In recent past, more people have been killed in the name of religion than for any other thing in the world. Religion has become a symbol of death, terror and agony. Subsequently, a recent Pew Research "Changing U.S. Religious Landscape" shows the decline of religious affiliation in the United States. The study finds there are more adults who consider themselves 'unaffiliated' with any other form of religion than those who subscribe to a certain faith. This bludgeoning disaffection and disenchantment is partly the product of what we witness in the world around us - terror in the name of religion.
"Humanitarian crises fuelled by waves of terror, intimidation, and violence have engulfed an alarming number of countries over the past year", maintains Commissioner Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
In its 2015 annual report the USCIRF catalogues the horrors of religious led terror groups and their affiliates affecting millions of lives around the world. This axis of death and destruction of sheer human lives continues to haunt innocent children, women and men of all faiths around the world. more >>
In his first commencement speech since leaving office, former President George W. Bush defended religious freedom and faith at Southern Methodist University's Saturday, and told graduates that God's "grace and unconditional love" will sustain them.
"In our hearts we believe all are created equal under God. The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is Almighty God's gift to humanity," Bush said at the university in Dallas, Texas, talking about reasons why the graduates should be optimistic and hopeful.
"You can be hopeful because there is a loving God," he added, after listing a few other reasons. "Whether you agree with that statement is your choice, it is not your government's choice," he said. "It is essential to this nation's future that we remember that the freedom to worship who we want, and how we want — or not to worship at all — is a core belief of our founding." more >>
An escaped Yazidi teen recently revealed that while she was held by the Islamic State terrorist group, she was sold as a sex slave to a well-known Australian ISIS executioner for the equivalent of $34, reports indicate.
In witness testimony given to Iraqi lawyers, a 19-year-old Yazidi girl, who has been given the pseudonym "Kaleela," said she was in the midst of fleeing from her northern Iraqi village last August when she was taken hostage, like many other girls were, by ISIS.
She recalled being initially kept by the militants inside a three-story home in the group's Iraqi stronghold of Mosul before she was drugged and shipped off to Syria, where she was sold in ISIS' sex slave market. more >>
In hopes of encouraging fellow Christians to stay in Pakistan in light of religious tensions, a Christian businessman in the country's largest city is building a giant 14-story cross outside the entrance to the largest Christian cemetery in Karachi.
Parvez Henry Gill, a devout christian who lives in Karachi, recently told The Washington Post that God came to him in a dream one night four years ago and challenged him with the divine task of finding a way to relieve Pakistani Christians from the constant fear of persecution and abuse frequently perpetrated by Pakistan's radical Muslim community.
"I want you to do something different," Gill remembers God telling him. more >>
An Indiana organization dedicated to marijuana that calls itself the First Church of Cannabis will host its first "worship service" on July 1, the same day that the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act goes into effect.
The organization will test the law's ban on government burdens on the exercise of religion as it will feature a pot-smoking session that is illegal in the state of Indiana.
The cannabis group's founder Bill Levin explained plans for the service to U.S. News and said it will open with "Amazing Grace" played on a harmonica by a popular young musician and move to a quick sermon followed by a "call to worship," which is actually just a time for smoking marijuana. more >>
WASHINGTON — As hundreds of thousands of Christians and religious minorities are living homeless in Iraq due to the rise of the Islamic State, a pastor from New York City says it is a "total embarrassment" that most American Christians are not willing to travel to the Kurdish region of Iraq to care for the persecuted.
The Rev. William Devlin, who pastors the Infinity Bible Church in South Bronx, has traveled to over 11 different countries where the persecution of Christians is rampant and in December he went to Kurdish Iraq for 11 days to provide humanitarian assistance to those displaced from their homes by ISIS.
Devlin, who's also a registered nurse with a specialty in war trauma, told The Christian Post on Wednesday that he plans to go back to Iraq in July and hopes to recruit and even pay for other pastors to go with him. more >>