products as being "entirely safe" and falling in line with Islamic law. Upon entering the site, users can choose to click one link if they are a female, and another if they are male, and they are then redirected to gender-specific pages. Headlines on the website include, "Oral sex according to Islam," "Sex manners in Islam," and "Sexual life in Islam." more >>
Who is more deserving of punishment by the United States? Millions of Egyptians, for ousting the Muslim Brotherhood? Or the Muslim Brotherhood, for habitually terrorizing and murdering Christians, among many other crimes?
According to the unmistakably clear actions of the Obama administration, it is the millions of anti-Brotherhood Egyptians who deserve punishment.
Last Sunday, the Church of the Virgin [Mary] in Waraq near Cairo was attacked during a wedding ceremony, leaving four dead and many wounded. According to Dr. Hisham Abdul Hamid of forensics, two of those who were murdered were Christian children-two girls; two Marys: 12-year-old Mary Nabil Fahmy, who took five shots in the chest, and 8-year-old Mary Ashraf Masih (Christ), who took a bullet in the back which burst from the front. more >>
Two Christian pastors were murdered in separate attacks in Kenya on Sunday, officials shared, with one found with a Bible on his lap sitting in a chair, preparing for Sunday morning service.
"We found him with blood oozing from the head," choir member Morris Ali said of Pastor Charles Matole, leader of Mombasa's Vikwatani Redeemed Gospel Church, according to Sapa-AFP.
Ali added that Matole had received death threats by text message before the incident. more >>