Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Orthodox Christian who was nearly executed for her faith, was all smiles and her husband, Daniel Wani, in tears, when they and their two young children finally arrived home Thursday night — in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Wani, who lives in the city along with his brother and extended family, was overcome by emotion upon encountering the celebratory welcome by members of the local Sudanese Evangelical Covenant Church. The Sudanese national reportedly shared "how happy he was that he and his family were on safe ground."
The couple landed at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport just after 8 p.m., according to NBC News, which also reported that Manchester has one of the largest expatriate South Sudanese communities in the United States. more >>
Meriam Ibrahim, her husband, Daniel Wani, and their two children will be greeted quietly Thursday afternoon by Philadelphia's Mayor Michael Nutter upon their arrival at the Philadelphia International Airport, in another leg of a harrowing persecution case that nearly resulted in the Orthodox Christian woman being executed for her faith by Sudanese authorities.
The family departed earlier this morning from Fiumicino Airport in Rome, where they had been transported after a hellish year-long ordeal that has enshrined Ibrahim, 27, as a near-martyr and resulted in her giving birth to her youngest child while shackled in prison.
The family is expected to touch down on an American Airlines or US Airways flight at the Philadelphia International Airport just a little after 3 p.m. According to an email sent Thursday morning by the Philadelphia mayor's office, "Mayor Nutter will welcome Meriam Ibrahim and her family at the airport." more >>
Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson of the cable network's "The Real Story" has recently taken hits from film critics for her acting debut in "Persecuted," a new movie about a preacher-turned-fugitive who is framed for murder.
"I'm just cracking up at the critical reviews," she told the Hollywood Reporter. "The way in which they write the criticism is so transparent, because they automatically hit me for who I am."
The Christian Post recently interviewed Carlson via email to talk about the movie, her faith, and journalism. The interview is below. more >>
The plight of U.S.-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini was highlighted by Secretary of State John Kerry during his remarks for the State Department's 2013 Report on International Religious Freedom, with Kerry promising to continue to work for the pastor's release.
"In Iran, U.S. Iranian citizen Pastor Saeed Abedini remains imprisoned. The Iranian authorities sentenced him to eight years behind bars simply because of his religious beliefs. We will continue to call for his release and we will continue to work for it," Kerry stated.
"And make no mistake: We will continue to stand up for religious minority communities under assault and in danger around the world, from Jehovah's Witnesses to Baha'is to Ahmadi Muslims." more >>
Chinese police in the city of Wenzhou have removed a cross from a local church in their most recent crackdown on Christianity in the Asian country, specifically in the Zhejiang province. Media outlets report that local church members gathered around their fallen cross, weeping and praying.
Although congregants attempted to protect their church, hundreds of police arrived at the Longgang Huai En Church in Wenzhou on Monday and removed the 10-foot-tall red cross from the church's steeple. Wenzhou is considered to be "China's Jerusalem" due to its large Christian population.
According to the Associated Press, about 200 congregants attempted to protect the cross from being removed, but ultimately allowed the police to take down the religious symbol using a crane. Police officials have said the cross violated a city ordinance regarding the height of buildings in Wenzhou. The cross was returned to congregants, who reportedly wept and prayed around their destroyed religious image. more >>
Persecution of Christians in Syria is part of the worst displacement of religious communities in recent history, according to a recently released report from the U.S. State Department.
Released Monday by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, the International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 stated that last year "the world witnessed the largest displacement of religious communities in recent memory."
"In almost every corner of the globe, millions of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and others representing a range of faiths were forced from their homes on account of their religious beliefs," read the report. more >>