A former church is being turned into Germany's first synagogue in the state of Brandenburg since 1938.
During a ceremony on Sunday, the key to the former evangelical parish Schlolsskirche, or "castle church," in the city of Cottbus, was handed from Christian leader Ulrike Menzel to the Jewish Association of the State of Brandenburg. A formal dedication ceremony for the synagogue will be held on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27, 2015.
"It's wonderful to see this house or worship returned to its intended use," said Menzel during the ceremony, according to Harretz, which cites the Nordkurier online newspaper. The building had been used for social and communal events during the past few years. more >>
At least 44 people have been arrested in Pakistan in connection with the grisly murder of a Christian couple who were beaten to death and cremated for allegedly desecrating a Quran.
"We have arrested 44 people, it was a local issue incited by the mullah of a local mosque," said Jawad Qamar, a regional police chief from Kot Radha Kishan, Punjab province, according to The Guardian. "No particular sectarian group or religious outfit was behind the attack."
The victims were identified as 28-year-old Shahzad Masih and 25-year-old Shama Bibi, according to International Christian Concern. The married Christian couple was attacked by a mob of angry Muslims on Monday, allegedly for burning a copy of the Islamic holy book and throwing it away. The couple was murdered and their bodies were cremated. more >>
An angry Muslim mob viciously murdered and cremated a Christian couple for allegedly desecrating the Quran in Pakistan on Monday.
A police officer on the scene described the attack that took place in the town of Kot Radha Kishan, located around 40 miles away from the city of Lahore, according to the BBC.
"A mob attacked [Christians] after accusing them of desecration of the Quran and later burnt their bodies at a brick kiln where they worked," he said. "Yesterday an incident of desecration of the Quran took place in the area and today the mob first beat the couple and later set their bodies on fire." more >>
Persecution watchdog group Open Doors warned that the exodus of Christians in Iraq and Syria fleeing terror group ISIS reached "biblical proportions" this year, and called for Christian unity during the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church on Sunday.
A number of Christian leaders and commentators spoke during the webcast, raising awareness and encouraging prayer for believers around the world who have faced persecution this year.
Mike Gore of Open Doors Australia highlighted what he called the "unprecedented focus" in 2014 on the persecuted church, and recalled a number of the most prominent stories that made headline news. more >>
The mother of pastor Saeed Abedini has fled to the United States to escape the daily threats and intimidation she faced in Iran while campaigning for the release of her son, an American citizen who was sentenced to eight years in prison for his Christian faith.
"Facing threats in Iran, Saeed's mom is now safely out of the country," Naghmeh Abedini, the pastor's wife, told FoxNews.com. "We look forward to seeing her soon here in the United States. It has been a difficult time for all of us — including Saeed's mom."
"She did not want to leave Iran. She did not want to say goodbye to her son." more >>
A Christian who was one of the last to flee his village in the Nineveh Province of northern Iraq before Islamic State jihadists captured it in August claims that ISIS militants are setting up explosives inside of homes so that if residents are ever to return to the village, their houses will explode upon entering.
The testimony of a Christian native named Ayad from Tel Keppe, a village just outside of the city of Mosul, was featured in a recent video interview conducted by the World Council of Churches. Ayad's testimony highlighted the timeline and details the of events that took place as the Islamic State militants captured his town on Aug. 6.
Ayad, who claims to be the last capable person to flee the village, said he eventually fled the town with no shoes on his feet, but emphasized that Christians are eager to return to their homes, as day by day, the Kurdish forces tell refugees what villages they have liberated and are safe to return to. more >>