President Barack Obama must increase pressure on the Egyptian interim government to protect Christians who have been violently targeted in the past couple of months, urges a letter sent by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on Monday.
"I respectfully urge you to speak out clearly and forcefully about the unprecedented sectarian attacks committed against Christians in Egypt that proliferated at a frenetic pace on August 14 and the immediate days thereafter," wrote USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George.
"It also is vitally important that the Egyptian interim government understands from you that it must promptly and thoroughly investigate violent incidents, prosecute perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law, and provide greater protections for Christians and their places of worship." more >>
The fate of the small, predominantly Christian town of Maaloula, Syria, remains uncertain after remaining rebel factions continued to clash with the occupying Syrian army over the weekend. Reports from the area indicate that most of the village's cathedrals and worshipping spaces were abandoned Sunday due to the threat of a continued rebel presence linked to al-Qaeda.
Although Syria's army, loyal to President Bashar Assad, claims to have re-taken control of the small town north of Damascus at the beginning of the weekend, reporters visiting the war-torn region have said that in the past few days, rebel fighters have remained on the fringes of the town, firing at army forces from nearby caves that overlook the small mountain city.
"There was hardly time to notice the white statue of Christ the Redeemer on the hillside before we were fired on, bullets aimed at our van, blowing our tire and holing the chassis. We screeched to a halt and scrambled clear," Bill Neely, the International Editor for ITV News, wrote in an Op-Ed for The Telegraph. more >>
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has launched the largest campaign in its history with aims of sending thousands of letters each week to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, petitioning for U.S. Pastor Saeed Adedini, who has been imprisoned for 52 weeks.
"Using a brand-new website that raises awareness for the persecuted church and gives a voice to the voiceless, we're asking you to write a letter to President Hassan Rouhani asking that he free Pastor Saeed," ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow said in a letter to supporters on Monday.
"We've written text you can use, or you can customize to send your own message, but our goal is simple: 52,000 letters asking President Rouhani to save Saeed." more >>
Rafiq Habib, a Christian researcher and son of the founder of a Christian social missions group, has reportedly become the acting chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) in Egypt, according to World Bulletin. Egyptian experts confirmed to The Christian Post about Rafiq's astounding support for the Muslim Brotherhood, but those who know him personally rejected the report that he is leading the Islamic political organization as true.
Michael Youssef, an Egyptian-born pastor and leader of Leading the Way ministries in Georgia, told CP in a statement Friday, "His father, Dr. Sam Habib, was a dear friend of mine." Youssef described the son as "a nominal Christian."
The Egyptian-born megachurch pastor disagreed that Rafiq had become interim leader of the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm in Egypt. "That is not true," Youssef wrote, adding "a spokesman denied this news." more >>
After 65 years in exile, Palestinian Christians are asking the Israeli government to finally keep their promise, and allow them to return to the home of their ancestors.
Forced from Biram in 1948 by Israeli forces during the creation of the state of Israel, Maronite Christians were guaranteed a return to their village in a 1951 Supreme Court case. But the Israeli government has never made good on this promise, despite pleas from the Biram diaspora.
Now, descendents of the community have sought to make their case to the government through an encampment in the national park where the town is located. more >>
Ghastly attacks on Christians mocked as "Crusaders" in Syria continued unabated as Jihadists reportedly forced one man to convert to Islam at gunpoint and slit the throat of another Christian woman's fiancé and then told her, "Jesus didn't come to save him."
Residents who fled from the ancient town of Maalula in Syria told AFP that jihadists ambushed the town last week and forced a man to convert to Islam at gunpoint.
"They arrived in our town at dawn... and shouted 'We are from the Al-Nusra Front and have come to make lives miserable for the Crusaders," said one woman identified as Marie in Damascus, where many people from Maalula fled after rebels first attacked that town on Sept. 4. more >>