A new congressional hearing has been set next week for American pastor Saeed Abedini's case, with his wife, Naghmeh, and the American Center for Law and Justice hoping that President Barack Obama and Congress will make saving his life a top priority.
"The life of a U.S. citizen – whose only 'crime' is his Christian faith – is at stake," said ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow.
The law group, which represents Naghmeh and the couple's two children in the U.S., has been pushing hard for the pastor's release, calling on the Obama administration to do everything possible to get him back home to his family. Abedini, who is currently serving eight years in prison, was transferred last month from the political prisoner ward of Evin prison to the violent criminal ward of Rajai Shahr prison, which the ACLJ described as "the deadliest prison in Iran." more >>
Without a doubt, Nelson Mandela was one of the towering figures of our times, a man who became a legend and cultural icon while still alive. Now that he is dead, his detractors are demonizing him while his followers are canonizing him.
Senator Ted Cruz was quick to find this out after he issued a statement that Mandela would "live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty," noting that, "Because of his epic fight against injustice, an entire nation is now free." In response, some of Cruz's followers wrote that Mandela was a "terrorist," a "communist," a "murderer," and more.
Who then was the real Nelson Mandela? more >>
International human rights group Amnesty International has obtained satellite images of North Korea that expose some of its largest prison camps, where hundreds of thousands of people, including children, are believed to be kept "in horrific conditions."
"The gruesome reality of North Korea's continued investment in this vast network of repression has been exposed. We urge the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those prisoners of conscience held in political prison camps and close the camps immediately," said Rajiv Narayan, Amnesty International's East Asia researcher.
Amnesty's detailed report said that the new findings are of "grave concern," as it shows that North Korean authorities are investing in and maintaining political prison camps – described as places of "systematic, widespread and grave human rights violations, such as forced hard labor, denial of detainee's food quota as punishment, torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment." more >>
Since 1998, the conflict and humanitarian crises in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have ravaged the country's population of 65 million. Close to five and a half million Congolese have perished and nearly 45,000 die monthly because of related incidents. Women are vulnerable in the country — a 2011 study asserted that 48 women are raped every hour.
In a conflict that's lasted over a decade, what will bring peace?
While the country is currently trying to figure out how to address the problem on a broader, federal level, part of the hyper-local answer lies in the work of Marcel Serubungo. A Congolese pastor, and Church Mobilization Director for the Christian humanitarian group World Relief, Serubungo first found his start in community development work when he organized relief efforts after a 2001 volcano erupted in the area. more >>
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins led seven members of Congress known for their strong ties to evangelical Christians on a nine-day swing through Israel's Holy Land earlier this month, touring the country's most important religious sites and meeting with top-level Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The trip, sponsored by the U.S. Israel Education Association with grants from several Christian and Jewish organizations, included Congressmen Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Steve Scalise (R-La.).
The delegation spent the majority of their time behind what is known as the "green line," or the areas near Samaria that mark the line between Israel territories captured during the Six-Day War in 1967. While experiencing the Holy Sites helped the Congressmen gain an appreciation for Israel, Perkins noted the most important aspect of the trip was time spent with Netanyahu and other government officials and their concern for the recent agreement the Obama administration reached with Iran over the country's nuclear arsenal. more >>
Christian persecution and the cultural fear of public expressions of faith are signs of the end times, Pope Francis declared in a homily on Thursday.
"You must obey the orders which come from worldly powers – You can do many things, beautiful things, but not adore God. Worship is prohibited – this is at the center of the end of time," Pope Francis said in his daily homily in the chapel of the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse. Once we "reach the fullness of this pagan attitude…truly the Son of Man will come in a cloud with great power and glory," Francis declared, according to the Albany Tribune.
The pope preached on Jesus' speech in Luke 21 about the end times. In that passage, Jesus foretells the destruction of Jerusalem, and trials and tribulations that precede the end times. more >>