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 >>
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 >>
Islamist terrorists in Nigeria are thought to have killed a prominent Christian leader in the northern reaches of the country after the country's president recently declared a state of emergency.
"Suspected Islamic militants have killed a Christian leader in north-eastern Nigeria shortly after the president declared a state of emergency in the region to tackle insurgents and terrorists' threatening Africa's most populous nation," BosNewsLife reported.
Two suspected members of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram shot Faye Pama Mysa, a Pentecostal pastor and secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state of Borno while he was in his home on Wednesday. more >>
Coptic-owned businesses and pharmacies in Menbal village, Minya in northern Egypt were attacked by a mob, resulting in extensive damage and several injuries.
"The thugs attacked my shop, assaulting it with stones. Some of the contents were damaged … they destroyed a number of Coptic-owned shops and pharmacies," Michael Sobhi, a witness from the village, told Mideast Christian News.
"The Copts of the village couldn't confront the thugs, as their numbers increased. They had firearms and blades, so Copts tried to avoid fighting with them," he added. more >>
Samir Sabri, a lawyer, filed a complaint to the Supreme State Security Prosecution against Ahmed Mamhoud Abdullah, also known as Abu Islam, because he threatened Christians in Egypt.
Abu Islam said that Muslims would be able to eliminate the country's Christians in just two days in one of the episodes on his Al-Ummah Islamic channel.
Sabri said in the complaint that there is a video clip, which activists have been sharing on social media sites, where Abu Islam claims that Copts are to blame for all the sectarian violence, but are playing the victim's role. He goes on to demand they stop "evangelizing Muslims." more >>
An Egyptian Christian teacher who claims to have been falsely accused of denouncing Islam has been released on bail after being imprisoned in the southern city of Luxor.
Dimiana Abdel-Nour, a 24-year-old history and geography teacher, was originally ordered by a judge to remain in jail for 14 days pending an investigation, but the young teacher reportedly paid a fee of LE 20,000 ($2,870) to be freed while the investigation takes place.
Abdel-Nour was arrested last week after parents of three children attending her class at the Sheikh Sultan Primary School in Luxor complained that she had insulted Islam by saying the recently deceased Coptic Pope Shenouda was better than the Prophet Muhammad. more >>