Washington, D.C., passed a bill that attempts to counter a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing for closely-held businesses to be exempted from the federal birth control mandate.
In a unanimous vote taken Wednesday, the Council of the District of Columbia passed a bill that apparently conflicts with the Supreme Court decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby.
B20-0790, or the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014, was introduced in May by Councilmember David Grosso a few months after the Court heard oral arguments in the case. more >>
Pakistan's Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of two Muslim clerics for inciting a violent mob of hundreds of Muslims to brutally beat, torture, burn and murder a married Christian couple in the Punjab Province in early November.
The court also ordered disciplinary action to be levied against five police officials, who were present during the time of the beatings but took no action to protect the two individuals. Additionally, the court ordered a complete investigation into the incident and also ordered compensation payments to be made to the family of the victimized couple.
After being accused of burning pages from the Koran, Shamah Masih, who was a 24-year-old mother of four and four months pregnant at the time, and her husband, Shahzad Masih, were surrounded by an enraged mob, who gathered around the brick kiln in the village of Kot Rodha Kishan where the couple was located. more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham says Christians should never deny Jesus Christ in order to spare their lives from slaughter by terrorists, such as ISIS, and further asserts that doing so would be a betrayal against martyrs who stood strong for their faith, despite persecution.
"Christians have been martyred going all the way back to the Romans when they fed them to the lions. We would be betraying every person who stood for their faith, who stood for Jesus Christ, if we turn our back on Jesus Christ. … I think we take a stand for our faith," Graham said on Fox News' "The Kelly File" when host Megyn Kelly asked if Christians should lie in order to save their lives when confronted with death at the hands of Islamic terrorists.
Noting that Christians who live in countries where they're the religious minority are the most persecuted people in the world, Kelly commented on a story about four Iraqi Christian children who were beheaded by ISIS militants after they refused to convert to Islam, a story reported by The Christian Post earlier this month. more >>
Three Iranian Christian leaders have seen their convictions overturned following an appeals hearing, in what persecution watchdog groups are hailing as an encouraging victory. Pastor Matthias Haghnejad and Deacon Silas Rabbani have been granted their freedom after their six-year sentences were overturned, but pastor Benhram Irani is still serving six years for previous convictions.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide confirmed the court's decision in an email to The Christian Post on Tuesday. The group's Chief Executive, Mervyn Thomas, said in a statement:
"We are extremely pleased to learn of the release of Pastor Matthias Haghnejad, Deacon Silas Rabbani, Hossein Baraunzadeh and Rahman Bahman. While we welcome this news, we remain concerned at the continued detention of Amin Khaki and long-term prisoners like Behnam Irani and Farshi Fathi – all of whom who have been unjustly detained." more >>
Yet another Christian church was destroyed by Muslims in Ethiopia—this time by local authorities.
Heaven's Light Church, which served some 100 evangelical Christians, was demolished last November 28. The church had stood and functioned in the Muslim-majority city of Harar for five years. In the days preceding the destruction, officials forcibly removed the church's exterior sign and warned believers not to worship there, citing complaints by a local Muslim. Officials further told church members who had previously congregated at the church "not to gather under what remains of the church building." Accordingly, Christians are now meeting in homes of individual believers.
Prior to the demolition of the church, when some Christian leaders protested, they were illegally detained, released only after community members, "outraged by the wrongful detentions," called "for their immediate release," reported International Christian Concern, a rights advocacy group supporting the Christians: more >>
Thirteen Christian families in a small village located in the Punjab province of Pakistan are now homeless after the local municipal government demolished their homes because the families refused to work for no pay and become bonded laborers.
Members of the Christian families, who all worked at a local brick kiln in the village of Samundri, refused to continue working unless they received fair compensation for their labor. Pakistan Christian Post reports that the village's municipal government carried out the destruction of their homes last week after being pressured to do so by the "influential" Muslims who owned the brick kiln operation.
"Houses of 13 Christian families have been demolished by the Town Municipal Administration Samundri under the pressure of the influential people of the village just because they refused to bonded labour without any penny," the news report stated. more >>