A Christian woman was tried and caned 30 times in Aceh, Indonesia's most conservative Islamic region, for selling alcohol and breaking Shariah law.
International Christian Concern reported Wednesday that it is usually Muslims who are punished for breaking the Islamic law, for things such as alcoholic consumption, adultery, gambling, and homosexual acts, but now Christians and members of other religions have been brought under this jurisdiction as well.
A local pastor, who wasn't named, commented on the beating of the Christian woman, and said that "such things often happen here and we have become used to it." more >>
Pope Francis has warned that as Christians face severe persecution in countries where they are a minority, others are encountering what he calls "polite" persecution disguised as "culture, modernity and progress," where people see their rights to conscientious objection taken away.
The Roman Catholic Church leader said during mass on Tuesday that so called polite persecution does not occur over "confessing Christ's name, but for wanting to have and manifesting the values of the son of God."
"We see every day that the powerful make laws that force them to go on this path, and a nation that does not follow these modern, cultured laws, or at least does not have them in their legislation, are accused (and) are politely persecuted," he added, according to Catholic News Service. more >>
Leading Assyrian Christian organizations have collectively penned an open letter to the five remaining U.S. presidential candidates, urging them to fight against radical terror groups and to recognize the past genocide that Christians have suffered under the Ottoman Empire.
The letter, addressed to Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump, states that Assyrian Christians are being "tortured, kidnapped, raped and murdered by radical terrorist organizations such as ISIS." Assyrians – also known as Chaldeans, Syriacs, and Arameans – are an ethnic group indigenous to the MIddle East who trace their ancestral homeland to today's northern Iraq, southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran and northeastern Syria. Assyrian people are almost entirely Christians.
"We have seen this terror in Paris, Brussels, and other cities around the world, committed in the name of Islam by radical Islamic organizations. For Assyrians it feels like 1915 all over again," the groups write, referencing the ethnic and religious cleansing carried out by the Ottoman Empire, present-day Turkey, between 1915-1924, when 750,000 Assyrians, 500,000 Greeks and 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives. more >>
Police in Nigeria have arrested four members of a gang who allegedly confessed to brutally murdering a pastor they were holding hostage because he preached to them and told them to repent of their sins.
"The gang also confessed to have been responsible for the kidnapping of Pastor Chukwu Ekere of same Ohigha community and killed him for the simple reason that the man of God disturbed them with his preaching of repentance and also for urging them to shun their nefarious activities and accept God," said authorities in a statement to PM News Nigeria.
Local police in Rivers State said they initially arrested the gang members at Ohigha in Ogba and in Diobu, Port Harcourt in connection with the kidnapping, rape and murder of a woman identified only as Mrs. Igila of Ohigha village on Jan. 7. more >>
The family of a Canadian megachurch pastor who has been sentenced to lifetime of hard labor in North Korea after being accused of committing crimes against the Communist Kim regime fears his health might be failing him.
Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, the pastor of Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Mississauga, Ontario, was arrested in North Korea last January. Although he was there during a humanitarian trip, state prosecutors accused Lim of using the "false pretense" of humanitarian aid to enter into North Korea to use religion to attempt to overthrow the Kim regime.
A Christian student expelled from England's Sheffield University because he quoted the Bible's stance on homosexuality in a Facebook post supportive of controversial Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has lost his appeal.
Felix Ngole, a 38-year-old in his second year of study for a master's degree in social work at the University of Sheffield in South Yorkshire was told that he is no longer a student at the university after a committee ruled he "may have caused offense to some individuals" by issuing a Facebook post last September quoting Leviticus on the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality.
Ngole's post came in defense of Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, who became the center of a media firestorm last year when she refused to allow her office to issue same-sex marriage licenses with her name and title on them because of her religious objection to same-sex marriage. more >>