The son of a Pakistani Christian servant who was tortured by police in an attempt to get him to confess to stealing from his Muslim employer has revealed his horrifying eyewitness testimony of the brutal beating that his father endured earlier this month that ultimately led to his father's death.
On Jan. 14, the slain body of 47-year-old Liaqat Masih was handed over by authorities to his family in the town of Gujranwala in the Punjab province. Masih and his son were arrested by local police officers based on the accusation of theft from the home of his Muslim employer, Mohammad Raza Hameed, whom employed Masih as his driver for over 15 years.
Hameed and his father S.A. Hameed are wealthy Muslim businessmen and leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf political party in the community. When Hameed and his family went out of town, their home got robbed and Hameed notified the police about the robbery and initially lodged a complaint against unknown perpetrators. more >>
Hangzhou's Chongyi Church, the largest government-sanctioned church in China, has asked Christians to pray for the Rev. Gu Yuese to keep his faith in jail as he faces government persecution for protesting against the removal of church crosses.
China Christian Daily translated Chongyi's press release over the weekend that included a prayer list.
The press release "asks its congregation particularly to pray for pastor Gu Yuese: beg the Lord to help Rev. Gu keeping his faith in adversity, standing firmly in the trials of the cross." more >>
The pastor of China's largest official Protestant church has been detained amid an ongoing government initiative to remove and destroy crosses on religious establishments.
Pastor Gu Yuese, the leader of China's Chongyi Church, was reportedly jailed as part of the government's cross removal campaign. However, rights groups say the pastor's arrest is part of a bigger crackdown on the citizens' religious freedom, according to Time.
On Thursday, Pastor Gu was reportedly placed in a "black jail" in Hangzhou for surveillance. The Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), the body that regulates churches in China, removed Pastor Gu from his position 10 days before he was detained. It is worth noting that he had been opposing the government's cross removal campaign in Zhejiang since it was launched in 2014, the report details. more >>
Hundreds of Yazidi women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by the Islamic State have managed to escape and report that they've been subjected to painful "virginity tests" by Iraqi authorities to prove that they were actually abused.
The Independent reported that watchdog groups, such as Human Rights Watch, have documented the traumatic experiences women have been forced to undergo after escaping from IS.
Rothna Begum, a researcher at the group's women's rights division, said she has spoken with victims who have confirmed that hundreds of women and girls have been subjected by Iraqi authorities to the painful virginity tests to prove that they have been raped. more >>
American pastor Saeed Abedini has issued a statement about his troubled marriage with wife, Naghmeh, revealing that he does not agree with much of what she has written about the issue, but said that he is praying for healing and restoration.
"Naghmeh has been a hero to me and suffered enormously as a result of being 7,000 miles away from me and being a single parent to our two precious children while traveling and leading a crusade on my behalf. I will always love her for her sacrifice," Abedini said in a statement sent to the Idaho Statesman on Saturday.
The pastor, who was released earlier in January following three and a half years in Iranian prison for his Christian faith, noted that Naghmeh has been writing to her supporters about the troubled state of their marriage, but he had so far chosen not to respond, because he wants personal issues to be dealt with personally. more >>
Theologian John Piper explained how the church in America is living with "cultural indifference or derision or exclusion or hostility," and why this is not strange but normal, and how Christians are called to respond to it according to the Bible.
Speaking at the Bethlehem 2016 Conference for Pastors and Church Leaders in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Piper quoted Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, as saying that Christianity in America is becoming "less nominal, more defined, and more outside of the mainstream of American culture."
"More outside of the mainstream of American culture" is not the same as saying true Christianity is declining in numbers or faithfulness, clarified Piper, founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. more >>