Christians in Egypt are hopeful following the election of a new Egyptian president that they will be protected from Muslim extremist attacks.
Reuters reported on Thursday that retired Field Marshall Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has received more than 95 percent of the 25 million plus votes that were cast. It was the first elections since the fall of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi last year, who was removed following a public uprising that led to clashes between army forces and pro-Islamist supporters. Many Christians were also targeted by Islamic mobs who blamed them for supporting Morsi's removal.
"Many Christians, and even Muslims, think that Sisi saved them from the Islamic groups and he is the hero and savior that we are all waiting for. In Egypt you have to choose from two choices: Military or Islamist. So, if I am Christian, for sure I'll choose the military even if I don't like them," said Mahmoud Farouk, executive director of the Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies, according to International Christian Concern. more >>
A federal appeals court ruled this week that a Christian police captain from Tulsa, Okla., was rightfully punished for refusing to enter a mosque for a police appreciation ceremony.
Police Captain Paul Fields previously sued the City of Tulsa and the Tulsa Police Department after he was punished for refusing to attend a police appreciation event at the Islamic Society of Tulsa in March 2011.
Capt. Fields claimed in his lawsuit, Fields v. City of Tulsa, that his religious freedom rights had been violated when he was docked pay and transferred after refusing to attend the "Law Enforcement Appreciation Day" at the Islamic Society of Tulsa in 2011. Fields had refused to attend the appreciation ceremony, writing in an email to his superiors that he found the ceremony to be in "direct conflict with my personal religious convictions, as well as to be conscience shocking." more >>
An atheist group is demanding the state of Iowa rescind a grant for a Christian-themed park in Sioux City, arguing that its religious nature violates the First Amendment.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the state earlier in May, demanding that the state's Vision Iowa Board, which is part of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, rescind a $140,000 grant that had been awarded to The Shepherd's Garden, a Christian-themed park set to be completed in Sioux City's downtown area by September.
The park, also described by Siouxland News as a "Peace Garden," is being created from an open lot near Jackson Street and 6th Street in the city's downtown area, near the Missouri River. Although the park will include Christian themes, such as a stone path with Bible verses and prayer stations, Vision Iowa authorities argue that their funding is only going towards the project's green space development, such as the planting of trees and flowers, and not its religious content. more >>
A pregnant Sudanese woman was sentenced to death for apostasy this month after she refused to renounce her Christian faith. She received some help from a local lawyer Thursday who filed an appeal of the controversial verdict, which has attracted international rebuke.
On Wednesday a bi-partisan group of members of the U.S. Congress also introduced a resolution condemning the sentence delivered to 27-year-old Meriam Yahya Ibrahim by a court in Khartoum, Sudan on May 15, according to CNN.
The filing, notes CNN asks the appeals court to reverse the sentence of the lower court and free Ibrahim, who was also convicted her of adultery and sentenced to 100 lashes for marrying a Christian, Daniel Wani, who is a U.S. citizen. more >>
Pastor Saeed Abedini has been severely beaten in Iran while being transferred from the hospital, which he spent the last two months in, back to Rajai Shahr prison, the American Center for Law and Justice reported.
"This is an extremely disappointing development - one that breaks my heart," said Abedini's wife, Naghmeh. "Our family is deeply saddened and we continue to pray for Saeed - for his safety and his release. We are very grateful that so many people around the world continue to pray for Saeed."
The ACLJ, which represents Naghmeh and the couples' two children in the U.S., reported on Tuesday that the transfer occurred without any advance notice. Abedini's family members in Iran added that he was "severely beaten" during the incident, though the precise nature of his injuries was not described. more >>
Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian pregnant mother in Sudan who has been sentenced to 100 lashes and death, has refused to renounce her faith to save her life, sparking global petitions demanding her release.
"The Sudanese judge who sentenced her to death gave her three chances to recant - to abandon her Christian faith. Meriam refused. 'I am a Christian, and I will remain a Christian,' she said," wrote American Center for Law and Justice Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow in a message on Tuesday.
"She won't abandon her faith. We must not abandon her." more >>