Atheist professor and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has said that Christians who do good only to avoid Hell or to receive the award of Heaven are "self-centered."
"If you're good because you want to carry favor with God, if you're good because you want to avoid going to Hell, or if you want to go to Heaven, that's a rather ignoble, self-centered reason to be good," Dawkins said during an interview with Ireland's RTÉ One on Sunday.
"I fully accept that an awful lot of good deeds are done by people who happen to be religious, but I think it's rather insulting to suggest that you need religion in order to be good." more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of American pastor Saeed Abedini who's imprisoned in Iran, has said that she's been receiving personal attacks from people who accuse her of not being a good mother for traveling so much; for her lack of formal Bible education, and for the clothes she wears.
Abedini said, however, that her faith in God has grown despite all the trials, and despite her great worry over her husband's future.
"The last three years have been very intense not only because of Saeed's imprisonment, but also because of the attacks that have come from not only radical Muslims, but at times from those closest to me. I have been told many things of which some have been that I am not a good mom for traveling so much .. that how could I possibly share about Christ when I have not even been to a Bible School," Abedini wrote in a Facebook message on Sunday. more >>
The Christian population in Iraq is in danger of being extinct in about five years, a recent report from an international Catholic charity organization says.
At present, there are only around 300,000 Christians left in Iraq from over a million in 2002. The Aid to the Church in Need released a new report saying Iraq's Christian population faces extinction in five years, especially after 120,000 of them are being forced to convert to Islam or die, according to Rome Reports.
If the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is not stopped, the Christian population in Iraq could be eradicated by the year 2020. Those in Syria also face serious threat to their lives, Sputnik News reports. more >>
Aceh Singkil's authorities will close down several Christian churches this week in the wake of the burning of some churches by hardline Indonesian Muslims.
The church torching in the province of Aceh Singkil, Indonesia left one dead and several others hurt. Tension between religious groups in the conservative province has been simmering recently and is in danger of turning into another violent act, according to Reuters.
Most of the Muslims in Indonesia practice a moderate form of their religion, but Aceh strictly follows the Islamic Sharia law. The recent torching of Christian churches allegedly stemmed from the issue of the establishments not having official building permits, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports. more >>
Policing authorities in the town of Sargodha in the Punjab province of Pakistan have arrested and charged a Christian man known healing the sick with allegedly committing the crime of blasphemy.
According to the British Pakistani Christian Association, Naveed John, a Christian resident from the Maryam Colony in Sargodha, was arrested on Oct. 8 and has been languishing in prison since his arrest.
The humanitarian agency's report states that John was arrested after police officers found a sword in his room that featured verses from the Quran inscribed into the blade. Family members told BPCA that police officials have demanded that they pay a bribe if they want John to be released. more >>
A prominent Catholic leader, Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, said in his remarks at the Vatican's ongoing synod meeting that Islamic extremism and Western liberal culture are "almost like two 'apocalyptic beasts,'" which the Church must respond to.
"To use a slogan, we find ourselves between 'gender ideology and ISIS,'" the cardinal said at the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican, according to Catholic News Agency. "Islamic massacres and libertarian demands regularly contend for the front page of the newspapers."
Sarah, head of the Congregation for Divine Worship, added: "Theological discernment allows to see in our times two unexpected threats — almost like the Beasts of the Apocalypse — from two opposite positions: on one side the idolatry of western freedom, on the other religious fanaticism," more >>