Former NBA superstar Dennis Rodman is apparently using the friendship he has developed with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to call for the release of Kenneth Bae, the U.S. citizen sentenced to 15 years of labor in the isolated Republic.
"I'm calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him 'Kim,' to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose," Rodman said on Twitter.
Bae, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in South Korea, was arrested on Nov. 3 in the North Korean city of Rason (formerly Rajin) while escorting five European tourists. He was later sentenced to 15 years behind bars, supposedly for endangering national security. more >>
Ahmed Fawzi, Secretary-General for the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and a leading figure of the National Salvation Front (NSF), stated that the recent ministerial adjustments are merely a continuation of the Muslim Brotherhood's policies in Egypt.
Egyptian Prime Minister Dr. Hisham Qandil announced a new ministerial formation this morning in which nine ministers were changed.
This reshuffling excluded the ministers of interior and media despite widespread criticism against Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim. He is blamed for for the security forces' handling of protesters and its inability to protect citizens in the attacks in Khosos and the papal headquarters of St. Mark's Cathedral. more >>
Ten out of the 15 countries with the worst religious freedom abuses are Muslim nations, according to the recently released U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) 2013 Annual Report, which identifies the status of religious freedom throughout the world, and cites countries that are the least tolerant of religious freedom.
The 15 most intolerant countries, identified as "countries of particular concern" (CPCs), cited in this year's report are: Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tasjikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. Of these, ten are Muslim countries.
The nearly 400-page report details a range of human rights violations occurring in these countries. more >>
Syrian Orthodox Archbishop George Saliba of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli said that kidnapping of clergy has become "normal" since the events began in Iraq.
"Every day we hear news and rumors about the kidnapping of the two archbishops, Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, and we do not believe any of them because all stories have turned out to be untrue," the archbishop said during an interview.
"We are waiting for the promises made to us regarding the issue of the two archbishops," Archbishop Saliba added. "No one knows what the party responsible for the kidnapping wants and it does not reveal itself. Archbishop Ibrahim's health condition is unstable." more >>
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, recently stated that in spite of recent comments from the Pentagon clarifying that it will not discriminate against evangelicals in the U.S. military, he believes that more must be done to ensure that the religious freedom of those in the armed forces is respectfully observed.
"While we appreciate the [Department of Defense's] public assurances, they mean nothing until the Pentagon and the Air Force take specific steps to roll back the climate of religious hostility in our military – and that includes disavowing extremists like Mikey Weinstein," Perkins wrote Thursday in a blog post on FRC's website.
"For too long, the [Department of Defense] has tested the limits of political correctness, turning a policy of religious neutrality into an excuse for religious hostility. It's time for the Pentagon to show the American people who it stands with: Mikey Weinstein or our brave men and women in uniform?" Perkins continued. more >>
Mohamed Abu Samra, secretary-general of the Islamic Jihad Party, made the claim that "it is permissible to kill some Christians today," then gave his argument defending such a position.
He justified this announcement by saying: "Those who came out with weapons, their blood is allowed for us [to spill], as a fighter is not considered dhimmi."
Dhimma is the Islamic law that specifies non-Muslims are to be protected residents within the Islamic state in exchange for taxes. more >>