Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnalil, kidnapped by Islamic State militants in March in Yemen and feared to have been crucified on Good Friday, is now reportedly safe and is expected to be released.
"It is now clear that the priest is not in the custody of the Islamic State terror group but with anti-government forces in Yemen. Last minute efforts are underway and his release is imminent," a government official told IANS in an update.
The good news follows two months of uncertainty around the Indian priest's fate, with initial reports that Uzhunnalil had been crucified later denied by Roman Catholic officials. His exact whereabouts and his condition in IS captivity remained a mystery, however, but it now appears that he is out of danger and will be able to return back home. more >>
Close to 80 Muslims at a refugee camp in Hamburg, Germany, have been baptized into Christianity despite the ongoing physical and sexual abuse that Christian converts face at such camps in the Western country.
"While Christian converts suffer in great measures at the hands of their Muslim neighbors in Germany, around 80 refugees were recently baptized into Christianity," International Christian Concern, a persecution watchdog group, noted on Tuesday.
Mohabat News reported that Pastor Albert Babajan conducted the mass baptism of refugees at the camp in Hamburg, revealing that one of the main motives for their conversion is disappointment with Islam. more >>
A Christian woman critically injured in the Easter Sunday terror attack at a park in Lahore, Pakistan, has died nearly a month following the major bomb blast where at least 80 people were killed.
Christians in Pakistan, which has been providing coverage in the aftermath of the attack, reported on Monday that 55-year-old Tahira Gill died from her injuries at the Intensive Care Unit of Lahore' Jinnah Hospital.
She was one of well over 300 people who were injured in the bomb blast carried out by Islamic radicals who specifically targeted Christians celebrating Easter. Close to 80 others were killed, mostly women and children who were at a park designated for the celebration. more >>
Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, a house church leader from the Church of Iran denomination, and his wife, who were re-arrested as part of a series of raids targeting around 10 Christian homes last week, have been released, but three other Christians are still in custody, according to U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Officials from the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of Iran arrested Pastor Nadarkhani, his wife, Tina Pasandide Nadarkhani, and fellow church member Yasser Mosayebzadeh during a raid on the house church leader's home on Friday. Officials also separately raided the homes of Saheb Fadaie and Mohammadreza Omidi (Youhan), seized their Bibles, computers and mobile phones and arrested them, CSW says in a report.
Mosayebzadeh, Fadaie and Youhan are still in custody. more >>
There have been over 300 incidents of Christians being physically or sexually assaulted by Muslims in refugee camps in Germany, while thousands of other Christians are facing persecution in many different ways, a report has warned.
The German-language report "Religiously Motivated Attacks on Christian Refugees in Germany," produced by the German branch of persecution watchdog group Open Doors, was released last week, though the The Gatestone Institute provided an analysis on Sunday which broke down the numbers and figures.
The report warns that German authorities and police might be purposefully downplaying such incidents in order to avoid the "taboo" topic of Muslims attacking Christian refugees, keeping in mind the growing anti-immigration sentiments in the country. more >>
Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, a house church leader from the Church of Iran denomination who was acquitted of apostasy in 2012 after being sentenced to death by hanging, was arrested once again, this time along with his wife and a church member, by Iranian authorities on Friday, according to U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
"We are deeply concerned by these developments and await further clarification regarding the reasons for these arrests," CSW's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, referring to the arrest of the 37-year-old pastor, his wife Tina Pasandide Nadarkhani and fellow church member Yasser Mosayebzadeh.
Pastor Nadarkhani was released from prison in September 2013 following his acquittal of leaving Islam by a court in Rasht in northern Gilan Province. The court, however, sentenced him to three years for evangelizing Muslims, but since he had been in jail for three years, he was released after posting bail. more >>