Radical militias with Iranian support are reportedly attacking Christian communities in Iraq, seizing property and sites of cultural interest.
Lisa Daftari of Foreign Desk wrote Tuesday that this was happening especially around Baghdad and attributed her information as coming from multiple sources, including "Christian members of the Iraqi Parliament," "Christian community leaders," and the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.
"According to leaders, the seizures have been carried out in the upscale regions of Baghdad, where militia men have forced entry into homes and businesses with falsified documents," wrote Daftari. more >>
Wheaton College announced Wednesday that it will create a scholarship in the name of former political science professor Larycia Hawkins, who has agreed to forgo her tenure and leave the school after being suspended in December for asserting on Facebook that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
At a press conference formally announcing a reconciliation agreement between the school and Hawkins in Chicago, Wheaton President Philip Ryken announced that the Illinois evangelical institution will honor Hawkins by establishing an endowed scholarship for peace and conflict studies in her name.
The scholarship will allow interns to pursue summer projects pertaining to peace and conflict studies. more >>
After the toy company Mattel gave the classic doll Barbie a dramatic makeover with a variety of skintones and body types last month, a woman in Nigeria has taken to Instagram in recent weeks to show Muslim girls how they can transform Barbie into a hijab-wearing icon they can identify with.
While most young girls around the world are accustomed to playing with Barbie dolls that are dressed in fashionable and sometimes sexy dresses, pants and tops, Haneefa Adam, a medical scientist in Nigeria, has created an Instagram account called "Hijarbie" to show Muslim girls that there are alternative wardrobe options for their Barbie dolls.
The Hijarbie Instagram account features pictures of Barbie dolls wearing various forms of modest clothing along with different styles and colors of hijabs (head scarves worn by Muslim women), all of which Adam has crafted herself. more >>
An atheist state lawmaker in Arizona has been barred from offering a prayer at the beginning of legislative sessions after being told that prayers on the house floor must be directed toward God.
According to TusconNewsNow, in the Arizona House of Representatives for many years, lawmakers or other individuals issue an invocation to kick off every session.
But when Democratic state Rep. Juan Mendez, a self-proclaimed atheist from Tempe, requested an opportunity to issue the prayer, he was informed in a memo issued by Republican House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro to all state representatives that no one will be allowed to lead the traditional prayer unless they intend on calling on a deity. more >>
A national atheist group petitioned President Barack Obama to give nonbelievers the same attention and protections as other religious minorities after he recently visited a Baltimore mosque.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) letter, composed by co-presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, references the president's recent visits to a U.S. mosque and the Israeli embassy, where Obama called on Americans to stop religious-fueled bigotry.
"It is laudable for the President to embrace citizens of all colors and religious viewpoints as being part of 'one American family' and to caution citizens not to be 'bystanders to bigotry,'" FFRF acknowledged. "But there is one U.S. minority that has been consistently excluded from such notice: nonreligious Americans." more >>
President Barack Obama claimed in a wide-ranging interview that he has met most hopes and expectations people had of his presidency, and also singled out Pope Francis' visit to the White House as a stand-out moment.
"I've done a lot of them and I've made progress on almost all of them," Obama told "CBS This Morning" about voters' expectations in an interview that was posted on Tuesday.
"I feel pretty good about being able to match up what I said I would accomplish with what has been accomplished. I mentioned in the State of the Union that one of the things I regret though is that I haven't been able to drain some of the rancor that exists here in Washington," he continued. more >>