The United States kept silent this week as Iran was nominated for membership to the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), thus enabling Iran to get the seat.
In the four-year period beginning in 2011, Iran will help set U.N. policy on “gender equality and the advancement of women.” When its term begins, Iran will be joined by 10 other countries: Belgium, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Estonia, Georgia, Jamaica, Liberia, the Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, and Zimbabwe.
Iran’s unchallenged election, at a meeting in New York,… Read more
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today announced its 2010 recommendations to Congress, the White House, and the State Department that 13 nations — Burma, China, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam — be named “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs.
“Over the past few months USCIRF has visited a number of human rights ‘hot spots’ where freedom of religion is obstructed and related human rights are trampled,” said Leonard Leo, USCIRF chair. “This year’s report offers new and important… Read more
The attached letter is an emergency request from a Karen pastor in the Irrawaddy Delta of Burma. For security reasons CFI cannot disclose his name or exact location in the Delta. He is requesting approximately $1,500 to complete construction of a much needed church in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis. See letter>
As you may recall, Cyclone Nargis killed thousands of men, women, and children two years ago in the Irrawaddy Delta of Burma. Tens of thousands of people continue to suffer there due to a lack of clean water, disease,… Read more
According to a new report from Middle East Concern, Iranian Christians have requested prayer regarding several recent incidents of Christian persecution.
On April 11, Daniel, 19, was arrested in Isfahan during a raid on his home by security agents. They stated that they were acting on the orders of the Revolutionary Court and that the accusations against him included the formation of a Christian house-church. They confiscated personal electronic items and books.
(Update 4/29/2010: We are pleased to report that Daniel has now been released on bail.)
On April… Read more
Comedy Central Backs Down
(CFI News) UPDATED ON Friday, April 23, 2010 — Comedy Central bleeped out every instance of the words “Prophet Muhammad,” making a recent “South Park” episode practically incomprehensible as it aired. The character of Muhammad was once again also hidden from view, covered by a large block labeled “censored.”
The Muhammad content is also not available on the South Park Studios website.
A militant Muslim group warned the creators of “South Park” that they could face violent retribution for depicting the prophet Muhammad in a bear suit.
The website… Read more
On Monday, Indonesia’s constitutional court decided in favor of a controversial 1967 blasphemy law, thwarting hopes it would be reviewed to allow religious freedom in the most populous Muslim nation.
The international rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch says Indonesia’s Constitutional court has dealt a blow to religious liberty with its decision to uphold the blasphemy law.
“The Constitutional Court’s decision on the blasphemy law poses a real threat to the beliefs of Indonesia’s religious minorities,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“If President Yudhoyono is serious… Read more
With elections being held in Burma later this year the country’s “forgotten people” are appealing to the rest of the world for help, according to a report by the BBC.
The Chin people live mainly in the hilly west of the country near the Indian border, are one of the most persecuted minority groups in Burma. Yet their plight is little known in the rest of the world.
The Chin are mainly Christians, having converted to the faith when the British ruled the area before independence after World… Read more
SAULT STE. MARIE, MI (CFI) — Somalia’s Al Qaeda-linked militia al-Shabab has banned teachers from using bells to signal the end of class in the town of Jowhar, according to a report by the BBC.
Al-Shabab said the bells “sounded too much like Christian church bells.” They banned the ringing of bells in schools because “Christian churches also sound bells.”
“The bell they ring to summon students for classes is illegal in Islam. We know that ringing bells is a sign of the Christian churches,” Sheik Farah Kalar, senior Shabab… Read more
SAULT STE. MARIE, MI (CFI) — According to World Bank estimates, Sub-Saharan Africa encompasses more than 50 countries and about 250-million Muslims, or one-fifth of the world’s Muslim population.
Traditionally home to the moderate and more tolerant Islamic Sufi sect, Sub-Saharan Africa is now grappling with pockets of radical Islamists seeking to establish strict Islamic law, this according to news analysis by Voice of America (VOA).
Somalia, Eritrea and Kenya are among the Sub-Saharan countries where people are increasingly leaning toward radicalism. Nigeria, home to some 60-million Muslims,… Read more
Toria is an American volunteer sacrificially serving as a teacher at the CFI Vocational School in Mae Sot, Thailand. Volunteers are essential to our ministry. The following is a recent field report from Toria:
Greetings from far off Thailand. In case anyone is noticing the news about the unrest here with the government protests that are happening in Bangkok which is far away from here. There are no government protests around here in Mae Sot.
We finished the school year here at the CFI Vocational School the third… Read more
At least 11 people were killed today, according to Western Mindanao Command regional military commander Lt. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino in the Philippines. Improvised bombs had been placed outside a government building and a church in the mostly Muslim city of Isabela on Basilan Island.
A Muslim extremist group known as “Abu Sayyaf” has been blamed for the bombings.
Abu Sayyaf has also been responsible for the beheadings of Christian missionaries and kidnappings of Filipinos and foreigners.
Growing Tide of Violence Targeting Christians
A Christian in Pakistan’s southern Punjab Province… Read more
FAISALABAD, PAKISTAN (CFI) — The money couldn’t have come at a better time.
You finally received the loan you had been hoping and praying for, and you were glad to know that you were able to pay for your daughter’s marriage. There was no way you would have been able to do it otherwise, but it was an important thing, an obligation, to provide for her dowry. The money also bought some desperately needed things for the rest of your family.
But your joy was short-lived, because you knew that… Read more
ORISSA, INDIA, April 6, 2010 (CFI) — It has been more than a year since the severe outbreak of violence against Christians in Orissa, India occurred but Christians continue to suffer greatly in this region. Thousands of men, women, and children remain in refugee camps, fearing forced conversion to Hinduism or even death if they return to their homes. The crisis has caused a great need for basic supplies of food, clothing, medicine, and adequate shelter for these helpless victims of persecution.
The Indian government has closed several camps throughout… Read more
Technology sure has come a long way in the past few decades.
From phonograph records to cassette tapes, from Walkmans to CD players, the way we personally listen to music and audio recordings continues to evolve in a series of revolutionary inventions.
The mp3 player, a pocket-sized device capable of holding hundreds or even thousands of our favorite downloaded songs or audio files, has become especially popular in recent years.
But the mp3 players belonging to scores of Christians in Vietnam and elsewhere aren’t filled with Top 40 tunes sung… Read more