Chinese Christians are speaking out against new government regulation passed earlier this year requiring a government body to select and approve all Roman Catholic bishops, which goes in direct opposition to the Vatican's wishes.
"The revision is a regression as it blocks the normalization of Church life in China," Anthony Lam Sui-ki, a senior researcher at Hong Kong diocese's Holy Spirit Study Center said, according to UCA News. "But it also reminds Vatican-approved bishops to be brave and not to be frightened by the authorities."
The regulation means that a Chinese-run religious bureau must select and approve all bishops before they can legally serve in the communist country. The Vatican has said on numerous occasions that it is against such a law, since bishops are usually appointed by the Roman Catholic Church alone. more >>
A Christian legal group described the Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee's decision on Thursday to change its longstanding membership policy and allow Scouts to be of any "sexual orientation or preference" as a rejection of its freedom to promote values that the group has held for the last century.
"Sadly, the Boy Scouts Executive National Council's decision disregards not only the nearly 19,000 Americans who signed a petition urging BSA to 'uphold the values that have defined the organization for over 100 years,' but also the millions of Americans who have supported the program," stated Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel David Cortman shortly after the decision.
"Those promoting the agenda to change what the Boy Scouts have always been won't rest until there is complete acceptance of any sexual preference for both leaders and members. With its decision today, BSA has rejected its freedom to promote and practice the values that have served to shape our nation's boys into leaders for the last century," Cortman said. more >>
Imprisoned U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini has managed to get out a letter to his hundreds of thousands of supporters around the world through his wife, Naghmeh, in which he praised the unity Christians in various denominations have shown in praying for his release.
"I heard that the persecution, my arrest and imprisonment has united churches from different denominations, from different cities and countries, that would never come together because of their differences. That the churches have united together in prayer to put one request (my freedom) on one day (Pentecost) before God," the pastor said in a letter.
"You don't know how happy I was in the Lord and rejoiced knowing that in my chains the body of Christ has chained together and is brought to action and prayer." more >>
Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the Constitution Party, explained that contempt of religion and insulting the president are charges found only in authoritarian regimes.
ElBaradei added that the prestige of Egypt has declined under extreme poverty, ignorance and disease.
"If the National Salvation Front (NSF) participates in the elections, it will run under unified lists as the Brotherhood does. The front has enough experience and competence to save Egypt," ElBaradei pointed out. more >>
The National Council of Resistance of Iran has advocated on behalf of persecuted religious minorities in Iran and has called for the humane treatment of Christians in prison in light of deteriorating conditions in some of the country's most notorious prisons.
The council revealed that agents from the Ministry of Intelligence and Security arrested Pastor Robert Assarian of the Assemblies of God Church in Tehran on Tuesday, May 21. The agents took the pastor to an unknown location and closed the church.
Another pastor, Behnam Irani, was not provided medical care by Gohardasht prison officials despite the fact that he has serious health conditions. more >>
Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem said that the historical period referred to as the "Arab Spring" puts the Middle East in a "serious and bloody whirlpool."
The patriarch expressed his solidarity with all the displaced families, martyrs, and all people who had their houses demolished across the entire region, especially in Syria.
"We, people of the Holy Land, know well the meaning of displacement, deportation, murder, injustice, eradication and exile," the patriarch added. more >>