Suspected Islamic extremists in Somalia shot a Christian to death this month on the outskirts of the coastal city of Kismayo, sources said.
Two masked men killed Ahmed Ali Jimale, a 42-year-old father of four, on Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. as he stood outside his house in Alanley village, near a police station, they said. The killers were suspected to be members of the Islamic extremist Al Shabaab, a rebel militia ousted from the area four months ago but still engaging in hit-and-run tactics. A few of the four rival clans in Kismayo, 328 miles southwest of Mogadishu, are said to be housing members of Al Shabaab.
A businessman, teacher and medical consultant well-known in the area, Jimale ran a pharmacy in Kismayo. He would give private lessons on medicine and first aid, and as an underground Christian – as are all Christians in Somalia – he highlighted the teaching with discussions comparing the Bible and the Koran, sources said. more >>
Lawyer Dalia Zakhari, a human rights activist, has criticized the silence of the Egyptian presidency regarding the unlawful detention of Egyptian Copts in Libya on charges of proselytizing.
When Brotherhood members were arrested and detained in the UAE, the presidency sent a high level delegation, headed by Essam el-Haddad, assistant to the president, to negotiate their release.
In remarks to MCN, Zakhari expressed surprise that the arrested Christians were accused of proselytizing, as Libyan law does not criminalize proselytizing. She stressed those arrested are ordinary people who own the Bible for blessing, not for preaching. more >>
Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organization, has called on the Indonesian president to adopt a "zero tolerance" method to attacks on religious minorities.
In its report "In Religion's Name: Abuses against Religious Minorities in Indonesia," HRW criticizes President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for failing to protect religious minorities from growing religious intolerance and violence.
HRW says that such violence is "on the rise" in the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation. more >>
An Egyptian primary school student was prevented by the headmistress from taking a school photo with her classmates because her hair was not covered with a veil, sparking outrage among numerous groups in the region.
Heba Mohamed was set to take some photos with her classmates after receiving a certificate of appreciation for her excellence in Karate.
Even though the girl was greatly looking forward to the event, the headmaster of Alexandria's Asmaa Bint Abu Bakr Primary School reportedly prevented her from taking part with her friends as she does not wear a veil. more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is currently serving an 8-year sentence in Tehran, Iran, has written a long letter describing the ordeal of their experience, saying that it is a real human story that crosses political and religious barriers.
"This nightmare and the plea for my husband's life should cross religious and political barriers," Nagmeh writes in her letter, posted by the American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing her and the couple's two children, living in Idaho.
The Iranian-born pastor has been inside Evin Prison in Tehran ever since his arrest in September 2012 and his subsequent sentencing. The Iranian court convicted him of endangering national security, but the ACLJ says that the real reason behind the trial was that Abedini has helped many Christians in underground churches in Iran since his conversion to Christianity in 2000. more >>
Dozens of Egyptian Christians were arrested Wednesday in Libya under charges of proselytization.
The arrests were reported by the Facebook page "Yes to Secularism in Libya," where a video was uploaded showing a group of Coptic Christians crowded into a room, after having their heads shaved by authorities.
In the video a Salafi man accuses them of proselytization and shows religious images allegedly created by the Copts. more >>