Saudi Arabia has sentenced two men to lashings and prison time for their part in helping a woman convert to Christianity and escape the country.
According to the Saudi Gazette, the Al-Khobar District Court sentenced one Lebanese man to six years in prison and 300 lashes, as well as one Saudi man to two years and 200 lashes for "brainwashing" the woman into Christianity and helping her escape.
Saudi Arabia, a heavily Muslim nation which was named as the second most oppressive country in the world by watchdog Open Doors USA, prohibits Muslims from abandoning their faith. It is also illegal to proselytize for other religions and to engage in public Christian worship. more >>
The only way I know we still live in a relatively free nation is that, at times, the truth does come out. The IRS announced that, yes; it did give extra scrutiny to tax returns that included the name "tea party" or "patriot" as part of their exempt applications. Too bad for Boston that the names Tamerlan and Dzhokhar weren't on that IRS watch list.
The IRS admits its blatantly illegal actions:
IRS agents singled out dozens of organizations for additional reviews because they included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their exemption applications, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups. In some cases, groups were asked for lists of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said. more >>
With all of the unrest being reported in countries like Egypt, Syria and Libya, perhaps the real untold story is the record number of Christians leaving the Muslim world.
According to Open Doors USA, at least 100 million Christians in 65 countries suffer persecution. For example, as the situation in Syria continues to intensify, it is very easy to forget the plight of Syrian Christians who are fleeing the country.
In his new book, Crucified Again, Raymond Ibrahim writes that Christians in that country are being targeted for kidnapping, plundering and beheadings. He reports that regions and towns that were once populated with Christians are now emptied. more >>
After spending his 33rd birthday inside the "small dark hole" of solitary confinement, U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini has been returned to the general prison population of Evin Prison in Iran.
"His release from solitary is a direct result of the multitudes praying. I am relieved my husband is out of solitary, but still am deeply concerned about Saeed's health. While this is a small victory, I am still demanding justice be done and that Saeed be released," Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, said in a statement posted by The American Center for Law and Justice.
The pastor, who has been in jail in Tehran since September 2012 and was sentenced to eight years in prison in January, supposedly for endangering national security, had been in solitary confinement for more than a week. more >>
The mass exodus of millions of Christians from one part of the Islamic world to another as the result of persecution by Muslims has reached epidemic proportions, says a Middle East and Islam expert. In fact, Christians may completely disappear from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt, warns the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
"This matter of Muslim persecution of Christians is a humanitarian crisis at this point," said Raymond Ibrahim in a recent interview with Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch. Ibrahim is the author of the recently released book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians.
"It's something that is little known of or heard of or acted upon. In fact, not only is the Obama administration ignoring it, but it is actually exacerbating it, making it worse, a la the Arab Spring and other matters," said Ibrahim, who is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum. more >>
As Christians in Syria continue to suffer persecution in the midst of an ongoing civil war, Open Doors USA is encouraging Christians worldwide to pray for the war-torn country on May 11.
"As Christians in Syria continue to suffer from the devastating effects of the two-year-old civil war including killings, kidnappings, homelessness, lack of food and shelter and closing of schools; they are also seeing that God's hand is at work as all denominations are joining in passionate prayer," Open Doors USA interim President/CEO Steve Ridgway said in a recent statement. more >>