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 >>
Police in Sweden are said to be investigating possible Islamic State threats made against Assyrian Christians after IS-inspired symbols and disturbing graffiti messages were found painted on at least two businesses in southwest Gothenburg.
Vandals reportedly targeted Assyrian Christian-owned businesses, including a local bakery and a pizzeria, which had their walls covered in "Convert or Die" and "The Caliphate is Here" on Tuesday. The IS logo was also spray-painted as well as the Arabic letter 'N' for "Nazarene," which IS fighters used to identify Christian families in northern Iraq last year before the Mosul takeover.
Le Pain Francois bakery owner Markus Samuelsson was in shock early Tuesday upon finding his business completely vandalized. He called the attacks "terribly painful" and said they point to signs of modern day persecution. more >>
Grand Ayatollah Ahmad al-Baghdadi, the leading Shiite cleric of Iraq, has claimed in an interview that "real Islam" consists of forcefully converting people into the faith, abducting Christian women, and destroying churches. The cleric's comments stand in contrast to other Islamic leaders, who have condemned terroristic actions.
Al-Baghdadi reportedly made the comments during a televised interview, Frontpage Mag said, in which the cleric claimed that Muslims are obligated to go on the offensive and conquer people of other faiths, when circumstances permit.
"If they are people of the book [Jews and Christians] we demand of them the jizya — and if they refuse, then we fight them. That is if he is Christian. He has three choices: either convert to Islam, or, if he refuses and wishes to remain Christian, then pay the jizya," the cleric reportedly said in the interview. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist group has allegedly beheaded and crucified a man who was helping innocent people escape from the brutality and heinousness of the group's controlled areas in Syria.
The man's beheading and crucifiction was first reported by Heavy.com (graphic images) last weekend when IS supporters posted a series of photos to social media showing the man's mutilated body being strung on a wooden structure in an IS-controlled area of Aleppo.
The first photo shows a militant delivering the already beheaded body to the public square in what appears to be a minivan. The next photos show a crowd of onlookers gathered to see the beheaded man, who had his arms tied to the wooden structure, crucifixion style. more >>
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and State Department Ambassador at-large for International Religious Liberty David Saperstein introduced on Wednesday the 2014 International Religious Freedom Report, which highlights the disturbing trends of religious martyr and persecution that occurred in every continent in the world.
The International Religious Freedom report, which is now in its 17th year of existence, is a congressionally-mandated report compiled by State Department staffers, which seeks to give voice to people throughout the world who have been victimized by various forms and degrees of religious persecution.
The 2014 report focused on a number of troubling trends including the rise of global extremist violence, the continued rise of anti-Semitism in Western Europe, the negative impact that blasphemy and apostasy laws have on the liberties of religious minorities, governmental religious hostility and societal violence and discrimination. more >>