Dozens of Iraqi Christian families filed a lawsuit against the head of the Iraq’s Shia Waqf (Iraqi Shia Endowment Fund), Sheikh Alaa al-Moussawi, on charges of incitement against Christians.
Al-Moussawi, who is in charge of the body which maintains all of the Shia holy sites, including mosques, Huseiniyas and schools, sparked anger as he declared Christians to be “infidels” during a speech in southern Iraq, according to local media.
Al-Moussawi, described the Christians as “infidels and polytheists” and stressed the need for “jihad” against them.
Many have accused him of imitating the rhetoric of Islamic State (IS) militants by stating Iraqi Christians must either convert to Shia Islam, pay a religious tax known as a jizya tax, or be killed.
An interfaith panel held on April 26, 2017, at Portland State University hosted a variety of individuals who discussed various religious stances. One panelist, a Muslim, stated that apostates and infidels are to be killed or “banished” from a Muslim country.
Walking into the church through the same entrance used by the bomber, I was struck by the eerie silence. We were escorted by one of the bishop’s assistants and several church workers were already inside, but the only sound I could hear were our footsteps on the marble floor. When we spoke, we felt compelled to only speak in the softest of whispers. I was embarrassed by the sound of the shutter on my camera.
About twenty feet inside the church is the spot where the detonation occurred. A marble column just a few feet away bears the huge shrapnel marks—as big as the palm of my hand.
Jakarta’s Christian governor was jailed for two years Tuesday after being found guilty of committing blasphemy, capping a saga seen as a test of religious tolerance in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.
Presiding judge Dwiarso Budi Santiarto told the Jakarta court that Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was “convincingly guilty of committing blasphemy and is sentenced to two years in prison”.
He ordered Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, to be detained. Purnama said: “We will file an appeal.” Islamic hardliners outside the court cheered as news of verdict emerged and shouted “God is greatest”.
The mother of four was only 38 years old and had been living in Germany since 2011. The former Muslim woman had converted to Christianity and was involved in a project to help refugees run by her community church in Prien am Chiemsee in Bavaria. None of her friends had ever thought it possible that the woman would be stabbed by a 29-year-old refugee, also from Afghanistan, on the street in front of her children’s eyes.
Police were initially cautious regarding the motive of the crime. The attacker was considered to be “mentally unstable” and is undergoing psychiatric treatment, but the investigators are also considering the woman’s conversion into a different religion as a possible motive. After all, the suspected murderer had been described as “very religious.”
Islamic State’s leader in Egypt has warned Muslims to stay away from Christian gatherings as well as government, military and police facilities, suggesting that the militant group will keep up attacks on what he referred to as “legitmate targets”.
Pope Francis arrives in Cairo on Friday hoping to mend ties with Islamic religious leaders just as Egypt’s ancient Christian community faces unprecedented pressure from Islamic State militants who have threatened to wipe it out.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — One of Saudi Arabia’s most conservative provinces has demolished a towering concrete sculpture in response to complaints by residents that it resembled a Christian cross, prompting a local commentator on Tuesday to criticize the move as possible blowback for recent reforms.
State-linked local news sites, including NewsQassim.com, reported that the municipal office for the landlocked, central province of Qassim took down the sculpture last Friday.
Videos and photos posted on social media and local news sites showed the sculpture in ruins after demolition by bulldozers in Qassim’s provincial capital of Buraydah, 220 miles (350 kilometers) northwest of the country’s capital, Riyadh.
Egyptian Security authorities announced it thwarted the biggest terrorist plot to target several churches and Christian Coptic officials in the governorates of the Delta following the two churches attack in Tanta and Alexandria.
A Pakistani Christian man was tortured with heated iron rods after befriending a Muslim woman, according to local news reports. Images allegedly show Ansar Masih’s charred body after the reported attack in Sheikhupura, eastern Pakistan, on April 1.
Pakistani Christian burnt with rods after ‘befriending’ Muslim woman
St. George Church in Tanta, Egypt. Muslims murdered the parishioners on Palm Sunday, because Islam is a death cult.
A decade ago, I spent Easter in Damascus. Big chocolate bunnies and baskets of pastel eggs decorated shop windows in the Old City. Both the Catholic and Orthodox Easters were celebrated, and all Syrians were given time off for both three-day holidays on sequential weekends. I stopped in the Umayyad Mosque, which was built in the eighth century and named after the first dynasty to lead the Islamic world. The head of John the Baptist is reputedly buried in a large domed sanctuary—although claims vary—on the mosque’s grounds. Muslims revere John as the Prophet Yahya, the name in Arabic. Because of his birth to a long-barren mother and an aged father, Muslim women who are having trouble getting pregnant come to pray at his tomb. I watched as Christian tourists visiting the shrine mingled with Muslim women.
At least half of Syria’s Christians have fled since then.