A debate has erupted over whether Oregon's labor commissioner actually placed a "gag order" on Christian bakery owners who refused to serve a same-sex wedding after he issued a final order telling the couple to "cease and desist" from speaking publicly about their Christian conviction to refuse serving same-sex weddings.
As previously reported, the Commissioner of Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries, Brad Avakian, ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of the now-closed Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham, Oregon, to pay $135,000 in emotional damages to Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer because they refused to bake a cake for their commitment ceremony in 2013.
In Avakian's final order, he demands the Kleins to "cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying … any communication, notice, advertisement or sign of any kind to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges or a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination will be made against, any person on account of sexual orientation." more >>
A Nigerian pastor has said that he's grateful his daughter, who was one of the over 200 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014, did not convert to Islam and died "for the sake of Christ" when the terror group forced her to choose between her life and her faith.
"I was told that my daughter refused to change her religion. I was told that they dug a hole and buried her from the neck and stoned her to death," the pastor says. more >>
Upper Egypt prosecutors are dropping all charges against a gunmen that murdered a Christian man, claiming the assailant is mentally unfit to stand trial.
In January, Shaheed Nesemis Saroufeem, a Coptic Christian, was followed and then shot dead in Egypt's Luxor Province.
According to some, this is a common tactic in predominately Muslim countries where legal officials work in concert with government authorities to avoid prosecution of those that are persecuting the Christian minority. more >>
Persecution watchdog group Open Doors says Christian refugees fleeing ISIS in Iraq and Syria are among the last groups to receive help and necessities for their survival, and is calling on churches and Christian communities throughout the world to step up and provide for their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Open Doors CEO David Curry told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Monday that refugees in northern Iraq and Syria are facing "huge food shortages," with close to 300,000 Christians having limited means by which to pay for food. With millions of people displaced across the region, the group estimates that $20 million will be needed to provide food for the refugees in the next 18 months.
Curry said that one of his biggest concerns is that Christians "will be the last" among the refugees to receive vitally needed help, and called on Christians around the world to partner with them and remind those who are suffering that they are not forgotten. more >>
A new video released by the Islamic State terrorist group purports to show children carrying out the mass execution of 25 men accused of being soldiers for the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
In the nearly 10-minute video, which was shot in a Roman amphitheater in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, the Syrian soldiers are dressed in green camouflage and paraded in a single-file line onto the amphitheatre stage, in front of a large audience, as an arabic jihadi hymn plays in the background.
The soldiers are forced to their knees while the ISIS executioners, who appear to be in their preteen to teenage years, stand behind each soldier holding handguns to the back of their heads. more >>
The visible aftermath of the terror wrought by groups like ISIS and Boko Haram is devastatingly obvious: dead bodies in the streets; men, women and children left homeless, their bodies bleeding and broken; and makeshift refugee communities popping up across the more stable areas of the Middle East.
While the visible aftermath is appalling, the invisible aftermath — the trauma that wrecks the mind and spirit of so many survivors — is no less horrific.
Hussam, a Syrian refugee, is living with the trauma caused by being a first-hand witness to terror. During an attack by ISIS on his largely Christian neighborhood, Hussam stood just 20 yards away as a mortar was dropped on a bus filled with children. When he ran to help, he saw that seven children and the driver had been killed. Never had Hussam been so close to the tragic outcomes of war. more >>