An American secular organization has demanded that an Air Force major be "aggressively punished" for placing an open Bible on his desk at the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., arguing that it violates the separation of church and state.
Colorado Springs Independent reported Wednesday that the Bible was removed from the desk, and Peterson officials are investigating whether allowing the officer to place it there was a reasonable accommodation of his religious beliefs.
"The basic premise of the Air Force instruction [on religious freedom], grounded in Department of Defense policy, grounded in law is, people have an inherent right to free exercise of religion within boundaries," said Col. Damon Feltman, 310th Space Wing commander. more >>
An acclaimed biographer is recycling an old allegation that President George W. Bush based his case for war in Iraq on prophetic scriptures in Ezekiel, which has historians and national security experts lambasting the author this week.
Jean Edward Smith, who has penned biographies of past presidents like Dwight D. Eisenhower and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, begins his latest book titled Bush, which was released in July, with the following indictment: "Rarely in the history of the United States has the nation been so ill-served as during the presidency of George W. Bush." He then dives headfirst into what some experts are describing as an ocean of untrue and ridiculous caricatures.
In a scathing review of the book in Foreign Policy Monday, Clements Center For National Security Executive Director Will Inboden, who served in the Bush administration at the State Department and National Security Council, noted how "wrong [he] was to be optimistic at all," regarding his expectations of the book. He thought it would be a worthwhile read given Smith's stature as a historian. more >>
Accusations that a World Vision employee in Gaza funneled millions of dollars to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas makes no sense, according to a non-governmental organization staffer who spoke to The Christian Post on condition of anonymity.
"I don't want to say that everything went right, that [Halabi] is clean, I can't possibly claim that," the source, who is based in Israel and familiar with the inner workings of humanitarian aid groups in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, said. He added that it's hard to believe the World Vision employee in Gaza steered 60 percent of World Vision's budgetary resources to Hamas given the extensive accounting practices NGOs must abide by to operate in the region.
On any given day, nonprofit organizations as large as World Vision are closely monitoring their financials and could easily see if that much money was being misappropriated, the source claims. more >>
Austrian police in Vienna have arrested nine Iraqi asylum seekers and refugees over the alleged gang-rape of a 28-year-old German woman that happened on New Year's Day, reports have said.
A police spokesman said that the nine men are between the ages of 21 to 47, and all have either applied for or been granted asylum in Austria.
The men deny the alleged crime, Reuters reported, in which they are accused of gang-raping a German woman who was visiting a friend in Vienna in the apartment where two of the suspects were staying. more >>
Iraqi Christians who were forced to flee their homes two years ago and are now living in refugee camps say they are determined to stay and help rebuild the country despite the risk of being killed by Islamic State militants, according to a new report.
The international nonprofit ministry Open Doors, which has supported persecuted Christians for more than 50 years, announced last week that it spent eight months consulting with church leaders in Iraq and Syria to release a report called "Hope for the Middle East" in collaboration with Middle East Concern and the University of East London.
The report, which will be launched in the British Parliament on Oct. 12, documents "the contributions that Christians have made to the region and looked at healthcare, business, culture and welfare across the centuries," and will include recommendations for how the British government can effectively speak and act on behalf of the church in the Middle East. more >>
A secular foundation is demanding that the Department of Defense investigate several Christian military chaplains, saying they violated federal rules by praying publicly while in uniform at a July event promoting religious freedom, though religious freedom advocates say the charges have "no legal basis."
In a July 25 letter addressed to acting Defense Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, Military Religious Freedom Foundation president Mikey Weinstein contended that Maj. General Dondi Costin, who gave the benediction at the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty's "Torchbearer Award" ceremony in Washington D.C. on July 12, "blatantly violated both Air Force and DOD regulations prohibiting the endorsement of a non-federal entity." Having seen pictures posted online, MRFF also complained about the appearance of Army chaplain Maj. John Scott, who gave the event's opening invocation, and Air Force Deputy Chief of Chaplains Brigadier General Steven A. Schiack, both of whom were also wearing military garb.
In an interview Wednesday with The Christian Post, Chaplain Alliance executive director Ron Crews said that "there is no legal basis for Mr. Weinstein's complaint. A military chaplain has every right to appear in uniform at an event to honor a member of Congress, not to mention a member of the House Armed Services Committee". more >>