Pope Francis challenged the Church to pray for its most vulnerable yesterday, in his weekly general audience remarks at the Vatican, in the wake of a church bombing in Pakistan and continued violence against Egyptian and Syrian Christians.
"How many of you pray for Christians who are persecuted" said the Pope, calling upon his audience to be "genuinely concerned about their plight, just as one would be for a family member in distress."
When one of them is under duress, "am I indifferent or is it like someone in the family is suffering?" the Pope added. more >>
The deadliest attack on Christians ever on Pakistani soil that left 83 people dead on Sunday has been condemned by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which warned that words will not be enough to stop the violence against religious minorities in the Islamic nation.
"Mere words will not do. The government of Newaz Sharif must take robust measures to end violence against Christians and other religious minorities and the cycle of impunity that plagues Pakistan. Arrests and prosecutions will send a powerful message that the government takes seriously its responsibility to protect citizens of all faiths," USCIRF chairman Robert George said in a statement.
Two suicide blasts on Sunday left 83 people dead and over 150 wounded at the All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan. The attack occurred when over 400 worshipers were leaving church services, with a faction of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claiming responsibility. more >>
Todd Nettleton is a spokesperson for Voice of the Matyrs, an advocacy group for persecuted Christians around the world.
Here he speaks to The Christian Post to offer an insight into the situation in Pakistan, Syria, Egypt and Iraq as well as the Middle East as a whole, and what it is like for Christians in the region.
ON SYRIA more >>
U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini is refusing to deny Jesus Christ and turn back to Islam, even if that could means jeopardizing his release from prison, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) said.
Abedini has been imprisoned for almost a full year now in Evin Prison in Tehran because of his Christian faith. Iran has recently released 11 prisoners of conscience, and is poised to release almost 80 others, but despite repeated attempts to have Abedini renounce his faith, the pastor has refused to do so.
Below is an edited phone interview The Christian Post did on Tuesday with Tiffany Barrans, the international legal director at the ACLJ, which represents the pastor's wife, Naghmeh, and their two children in the U.S. more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned U.S. pastor Saeed Abedini, has spoken out about the heartbreak her family is going through while her husband remains in prison in Iran, but is holding on to hope that his story will be used by God for "eternal purposes."
Abedini is currently serving an eight-year sentence in Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran, but an international campaign, including an upcoming prayer vigil on Sept. 26 marking the one-year anniversary of his arrest, is determined to see him home safe.
Below is an edited version of a phone interview on Tuesday that The Christian Post did with Naghmeh Abedini: more >>
Renowned evangelist Billy Graham is asking Iran's president Hassan Rouhani for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini from prison, pointing out that such an action might be perceived by U.S. leaders as a significant step in reducing tensions.
"On September 26, the one-year anniversary of Pastor Abedini's imprisonment, thousands will attend prayer vigils in more than 70 U.S. cities, calling on your country to release this husband, father and servant of God," Graham writes in a letter addressed to Rouhani and published on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website. "I join them by respectfully asking you to release Pastor Saeed Abedini from prison. Such an action would, I believe, have a positive impact in our nation, and might well be perceived by our leadership as a significant step in reducing tensions."
Abedini has been in Evin Prison in Tehran since his arrest last year, and was later sentenced to eight years in jail, supposedly for endangering national security. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) recently launched the largest campaign in its history aimed at sending thousands of letters each week to Rouhani, petitioning for the U.S. pastor. The ACLJ, which represents his wife, Naghmeh, and their two young children in the U.S., says that Iran has targeted the pastor for his Christian faith. more >>