The North Korean government has been hitting back against international criticism by accusing the U.S. of rampant human rights abuses and claiming that Christian missionaries are responsible for human trafficking and even terrorism in its country.
"The significance of North Korea's comments cannot be overstated. North Korea is choosing to publicly blame Christian missionaries for its human rights problems and internal difficulties," said the Rev. Eric Foley of Seoul USA, a US/Korean NGO that operates a number of discipleship bases reaching North Koreans across Asia.
Foley's comments are in response to those made by So Se Pyong, North Korea's ambassador in a debate before the Council in Geneva, where he stated: "There are in the northeastern area of China so-called churches and priests exclusively engaged in hostile acts against the DPRK. They indoctrinate the illegal border crossers with anti-DPRK ideology and send them back to the DPRK with assignments of subversion, destruction, human trafficking and even terrorist acts." more >>
A Nigerian evangelist said that most of the 200 plus schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram are Christians, which he says is further evidence of the militant Islamists' specific targeting of followers of Christ.
"Chibok local government is 90% Christian. Majority of the girls abducted are Christian! Why did Boko Haram visit Chibok local government? Why didn't they visit so many other local government girls secondary schools in Borno State?" asked Evangelist Matthew Owojaiye of the Old Time Revival Hour Church in Kaduna, who compiled a list of 180 kidnapped girls who have been identified, International Christian Concern shared.
Of those, Owojaiye identified that 163 are Christian girls, and 15 are Muslims. more >>
Thousands of petitions for Pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran and Kenneth Bae in North Korea are set to be delivered to Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf on Capitol Hill, with a Christian watchdog group calling on the Obama administration to step up its efforts for the release of the two imprisoned Christians.
"The human and religious rights of both of these men have been flagrantly violated since their detention in these foreign countries; therefore, as your constituent, I urge you to pursue every possible course of action, without delay, to secure the immediate release of Saaed Abedini in Iran and Kenneth Bae in North Korea," read the petition, organized by Christian Freedom International and addressed to Obama and his officials.
Abedini, a U.S. citizen currently serving eight years in prison in Iran, was arrested in July 2012 while working on an orphanage project and was accused by Islamic authorities of "threatening national security." Bae was also arrested in 2012 while leading a tour from China to North Korea and accused of making plots against the government. more >>
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended that the State Department add eight more nations to a list of "countries of particular concern," which designates them as places where "severe violations of religious freedom are tolerated or perpetrated."
Among the eight already included on the list are Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan. The USCIRF report has also petitioned that Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam also be added.
The United States has offered to help the Nigerian government locate a large number of girls believed to have been abducted by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Thursday that the US has been and will continue to help Nigeria regarding the mass abduction and overall antiterrorism efforts.
Islamic militants from the al-Shabaab terrorist organization reportedly dragged out a Christian woman from her home in Somalia and shot her dead while friends and neighbors tried to save her.
According to International Christian Concern, the murder occurred earlier this month when armed militants stormed the home of the woman, Sufia, in Mogadishu. She was dragged out in front of her parents by gunpoint, before being publicly shot in front of a crowd. Friends and neighbors attempted to save her.
The Islamists had accused the Somali woman of being an apostate (a person who converts from Islam to another faith). more >>