An Iraqi soldier who escaped from an Islamic State prison has described the terror group's brutal torture of Christians, many of whom died during the torture.
"They tortured the [expletive] out of the Christians and some died in the process," Sergeant Karam Saad of the Iraqi military, who was held captive in June 2014, told Independent Journal.
"They would take some and lock them in a kind of casket, and set it on fire from the inside," he added. "I only spent three nights in prison. During that time, I paid attention to how many guards were on duty and any signs of weaker security." more >>
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani vowed in 2013 to serve justice to the persecuted ethnicities and religious minorities, but Christian converts are still being widely persecuted to this day.
The Alliance of Iranian Churches (Hamgam) reported that a Christian convert in Isfahan was arrested a couple of days before Christmas. Iran's Intelligence Ministry took him including some of his personal belongings to an undisclosed location, according to Iran Human Rights (IHR).
It can be remembered that Rouhani had pledged justice for the persecuted groups when he was still campaigning for presidency. more >>
Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, has told her family who visited her in prison that she has forgiven those who falsely accused her.
"Christmas is the celebration of God's mercy. I forgive my persecutors, those who have falsely accused me, and I await their forgiveness," her family quoted her as saying, according to the Italian newspaper La Stampa.
Bibi was sentenced in 2010 following an incident in 2009 where she was harvesting berries with a group of Muslim women who accused her of drinking from the same water bowl as them. An argument followed, and those women went to a local cleric and told him that Bibi had blasphemed against Islam. more >>
Land belonging to an Iranian Assyrian church that was illegally confiscated by authorities two years ago will soon be the venue for a center for Islamic prayers, according to Iran's state-controlled media.
The Chaldean Catholic Church in Western Tehran, the original owner of the land, has made numerous pleas to authorities to get the grounds back, but in vain, the state-run newspaper Sharq quoted Jonathan Bet-Kelia, a member of the regime's Majlis, or parliament, as saying, according to Assyrian International New Agency.
Bet-Kelia met with Ali Younesi, special assistant to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on ethnic minorities affairs, with the same request but was told that nothing could be done about it. Younesi is a former Minister of Intelligence and Security, and is known for ordering arrests and assassinations of numerous dissidents. more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned American pastor Saeed, is beginning a three-week fast at the start of the New Year, and shared how the price of becoming a Christian as a child was being rejected and persecuted by her own family.
"Tomorrow I will be starting a three week fast. The focus of the fast is to spend more time in the presence of the Lord and to draw closer to the heart of God. I will be sharing scripture and what the Lord lays on my heart for each day," Abedini posted on Facebook on Monday, and gave suggestions about how other people can join her in the fast as well.
She also reflected on her decision to become a Christian early in life, stating that it had come at a great cost. more >>
Persecution watchdog groups are speaking out against the arrest of 15 Christians celebrating New Year's through prayer at a parish in the Indian state of Karnataka, where they were surrounded by a radical Hindu mob.
Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, said that the Christian minority "is vulnerable and subjected to harassment and persecution by both extremist as well as authorities, who are responsible for protecting citizens. Clearly, Christians are considered second-class citizens in secular India."
AsiaNews reported on Monday that the incident occurred at the parish of bannur Jodukatte Puttur on New Year's Eve, where police stormed the Protestant church and arrested the 15 Christian worshipers as a means to "protect" them from a mob of Hindu radicals that had gathered outside. more >>