American leaders denounced the burning of a Christian leader's library in Tripoli, Lebanon, last Friday night as based on false pretenses and said it's a threat to religious liberty.
"The really bad news is that this is not out of the ordinary," Robert P. George, chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), told The Christian Post in an interview on Monday. George emphasized the need to advocate for religious freedom across the world to prevent attacks like this one.
The Friday night fire burned two-thirds of some 80,000 books and manuscripts in the Al-Saeh library owned by Greek Orthodox priest Ibrahim Surouj, RT reported. The arsonists targeted Surouj due to an alleged pamphlet insulting the Prophet Mohammed was found in one of the library books. When Surouj met with Islamic leaders in the city, he stated that he had nothing to do with the pamphlet. more >>
Egypt's interim president, Adly Mansour, paid a historic visit to Coptic pope Tawadros II on Sunday, the first such meeting in 40 years. While the meeting was aimed at reassuring Christians that the new government will be better than the Muslim Brotherhood, a watchdog group has warned that it remains to be seen whether this move will benefit Christians, or if it will lead to new attacks instead.
"This visit could be seen as a positive or negative. Of course, under former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, Christians were even more singled out and persecuted," Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra told The Christian Post in an email on Monday.
The watchdog group has closely monitored the attacks Christians in Egypt suffered this past year following the fall of Morsi, when Islamist groups attacked and burned down Christian churches, schools, orphanages and bookstores. Open Doors even asked for emergency support of $430,000 in August following news that followers of Christ were also being murdered. more >>
Global engagement advocate Lynne Hybels, wife of megachurch pastor Bill Hybels, is partnering with a nationwide team of social media experts to provide shoes and other supplies to as many of the millions of Syrian refugees displaced because of a bloody civil war in their country as possible.
"All of this work is done in the name and Spirit of Jesus," says Lynne Hybels, who is partnering with Think Eternity Ministries to leverage her personal connections to Middle Eastern ministry leaders — directing 100 percent of the donations to local ministries providing aid, according to organizers.
"The local people providing these services to both Christians and Muslims are heroes, but they have to be unsung heroes," Hybels said. "The more we give, the more we can show the love of Christ to Syrian Christians and Muslims who are suffering. A hundred percent of donations will go straight to the people who need it." more >>
Farsi-speaking Iranian Christians have suffered a new setback after it was announced that they will no longer be allowed to attend one of the major churches in Tehran, following increased government pressure.
"The squeeze on Christians inside Iran continues. Even while [President Hassan] Rouhani spoke about religious freedom during a Christmas message last week, the clamp down on Christians, especially Muslim Background Believers, has increased," Jerry Dykstra, director of Media Relations at watchdog group Open Doors USA, shared in an email to The Christian Post on Friday.
This week, Islamic authorities seized over 300 bibles from a Christian group in Malaysia because the holy books referred to God as "Allah."
Authorities reportedly confiscated 321 bibles from the Bible Society of Malaysia in Selangor on Thursday and questioned two of the Christian group's officers at the local police station.
Bible Society of Malaysia Chairman Lee Min Choon told the AFP that two of the Bible Society's officers were told they were being detained and questioned at the local police station "under a state law, which prohibits the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims." more >>
A conservative online publication has recently claimed that Syrian rebel forces are beheading Christians to drain their blood and sell it to Islamist radicals.
Jerome Corsi of World Net Daily reportedly talked with a nun in Syria via Skype who detailed for him the allegation.
"Sister Hatune Dogan told WND in a Skype interview that members of the Syrian opposition are draining the blood of Christians they behead and selling vials to Islamic radicals for $100,000 a piece," wrote Corsi. more >>