Nigerian Christians have once again found themselves the target of the violent Islamist extremists in the country.
Eight gunmen from the militant Muslim Fulani herdsmen group killed six people, including five children, in central Nigeria on Dec. 17.
"I found out that Miracle Ishaya (2 years old) had his intestines spilled on his bed as he was shot in his stomach," Deborah Stephen 28, who lost her 4-year-old son and had her 6-year-old sent to the hospital in critical condition, told Morning Star News. "I was also told by relatives that the Muslim gunmen who attacked our home were eight, and that they wore military camouflage and bullet-proof vests." more >>
Australian media tycoon Rupert Murdoch called on Christians to pray for their besieged Middle Eastern counterparts on Twitter on Saturday.
"Amid Xmas extravagance and festivities, Christians should pray for millions of fellow believers being killed and persecuted in Middle East," tweeted the owner of News Corp, an American multinational media company which owns Fox News.
Although Murdoch has professed to be a Christian, his three divorces and the "sleaze, tabloid sex, scandal and nudity" promulgated by his publications have left some questioning his faith. more >>
Prince Charles spoke out against the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians earlier this week, calling on the world to no longer "ignore the fact that they are, increasingly, being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants."
In a version of the speech published on Wednesday by The Telegraph, the Prince of Wales said that as a Christian, he was calling on other "Western Christians … to pray earnestly for fellow-believers in the Middle East."
"The Middle East [is not] the only part of the world in which Christians are suffering. But, given the particularly acute circumstances they face, I feel it worthwhile to draw attention to their current plight," said Prince Charles. "It is important to note, above all, that the decline of Christians in the region represents a major blow to peace, as they are part of the fabric of society, often acting as bridge-builders between other communities." more >>
Prince Charles said Tuesday that organized persecution of Christians in the Middle East has reached a "crisis" point and that Christianity is in danger of disappearing from its birthplace, which would result in the world losing something "irreplaceably precious."
"It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants. Christianity was, literally, born in the Middle East and we must not forget our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ," the Prince of Wales said at an Advent reception for Middle East Christians.
"Today, the Middle East and North Africa has the lowest concentration of Christians in the world – just four percent of the population and it is clear that the Christian population of the Middle East has dropped dramatically over the last century and is falling still further," he continued. more >>
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 >>