A British doctor in Pakistan was arrested and charged for allegedly "posing as a Muslim" after he was videotaped reading aloud from the Quran.
Masood Ahmad, a British doctor running a clinic in the eastern city of Lahore, was arrested last month after two men secretly videotaped him reading aloud verses from the Quran. The men had pretended to be sick and visited the clinic. After receiving their medication, they asked Ahmad to tell them about his religious beliefs as a member of the minority Ahmadi sect.
Members of the minority Ahmadi sect in Pakistan face widespread discrimination as they are considered under the country's constitution to be non-Muslims. This is because members of the Ahmadi sect consider the religion's founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, to be a prophet, which contradicts the main teaching of Islam that Muhammad was the last prophet. more >>
WASHINGTON – Both President's George W. Bush and Barack Obama have been inconsistent in their obligations to fulfill the requirements of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, argued in his Leland Award Lecture on Religious Liberty. The Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission presented George the award on Friday for his advocacy for religious liberty.
Under IRFA, George noted, the executive branch is supposed to conduct an annual review of religious freedom around the globe and designate nations that engage in "systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom" as "countries of particular concern." Once they receive that designation, sanctions can be placed upon them for religious freedom violations.
George is now chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, which was created by IRFA to make policy recommendations to Congress, the secretary of state and the president. more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, wife of imprisoned Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini, delivered a heartfelt plea to lawmakers during a Congressional hearing Thursday, begging them to end her family's "nightmare" and help release her husband from the deadly Rajaï Shahr prison in Iran.
Naghmeh spoke alongside Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, during Thursday's Joint Subcommittee Hearing, during which lawmakers sought to address the current status of Pastor Abedini and other American citizens being held in Iran. Saeed Abedini was arrested in July 2012 and charged with undermining Iran's security, although it is believed he is really being detained due to his Christian faith.
At Thursday's Congressional hearing, Naghmeh criticized the failure of the United States to bring up Abedini's imprisonment during recent nuclear talks with Iran, saying those talks were the "perfect" opportunity to negotiate her husband's release. "I feel my husband has been abandoned," she said. more >>
In yet another setback in their efforts to meet with a detained Christian pastor and church leaders, Chinese human rights lawyers have claimed that a crowd assaulted them on Friday.
Currently on a hunger strike protesting the government's ban on their efforts to visit church leaders detained for reportedly resisting authorities' efforts to seize church land, lawyer Liu Weiguo alleged that a brick was thrown at his head as an angry group confronted Liu and his colleagues.
Liu told the Associated Press that a group of men and women violently – the same crowd that is also believed to have assaulted a British television crew – confronted them. Prior to the incident with the lawyers, roughly 50 women charged two Sky News employees and attempted to take their camera. more >>
Lawyers in China are currently partaking in a hunger strike to protest being blocked by the government's Communist officials from visiting a Christian pastor who is currently being detained by authorities. The lawyers argue that the police are violating state law by preventing them from accessing their clients.
Fifteen lawyers started their hunger fast Thursday to protest the pastor's detainment and have said that they will not stop the strike until they are able to see their client. The lawyers traveled to Nanle county in Henan to visit detained pastor Zhang Shaojie, the leader of a government-approved Christian church who was recently detained along with other church leaders under vague charges of obstructing government business. Two of Zhang's lawyers, Xia Jun and Liu Weiguo, told the Associated Press that they believe their client was arrested for resisting the attempts of the state to seize his church property.
"We strongly believe that this is a clear case of persecution of a religious group," Liu said in a phone interview with AP. more >>
The Evangelical broadcasting Organization, a public broadcaster in The Netherlands with a mission to bring Jesus Christ to TV, radio, Internet and magazines, has produced a new music video called "Justice Song," recorded in a burned Coptic Church in Egypt.
"We heard about what happened in Egypt, last august, when over a hundred of Christian buildings (many churches amongst it) [were] destroyed by radical Muslims," Marco van der Straten, EO-spokesman and executive producer of "Justice Song," shared in an email with The Christian Post on Wednesday.
"As a part of our human rights project, we decided to make a music video in Egypt, with a Christian Dutch artist (William Wixley) and an Egyptian artist (Rando Harvey). It's a song that expresses our feelings, we want to stand side-by-side with the persecuted Christians around the world. And it's a song about hope." more >>