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Christians not healthy enough to flee Mosul after death threat renounce faith for Islam ‘just to stay alive’
The Christian Post: At least five Christian families who were not healthy enough to flee Mosul, Iraq after the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) ordered them to convert to Islam or be executed, have renounced their faith for Islam, according to a local government minister.
Life News: It is a sad day for abortion advocates in Canada. After more than 20 years of operation, today will be the last day the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, New Brunswick will end the lives of pre-born children.
The Slovak Spectator: THE CONSTITUTIONAL definition of marriage, which some gay-right-advocates openly called a ban on same-sex marriages, does not go far enough, some conservative activists say, as they gather signatures to force a referendum that would make the laws even stronger.
Canon and Culture: Religious freedom is under attack internationally. Recent studies indicate 75 percent of the global population lives in countries restricting the free and peaceful practice of religion. In this context, Christians of all denominations suffer from repression and violent persecution. But they are not alone – persons of different faiths and no faith are also targeted because of their religious beliefs or lack thereof. Every day, millions of people around the world face repression, violence, and possibly even death.
Religious Freedom Coalition: Christians in northeastern Nigeria are mourning an evangelical pastor and at least some 150 other people killed by militants who want to establish an Islamic state.
Religious Freedom Coalition: Over the weekend, Islamic State terrorists in Mosul gave Christians an ultimatum over their future under Sharia law. They were told they could convert to Islam; pay a “jizya” tax, which renders them second-class citizens or they could be killed by the sword.
The New York Times: By 1 p.m. on Friday almost every Christian in Mosul had heard the Sunni militants’ message — they had until noon Saturday to leave the city.
Catholic Voices Comment: The following speech was made in today’s debate in the House of Lords on the Assisted Dying Bill 2013-2014 by Baroness Campbell of Surbiton.
The Christian Institute: The Guardian newspaper has criticised a bill to introduce assisted suicide – calling it a “very big moral change” – as Peers began debating the issue today.
The Christian Institute: The mother of world-famous footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted she tried to abort her son.
Christianity Today: In 21 days, Gao Zhisheng, perhaps the most well-known Christian currently serving prison time in China, is due to complete his eight-year sentence and could be freed as early as Aug. 7, according to family members.
The Christian Institute: Peers have passionately spoken out against a law to introduce assisted suicide, with one disabled Baroness describing the proposals as a “runaway train.”
Aleteia: Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Saad Sirop of Baghdad has confirmed a troubling report from Mosul that the Islamic State is now presenting Christians in that city with a final ultimatum of conversion, subservience or death.
The Christian Institute: Assisted suicide is “not the way forward for a compassionate and caring society”, over 20 faith leaders have warned.
Freedom Declared: Last month the world united in revulsion at the case of 27-year-old Meriam Ibrahim who looked likely to become a 21st-century Christian martyr.
Newsweek: It’s several weeks since the Islamist militants of Boko Haram kidnapped more than 260 girls from a school in northeastern Nigeria and the general wants me to see what he’s up against. He invites me to his office in the capital, Abuja, and opens his laptop.
LA Times: When Boko Haram invaded her village last year, the Islamist extremists burned the churches, destroyed Bibles and photographs and forced Hamatu Juwanda to renounce Christianity.
Fox News: A new report detailing the extent to which the radical Islamist group Boko Haram is using brutality and murder to spread terror among Nigerian villages reveals that 2,053 people have been killed in 95 attacks in the first half of 2014.
Voice of America: Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai is celebrating her 17th birthday in Nigeria on Monday with promises to work for the release of some 219 schoolgirls who have been held by Islamic extremists for three months.
Religion News Service: Three leading Anglicans have entered an explosive debate about whether it is permissible for Christians to allow doctors in England and Wales to administer lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients given less than six months to live.
The Sydney Morning Herald: Support among Australians for same-sex marriage and for a conscience vote in the Coalition has reached an all-time high, according to a survey by the Liberal Party’s own pollster.
Christian News Network: A judge in southeastern Australia has been partially suspended after he declared that the culture’s acceptance of homosexuality will lead to a normalization of incest.
Life News: The Pro Life Campaign has called on the UN’s Human Rights Committee to defend the right to life of the unborn when scrutinising Ireland’s human rights record at a hearing in Geneva today.
Life News: This week sees the first anniversary of the passing into law of the Abortion Act in Ireland and the Pro Life Campaign have been to the forefront of marking the date through various initiatives and awareness events.
Christianity Today: Attacks on Kenya’s coastal region over the early summer left nearly 100 people dead amid concerns over a rash of religious violence.
The Christian Institute: A Dutch academic who supported legalising euthanasia in the Netherlands has urged Westminster not to introduce assisted suicide, ahead of a debate in the House of Lords next week.
China and Russia top governments responsible for damaging, vandalizing churches, mosques, says new study
The Christian Post: The Chinese, Russian and Tajikistan governments bore responsibility for the destruction of over 100 houses of worship in their respective countries in 2012.
The New York Times: This is a sensitive area I’m wading into here, I realize. Islam-haters in America and the West seize upon incidents like these to denounce Islam as a malignant religion of violence, while politically correct liberals are reluctant to say anything for fear of feeding bigotry. Yet there is a real issue here of religious tolerance, affecting millions of people, and we should be able to discuss it.
CNN: Men and women with ties to South Sudan hope to welcome home a neighbor’s wife — a Christian who made global headlines after a court in Sudan sentenced her to death because of her faith.
The Daily Beast: The Christians of Bartilla are wondering if these are the final days. Since the second century and the origins of Christianity in the Nineveh plains of northern Iraq, they have been unfortunate in their neighbors, suffering attacks and massacres at the hands of Persians, Iraqi Muslims and Kurds. And if geography is destiny, then it is surprising they are still here, but for how much longer they aren’t sure.
The Catholic World Report: “While human rights provisions are meant to limit the reach of the state and empower citizens, hate speech laws do just the opposite – and that is why they are a tool of totalitarianism and not free democracies,” Alliance Defending Freedom’s legal advocate Paul Coleman stated in a July 4 speech.
Daily Mail: A Christian bakery owner who refused to make a cake with a slogan supporting gay marriage insists he will not back down, even if he is taken to court.
The Christian Post: The highest court in India has ruled on Monday that Shariah law cannot be legally forced on citizens who do not wish to have the system applied to them.
Life News: The story that follows is what happens in a land where people are not free — and what happens when people like you, people who are free, choose to step up and help the helpless.
Life News: In her first interview from Sudan about the birth of her daughter Mara, Meriam Ibrahim , the Sudanese Christian woman who was recently released from prison after facing the death penalty, says her daughter is disabled because she was forced to give birth in chains.
The Christian Post: An offshoot of al Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS, has declared the territory it has seized in Iraq and Syria a “caliphate,” or Islamic state, and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as caliph or leader for Muslims. The group also nailed nine men to a cross in Syria as punishment for rebellion.
The Christian Post: Earlier this year, local pastors and church leaders in Nanaimo, a city of roughly 80,000 people, sought public building space to broadcast a feed of Leadercast, a Christian conference out of Atlanta, but were stopped by a city council member who blasted its connection with the fast food restaurant, reported The Blaze.
“They want to cleanse the Christians:” 10,000 flee Christian communities in Northern Iraq as ISIS takes over Mosul, says UNHCR
The Christian Post: Some 10,000 people fled this week from predominantly Christian communities in Qaraqosh, Iraq, a neighboring city to Mosul where members of the militant group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have reportedly overrun and are now viciously attacking Christians who fail to pay a poll tax.
Christian News Network: Christians are vowing to stand firm for Christ amid much persecution by officials in a Chinese province where church buildings continue to be demolished, and where believers in a recent video can be seen bursting into tearful song about the cross and how their sins were washed away by the blood of Jesus while the cross atop their building is forcibly removed.
NBC News: A video report by the BBC’s Arabic service showed the Ibrahim released for a second time late Thursday. But Ibrahim’s passage to the U.S. may still be blocked as she now faces forgery charges relating to the emergency travel documents she attempted to use to get out of the country.
First Things: We all can learn from the example of Meriam Ibrahim. After her conviction in May, Meriam was given three days to embrace Islam and save her life. This would have been an easy choice to make, but Meriam refused, declaring: “I am a Christian and I will remain a Christian.” Those who wonder whether heroic—and saintly—courage still exists can look to her.
Life News: Last week a woman stepped forward to share about her traumatic forced abortion, inspired by the response to Feng Jianmei’s story. Zhang Wen Fang, 43, told Chai Ling of All Girls Allowed that she lost both her baby and her livelihood when officials forced her into a hospital for surgery four years ago.
Life News: Each of the volunteers visits a clinic for an ultrasound, telling the doctor that she wants to terminate the pregnancy if the baby is a girl. When the doctor or practitioner agrees, the women call in the team from the state who arrest the doctor. The women are then key witnesses in the court hearings against the abortionists.
ABC News: A Sudanese Christian woman whose death sentence for apostasy was overturned was freed again on Thursday after being detained on accusations of forging travel documents.
Religious Freedom Coalition: A young Christian man in Upper Egypt accused of blaspheming Islam for “liking” a Facebook page was sentenced Tuesday (June 24) to six years in prison, shocking the Coptic community and other Facebook users.
Reuters: Sudan has summoned the U.S. and South Sudanese ambassadors over the new detention of a Christian convert who was trying to fly to the United States with her family after being released from death row, the state’s top security service said on Wednesday.
Huffington Post: Across the street from a Christian church in this quiet northern Iraqi town, Mounir Behram sits down for lunch with his family. He works as an armed guard protecting the church, an easy job on most days. But now, hardline Sunni extremists — infamous for targeting those who don’t conform to their brand of Islam — control nearby Mosul, the country’s second-largest city. He is plagued by worries that the extremists will invade this predominantly Christian town.
Yle Uutiset: After a lengthy campaign, the latest bid to legislate for same-sex marriage has foundered once again at the Finnish Parliaments’s Legal Affairs committee. The committee, which also rejected a previous bill on the issue, voted 10-6 to push the law back to the whole legislature. Three of the four National Coalition Party MPs on the committee voted against the bill.
Jews News: Tragic news coming from North Korea. According to South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo, as many as 80 people were publicly executed in North Korea this month for minor offenses such as owning a Bible.
CNN: Boko Haram Islamists abducted 60 females, including children, and killed 30 men last week in a raid of a village in northeastern Nigeria, two sources said Tuesday.
The Christian Post: An Egyptian court has sentenced a Christian journalist who was once Muslim to five years in prison on the allegation of “sectarian strife.”
Pope Francis opens Center for Law and Religion Forum’s conference with statement on religious liberty, persecution of Christians
Center for Law and Religion Forum: Pope Francis opened our conference in Rome last week with a statement on religious liberty and the persecution of Christians. He reflected on the place of religious liberty in Catholic thought and decried religious discrimination across the world, particularly against Christians.
Life News: Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman who was jailed and forced to give birth in prison in the Muslim nation of Sudan and who was released yesterday after a court overturned a verdict of apostasy, has been re-arrested.
Acton Institute: If you are a parent, imagine your child is missing. You cannot find him or her. Gone. Nothing you can do. If you are not a parent, try to imagine how it must feel to have a loved one, the most loved one, taken from you. It is heart-wrenching. Gut-churning. Evil.
The Telegraph: Some Christian families from Mosul have sought refuge in St Matthew’s Monastery, writes Richard Spencer. Others vow to take a stand against the Islamists – whatever the cost.
New York Times: In a dank basement on the outskirts of Kabul, Josef read his worn blue Bible by the light of a propane lantern, as he had done for weeks since he fled from his family in Pakistan.
Life News: Reports today indicate the Sudan court has reversed itself and will free Meriam Ibraham, the pregnant Christian woman jailed and sentenced to be flogged and hanged for her Christian faith.Meriam was later forced to give birth in chains in a Sudanese prison as she awaited a death sentence ad brutal flogging by Muslim officials.
The Christian Institute:Teachers should replace “he” or “she” with new pronouns to refer to children who believe they are transsexual, according to new school rules passed in Vancouver, Canada.
Zenit: From 2011 to last year, the Syrian civil war, which has pitted the government military against rebel forces, has resulted in the deaths of more than 120,000 people, according to a September 2013 report by the UN. The conflict has resulted in a mass exodus of Syrians who now reside in refugee camps.
National Review: Chinese authorities destroyed another cross from a church on Tuesday as part of a renewed government crackdown on Christianity, despite a group of Chinese Christians’ attempt to prevent the removal of the cross.
The Christian Post: More than 550 Coptic Christian schoolgirls in Egypt have been kidnapped by Muslim men and forced to convert and marry their abductors during the last three years, according to the Association of Victims of Abduction and Forced Disappearance (AVAFD).
Christian Today: The northern regions of Nigeria are on high alert as Boko Haram continues its reign of terror but the risk to life has not stopped Bible translation work in the region.
Zenit: The defense of life and family did matter during the General Assembly of the Organization of American States that was taking place in Asuncion, Paraguay, June 2-5, even though media reports said otherwise.
The Christian Institute: MSPs should consider allowing assisted suicide for children, a group of children’s charities has said.
‘My husband told them we were Christians and they shot him in the head and chest;’ 48 Kenyans killed in terrorist attacks
The Christian Post: It was a dark and bloody Sunday for residents of the coastal town of Mpeketoni in Kenya after witnesses say a Somali al-Qaeda-linked extremist group called Al-Shabab left 48 people dead. The deaths were the result of an hours-long door-to-door assault on the community where those who weren’t Muslim or spoke Somali were killed.
Huffington Post: Over the past decade, Iraqi Christians have fled repeatedly to this ancient mountainside village, seeking refuge from violence, then returning home when the danger eased. Now they are doing it again as Islamic militants rampage across northern Iraq, but this time few say they ever want to go back to their homes.
The Christian Post: Christians in Mosul city in northern Iraq are fleeing en masse with others, as militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, who captured the city last week, are now looting and burning churches and forcing all women to wear the Islamic veil.