Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini says he's reflected on his decision to leave his family in Boise, Idaho, and go to Iran for ministry, which resulted in him being imprisoned for three and a half years, and said that while it was a big sacrifice, it was one he felt called to do by God.
"Before starting every season of my life since I became a Christian, the Lord has asked me to make a radical decision in my heart and actions," Abedini wrote on Facebook on Sunday, and shared the Bible passage Luke 14:26-27, which reads:
"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." more >>
Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Communist Party members that they must be "unyielding atheist" who will command Christians and other religious groups in the country.
"Religious groups... must adhere to the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC)," Xi told senior party officials at a conference, as reported by the official Xinhua news agency.
He added that Communists must be "unyielding Marxist atheists," who are given the mission to "resolutely guard against overseas infiltrations via religious means." more >>
One and a half years after a young Pakistani Christian couple were tortured and burnt alive in a brick kiln after being accused of blasphemy, a court has granted bail to the prime suspect in the case, which had caused national outrage.
Yousaf Gujjar, who was granted bail this week, is the main accused among more than 100 others who were charged with beating and burning alive Shehzad Masih and his pregnant wife, Shama Bibi, parents of four, in the same klin where the couple worked as bonded laborers in November 2014.
After the bail hearing at Kasur district in the province of Punjab, the victims' family was in tears, according to a Pakistani Christian non-profit, Legal Evangelical Assistance and Development, or LEAD. more >>
A London-based human rights charity will open a free primary school in a poverty-stricken area of Pakistan that aims to give Christian children an education, an alternative to working as bonded laborers and a chance to break free from their family's cycle of poverty.
The British Pakistani Christian Association announced earlier this week that it has purchased land in the town of Kasur, just outside the city of Lahore, and will build the free school to be named after 12-year-old childhood martyr Tim Iqbal Masih, who was shot and killed in 1995 after helping to free thousands of children from bonded labor.
BPCA has provided extensive human aid to Christians and others in Kasur after several Christian families' mud homes were badly damaged by severe flooding last year. But as BPCA provided things like free medical examinations and treatments, the organization noticed a pressing need for a free educational outlet for the children. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist organization has executed as many as 250 women and some of their families in Mosul for refusing to become sex slaves, a Kurdish official has said.
In an interview with the Iranian-based AhlulBayt news agency, Said Mamuzini, a Kurdistan Democratic Party official from Mosul, explained that IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) has enforced severe consequences on women who refuse to participate in "sexual jihad."
Since conquering Iraq's second-largest city in June 2014, the militant group has forced hundreds, if not thousands, of religious minority women to sexually submit to the group's jihadis by way of forced, temporary marriages. more >>
American Pastor Saeed Abedini believes Iranian intelligence police tried to hack into his Facebook account after he posted a message criticizing the Islamic regime for jailing thousands of political prisoners.
"After my recent post on my Facebook (Proverbs 17:7) about Iran government today, Iran intelligent police tried to hack my Facebook account but they haven't been successful," he wrote on Wednesday, adding that it could also have been a threat for him to stop posting.
Abedini, who was held hostage inside Iran's prisons for three and a half years for his Christian faith before being released in January, had earlier posted a comment insisting that despite Iranian officials' denials, the Islamic Republic does indeed jail people for religious and political reasons. more >>