On September 27, 2014, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor in eastern Ukraine was abducted by gunmen as he was conducting a communion service at a small church in Horlivka. According to parishioners, reports the Adventist Review, the gunmen refused to identify themselves or answer any questions. They forced Pastor Sergei Litovchenko to close the church and…
By Doug Bandow – Today China’s big cities look much like urban areas anywhere in the world. There are lots of cars. What I didn’t expect was to see a Christian “fish” on an auto.
Religion is “on the rise,” one U.S. diplomat told me.
It also is under attack by the Chinese government. As I wrote in the American Spectator online: “When it comes to religious liberty in the People’s Republic of China, there’s the (surprisingly frequent) good, (not so constant) bad, and (still too often) ugly.”
A Tatarstan court had to reject the prosecutor’s suit to have a further 18 books by or about the Turkish Islamic theologian Said Nursi declared “extremist” as police had already burned them. According to a police letter seen by Forum 18 News Service, police claim not to have received a court decision ordering their return to the owner, Nakiya Sharifullina, who had controversially been convicted for “extremist” activity. “We still cry when we remember the burned books,” a local Muslim told Forum 18, adding that they “asked God that these people repent for their actions, since in these books were verses of the Holy Koran”. Four further Nursi titles, plus more Jehovah’s Witness publications, have been declared “extremist” and banned. Websites or pages that host religious materials controversially banned as “extremist” have similarly been banned and added to Russia’s Register of Banned Sites.
Fox News is reporting that 24 hours after she was released from prison, Miriam Ibrahim, the 27-year-old Christian woman who had been arrested and sentenced to death for refusing to convert to Islam, has now been re-arrested. An Islamic court of apostasy had convicted her for refusing to embrace Islam and for committing adultery by…
By Prince Charles – For more than twenty years, I have tried to build bridges between Islam and Christianity and to dispel ignorance and misunderstanding between them. Islam is the second largest faith community in the world and the second largest in Britain, and so bridges between Islam and Christianity are something that must concern every responsible person.
Last week, North Korean dictator Kim Jong -un reportedly ordered the deaths of 33 Christians who received money for building underground churches from a South Korean Baptist missionary. The dictator, who “won” his reelection with 100% of the vote and 100% voter turnout has not spared his own relatives from his anger, killing his uncle and all of his uncle’s relatives, including children and grandchildren, last year for allegedly “attempting to overthrow the government.” He is raising these same charges against these Christians and their fate, and that of their families and churches is unknown as of this writing.
According to an in-depth study by the Pew Research Center, 33% of the 198 countries and territories had high religious hostilities in 2012, which has increased from 20% as of mid-2007, with interval studies demonstrating a steady increase. The study indicates that the largest increase in hostilities was in the Middle East and North Africa…
By Stephen N. Allred – Ultimately, 2013 was a rough year for Christians in many parts of the world who were harassed, raped, murdered and persecuted on account of their faith. In comparison, American Christians, though they faced some challenges, fared rather well.
On September 28, President Obama picked up the phone and called Iranian President Rouhani who was traveling back to JFK airport after speaking at the United Nations in New York. In addition to discussing Iran’s nuclear-enrichment program, the presidents spoke about Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, who was arrested because of his faith while visiting Iran over a year ago. This was the first time since the Islamic revolution of 1979 that a U.S. President has spoken with an Iranian president. Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.S. Congress have also been calling for Pastor Saeed’s release.
Though, in its current form, the charter is limited to regulating the religious expression of government employees there can be little doubt that given time, considering the inflationary nature of state bureaucracy to expand its influence in citizen’s private lives, this policy of “neutrality” will move further toward the private sector employees.