Three Christian clergymen, each facing six years in prison in Iran for their faith, attended a second appeal hearing on Tuesday. Reports noted that yet another Christian, a house church leader in Shiraz, was recently arrested.
"The charges faced by Pastors Behnam Irani, Matthias Haghnejad and Deacon Silas Rabbani are clearly unjust, as Mr Farahani has argued in court. We continue to call on the authorities to release these clergymen along with Ebrahim Hosseinzadeh, unconditionally and without delay," said Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas in a news release.
"Their only 'crime' is to exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief, as guaranteed in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is signatory. We urge the Iranian government to uphold this right for religious minorities in Iran, in line with its obligations under international law and the provisions upholding the rights of religious minorities in its own constitution." more >>
WASHINGTON —The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty announced on Tuesday the launch of a new coalition uniting human rights organizations, religious groups, and pro-liberty advocacy groups to pressure state governments to put an end to capital punishment.
The coalition, which has up to 15 national partnering organizations, is named the "90 Million Strong" campaign, which signifies the 33 percent of Americans, according to Gallup polls, who say they oppose the death penalty.
With only 28 states and the District of Columbia not currently using the death penalty, and seven states carrying out the death penalty in 2014, the coalition aims to fully mobilize the "90 million" Americans to lobby state-by-state to get the other states that still actively use the death penalty to halt what they claim are "unfair" and immoral practices. more >>
A formerly beloved Pakistani pop singer-turned-Islamic televangelist, Junaid Jamshed, is now in hiding in London and has no plans to return to his home country after being accused of blasphemy for allegedly insulting one of the wives of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in a video sermon that has gone viral on the Internet.
Jamshed, who was the frontman for a prominent Pakistani pop band called Vital Signs before quitting music in 2001 to dedicate his life to Islam by joining the conservative Islamic movement Tableeghi Jamaat, is now the focus of a serious local police investigation over his alleged blasphemous remarks.
The investigation, which formally began last Tuesday, was spawned after an opposing Muslim party, the Pakistani Sunni Tehreek, issued a formal complaint to authorities about the content of one of Jamshed's video preaching sessions, which was later posted online. more >>
A South African pastor and his teenage children were recently killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan after three extremists attacked the compound they were living in because they believed he was a "secret Christian missionary."
Forty-six-year-old Werner Groenewald, a former South African pastor who was working for the U.S.-based education group Partnership in Academics and Development (PAD) in Afghanistan for the last 12 years, was killed, along with his son and daughter (aged 17 and 15), in a coordinated three-hour Taliban gunfire and explosion operation on the PAD residential compound in the capital city of Kabul on Nov. 29.
Groenewald's wife, Hannelie, was working during the attack and not present at the guesthouse the family was staying at. With her husband and two kids gone, Hannelie Groenewald has lost her family and most of everything she owned. more >>
As the Islamic State attempts to further establish its caliphate in Iraq and Syria, the terrorist organization has taken control of all the hospitals inside its strongholds, where militants are said to have instituted ridiculously sexist policies, abuse patients and execute doctors.
Although medical staff in most hospitals around the world are suppose to accommodate and politely adress questions that patients might have concerning their health issues, Islamic State-run hospitals, especially those in the Iraqi stronghold city of Mosul, are doing things differently in a negative way.
One doctor from Mosul told the newsite TheStar.com that in early November he witnessed a case of one male patient being brutally beaten after having an arguement with an ISIS-affiliated doctor. more >>
Harvest Ministries Pastor Greg Laurie said Sunday his study of Bible prophecy and current events shows America will fade as the world's foremost superpower in the last days, either because it will join with the antichrist or it will be diminished by the rapture.
In a November 30 sermon entitled "Israel, Iran, ISIS and Bible Prophecy," Laurie preached that Christians are now living in the "last days" before the fulfillment of various End Times prophecies laid out in the Bible book of Revelations. Current events such as Israel establishing itself as a nation, Russia alignment with Iran and the rise of Islamic extremism, he said, are setting the stage for a predicted conflict in which the world's forces turns against Israel.
One force that will be missing during that conflict, Laurie says, is the United States of America. "[As] the forces of antichrist emerge, I believe that America will fade from the scene." Putting the United States in the context of Scripture, he explained, "We are not found in the End Times scenario." more >>