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 >>
Two Italian priests and one Canadian nun have been freed from Cameroon after they were allegedly kidnapped by the terror group Boko Haram in April.
Father Giampaolo Marta, Father Gianantonio Allegri from the Diocese of Vicenza in northeast Italy and Canadian nun Gilberte Bissiere of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame were photographed Sunday being led to the Cameroon capital of Yaoundé, where they were scheduled to meet with the country's president, Paul Biya, later that day.
The three missionaries had been working in the country's parish of Maroua, near Nigeria's border, to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and improve local drinking water when they were kidnapped on April 4. Although no group has taken responsibility for the kidnappings, the Cameroonian government has accused Boko Haram of taking the three missionaries. The group of Islamic militants has taken responsibility for multiple kidnappings in the past year, including the kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian school girls from Chibok, Nigeria, in April. more >>
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has promised action and condemned as "totally unacceptable" the murder of a pregnant woman who was stoned to death by close to 20 members of her family for marrying her husband.
BBC News reported that Sharif has ordered the chief minister of Punjab province to take "immediate action" and submit a report by Thursday evening, detailing the incident that led to the death of 25-year-old Farzana Parveen, who was three months pregnant at the time.
"The most shocking aspect of this killing, however, is that all the people witnessing the crime, even the law enforcers, were silent spectators as a woman was bludgeoned to her death," Dawn newspaper reported. more >>
The president of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has condemned the actions of militant group Boko Haram, proclaiming that terrorism "has no place" in Islam. The Roman Catholic Cardinal Archbishop of Abuja applauded those comments.
"Terrorism has no place in Islam," said the the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar III, according to Fides News Agency. "We must rise up as always, with one voice to condemn all acts of terrorism, condemn those terrorists wherever they are and try our best as Muslims to ensure peace reigns in our community."
Cardinal John Onaiyekan, who was previously the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, congratulated the Sultan for his "bold statement," and said that it has given him the courage to speak out on the issue. more >>
A pregnant Pakistani woman was stoned to death by nearly 20 members of her family on Tuesday, allegedly for marrying a man out of love and going against her family's wishes.
"I have not heard of any such case in which a woman was stoned to death, and the most shameful and worrying thing is that this woman was killed in front of a court," Zia Awan, a prominent Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist said, according to The Associated Press.
The 25-year-old woman, Farzana Parveen, is said to have been three months pregnant when her father, brothers, and other family members attacked her and her husband, Mohammad Iqbal, with batons and bricks in broad daylight before the high court of Lahore. more >>
Nigeria's teachers have gone on a nationwide strike and staged rallies to protest the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls by Islamic militants, demanding that schools receive better protection from the government.
"All schools nationwide shall be closed as the day will be our day of protest against the abduction of the Chibok female students and the heartless murder of the 173 teachers," National Union of Teachers President Micheal Alogba Olukoya told reporters, according to Reuters.
Close to 270 girls were taken from an all-girls school in Chibok on April 14 by terrorist group Boko Haram, which threatened to sell them as brides to Islamic militants. Despite Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's promises to do everything he can to find the girls, and the U.S. and U.K. sending teams into Nigeria to help in the search and rescue efforts, the girls are yet to be found. more >>