Three Christians from the Church of Iran denomination, who were arrested as part of a series of raids on house churches and believers in the Shia nation two weeks ago, will be released on bail only if they pay $33,000 each, a court in Rasht city says.
The three Christians – Yasser Mosayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammadreza Omidi (Youhan) – are being held in a jail in Rasht, the capital city of Gilan Province, pending payment of 100 million Toman, which is equivalent to about $33,000, each, according to the U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide, which has been following their case since they were arrested on May 13.
The three Christians were arrested along with their pastor, Yousef Nadarkhani, and his wife, Tina Pasandide Nadarkhani, by officials from Iran's Ministry of Intelligence, known as VEVAK. The officials also seized Bibles, computers and mobile phones belonging to the three church members. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist organization in Iraq has found yet another new and barbaric way to execute jihadi leaders who fail to meet the group's military expectations.
According to a Kurdish commander who spoke with the Iranian media outlet AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA), IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) recently executed a number of its own commanders for failing to "accomplish their chief duties."
Instead of just shooting the commanders in the back of the head or beheading them like the group has done with many others, IS employed another new and frightening method for execution designed to scare other militants. more >>
A new book, Christ's Samurai, tells the story of early Christianity in Japan during the feudal era in the 17th century, when some Christians were branded with hot irons, dipped repeatedly in boiling water and crucified, for being part of an uprising.
Believers were also straddled with straw coats made of grass and set on fire, says the book, Christ's Samurai: The True Story of the Shimabara Rebellion, by Jonathan Clements, a Visiting Professor at Xi'an Jiaotong University in China, according to Japan Times.
Clements also describes how a pregnant woman was kept in a submerged cage leading to the death of both mother and the baby, an incident that might have triggered the Shimabara Rebellion, an uprising in southwestern Japan lasting from December 17, 1637, to April 15, 1638, during the rule of Edo bakufu, the last feudal Japanese military government. more >>
China Aid has reported in its 2015 Annual Report of Religious and Human Rights Persecution in China that as many as 20,000 people suffered religious persecution by the Communist Party throughout the year. Despite imcreasing persecution, however, the number of Christians in the country continues to grow.
"In 2015, China Aid documented 634 cases of persecution in which 19,426 religious practitioners were persecuted, representing an 8.62 percent increase from 2014's 17,884 religious practitioners persecuted," the report stated.
"A number of factors led to the increases, including a widespread, barbaric round up of China's human rights legal professionals, activists and family members in July 2015," it added. more >>
Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnalil, kidnapped by Islamic State militants in March in Yemen and feared to have been crucified on Good Friday, is now reportedly safe and is expected to be released.
"It is now clear that the priest is not in the custody of the Islamic State terror group but with anti-government forces in Yemen. Last minute efforts are underway and his release is imminent," a government official told IANS in an update.
The good news follows two months of uncertainty around the Indian priest's fate, with initial reports that Uzhunnalil had been crucified later denied by Roman Catholic officials. His exact whereabouts and his condition in IS captivity remained a mystery, however, but it now appears that he is out of danger and will be able to return back home. more >>
Close to 80 Muslims at a refugee camp in Hamburg, Germany, have been baptized into Christianity despite the ongoing physical and sexual abuse that Christian converts face at such camps in the Western country.
"While Christian converts suffer in great measures at the hands of their Muslim neighbors in Germany, around 80 refugees were recently baptized into Christianity," International Christian Concern, a persecution watchdog group, noted on Tuesday.
Mohabat News reported that Pastor Albert Babajan conducted the mass baptism of refugees at the camp in Hamburg, revealing that one of the main motives for their conversion is disappointment with Islam. more >>