Chinese authorities in Zhejiang province have removed hundreds of crosses from atop Protestant and Catholic churches and believers expect the rooftop crosses to be removed from all houses of worship because the government sees the rapid growth of Christianity in the country as a threat.
"The authorities have attached great importance to this religious symbol," said Zheng Leguo, a pastor from the province who now lives in the U.S., in a CBS News report. "This means no more prominent manifestation of Christianity in the public square."
The province is now proposing an official ban on any further placement of crosses atop sanctuaries. But that has not stopped Zhejiang officials from toppling crosses from more than 400 churches since early 2014. The government has justified the action by claiming the crosses were a violation of the Communist regime's building codes. more >>
The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan resolution on Monday that calls on Iran to immediately release Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini, two other imprisoned Americans, and to locate another American that went missing in the Mideast country.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, singled out in an address to the U.S. Senate Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran for two and a half years, and urged the Obama administration to secure his release before a deal is reached with Iran on its nuclear program.
"One of those Americans, Saeed Abedini, has reportedly been held prisoner for what would appear to be the supposed 'crime' of attempting to build and operate an orphanage. Beaten, denied access to medical care, and locked away in solitary confinement — that's apparently how the Iranian regime deals with those who dare to show love and compassion to others," he said. more >>
A well-known nun and activist who has witnessed the atrocities committed by ISIS believes the United States has the power to stop the mass slaughter and kidnappings that are being carried out daily by the terrorist group.
Sister Hatune Dogan has worked with victims of oppression and violence her whole life, traveling to areas affected by ISIS and other terrorist organizations. She recently spoke about the horror and persecution Christians and Yazidi people face in Syria and Iraq, addressing their needs and condemning ISIS' treatment of girls and women, as well as calling out the U.S. for its apparent lack of action to ease and end the suffering of ISIS' victims.
"There have been 12,000 kidnapped at the hands of ISIS —Yazidi alone. What is going on there, what I was hearing, is the highest barbarism on Earth in the history until today. The mission of (Abu Bakr) Baghadadi, of ISIS, is to convert the world completely to the Islamic religion and bring them to Dar Al Salaam, as they call it. And Islam is not peace, please. Whoever says ISIS has no connection to Islam or something like this is … he's a liar. ISIS is Islam; Islam is ISIS," Dogan told CBN News. more >>
Islamic State terrorists have allegedly forced an overly abused sex slave to undergo virginity restoration surgery over 20 different times after being raped and sold away to various ISIS fighters, a United Nations official has explained.
Zainab Bangura, a U.N. special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, recently revealed new horrifying details regarding the Islamic State's sex trafficking trade that she discovered through nearly two weeks of interviews in five different countries. She spoke with dozens of females who were capable of fleeing from the wrath of the Islamic State and she came to the conclusion that the raping of women and girls is a "central aspect" to ISIS' jihad.
"ISIL have institutionalized sexual violence and the brutalization of women as a central aspect of their ideology and operations, using it as a tactic of terrorism to advance their strategic objectives," Bangura stated in a media briefing last week. more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham has said that the U.S. Supreme Court's upcoming decision on whether to legalize same-sex marriage across America or allow states to continue to make their own decisions will "rank as the most historic and far-reaching judgment of the 21st century." He argued that it could pave the way for "persecution of believers," and said he would be praying for the nine Supreme Court justices.
"This is a pivotal moment in the history of America. As nine U.S. Supreme Court justices consider arguments brought before the court on April 28 about whether to make same-sex marriage a constitutional right, we need to pray fervently for the wisdom and counsel of God to work its way into the hearts and minds of those making this momentous decision," Graham said in a message on Facebook Saturday.
"The impending decision will rank as the most historic and far-reaching judgment of the 21st century. If our nation's highest court decrees same-sex marriage as the law of the land, the consequences will be great. It sets the stage for persecution of believers committed to living by the truth of God's Holy Word. " more >>
An Iraqi nun who has been an outspoken critic of the Islamic State will finally receive a visa to travel to the United States to speak on Christian persecution in the Middle East.
In a reversal following much outrage, the US State Department has agreed to give Sister Diana Momeka, member of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena, a visa for a trip to Washington, D.C.
Sister Diana's trip was sponsored in part by the groups the Institute for Global Engagement and the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. more >>