A Christian pastor at the Central Assemblies of God Church in Tehran was arrested during a prayer meeting at the church, which may be forced to close down in June due to pressure from Iranian authorities.
"There are lots of underground churches in Iran but the Assemblies of God, which the Church in Tehran is, is permitted to operate but with many restrictions. It has never been easy, but now they are considering closure," Kiri Kankhwende, press officer for Christian Solidarity Worldwide, told The Christian Post in an email on Wednesday.
While details are scarce about the arrest of the Rev. Robert Asserian, CSW, which works for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, noted that he was arrested on Tuesday morning while conducting a prayer meeting at the church. Iranian forces apparently raided his house and confiscated many of his belongings, including his computer and books. Asserian was taken to an unknown location. more >>
Harvard Professor Harvey Mansfield joined Monday the criticism started by a National Association of Scholars (NAS) report on liberal indoctrination occuring at Bowdoin College, a liberal arts school in Brunswick, Maine, by condemning the lax standards of liberal education.
"Earlier in my life," he wrote, "liberals took pride in the high standards they set for the colleges that had recently come to dominate and had made the headquarters of their liberalism."
"Now, they have made an unholy sacrifice of the devotion to excellence they once prized as a mark of distinction over fuddy-duddy, tradition-bound conservatism, and it is conservatives who stand for high standards in education." more >>
Deputy Head of the Egyptian Democratic Social Party Emad Gad said that pressure from religious groups in the country is corrupting the judicial system in Egypt.
"The court's response to the request submitted by Abu Islam's defense staff is a reflection of the authorities' submission to the pressure exerted by religious groups who work to Islamize the public sphere in Egypt," Gad told Mideast Christian News.
"The exclusion of the court's secretary was to further extend the Islamization of cases and further sedition amongst employees … it is normal, reasonable and expected request from abu-Islam's defense," he added more >>
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday introduced the release of the 2012 International Religious Freedom report, which is compiled by State Department employees annually to reveal the status of the advancement of religious freedom abroad.
"This report shines light on the challenges people face as they seek nothing more than basic religious freedom and the right to worship as they wish," Kerry said. "And its release is a demonstration of the abiding commitment of the American people and the entire U.S. government to the advancement of freedom of religion worldwide."
The report chronicles global violence in democracies and dictatorships, and cites incidents of Holocaust denial and expressions of anti-Semitism by government officials, religious leaders and the media, which has led to desecration and violence, particularly in Venezuela, Egypt and Iran. more >>
Priest Ekram Lamei, Chairperson of the Evangelical Synod, criticized the decision issued by a Cairo court to exclude the secretary of the court from a hearing session because he is a Christian.
The decision came in response to a request submitted by Abu-Islam's defense lawyer to have the court secretary removed from court proceedings.
Father Lamei said he considered the decision an insult against Christianity and Christian people and stressed the need to submit an appeal against the decision. more >>
Rev. Refaat Fikri, head of the Media Center for the Evangelical Church in Egypt, said the problems facing Egyptian Christians have been going on since the 1970s and looks to continue as there is a lack of political will by the ruling regime to solve them.
This came in response to the initiative launched on Wednesday by the Building and Development Party, the political arm of Gamaat Islamiyya under the title "A Unified Nation."
It aims to "strengthen the national fabric and maintain strong relations among all Muslim and Christian communities of the Egyptian society." more >>