Star Bails on Anti-Trafficking Charity Over False Claims

Hollywood star Melissa McCarthy gave into her critics late last week, pulling her support from Exodus Cry, a faith-based nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Kansas Middle School Ends Operation Christmas Child After Atheist Complaint

A Kansas middle school has decided to stop its participation in a popular Christmas program that collects toys, school supplies, and hygiene products for needy children after an atheist organization told the school such an effort was unconstitutional.

Liberty Middle School located in Pratt, Kansas was to participate in Operation Christmas Child, an annual program of the Christian nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief agency led by Franklin Graham. The shoeboxes are filled with gifts and distributed by the charity to children around the world. In addition to the gifts, they receive a small booklet that tells of the gospel message of Jesus Christ.

Earlier this month, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) notified the superintendent of the Pratt school district that a concerned staff member complained to them about the middle school’s Christmas project.

Court Pleads in Favor of Paralyzed Pakistani Christian Shot Over Snack

The international affiliate for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the European Centre for Law and Justice’s (ECLJ) office in Pakistan, the Organization for Legal Aid (OLA), has secured a big victory for a Christian family.
Waqar Masih, a 27-year-old Christian man, was shot four times by two Muslim men, Muhammad Shahbaz and his accomplice, Muhammad Qasim, for selling them stale betel quid called paan, an after-dinner treat that consists of betel leaves filled with areca nut, slaked lime and various other ingredients.

Waqar owned a snack and cold drink shop in December 2012. The defendants lived in another village about 4 km away and had been to his shop a few times. On Dec. 30, 2016, Muhammad Shahbaz and Muhammad Qasim came to Waqar’s shop and asked for betel quids. When Waqar asked them to pay, Shahbaz told him that the leaves were stale and they were not going to pay; instead, they insulted him, swore and left.

A few minutes later, both Shahbaz and Qasim came back and asked Waqar how a churha (a pejorative term for Christians) could treat them with such disrespect. Then Shahbaz and Qasim shot Waqar four times, with one bullet landing in his backbone. Waqar suffered serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, he was left paralyzed due to the injury in his spinal cord.

The police arrested both Shahbaz and Qasim, recovered the weapon and charged them with inter alia, section 324 (attempted murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Our attorneys on the ground represented Waqar alongside the public prosecutor. In Pakistan, victims of crimes are allowed to have private attorneys represent them in addition to the prosecutors to make sure their interests are well-represented.

After a long trial which was recently interrupted by closures due to COVID-19, the court finally heard the final arguments. The court gave its decision on Oct. 28, 2020, noting in the judgment that “both accused committed the [crime] in furtherance of their common intention.” The court also found that Waqar Masih “sustained severe injuries” and “[a]s a result … became paralyzed and now is in a wheelchair.” The court further noted that “the [eyewitness] account is fully supported by the medical evidence. The motive has also been prov[en].”

The court held that the case has been proven “beyond any shadow of doubt against both the accused persons … and in [the court’s] view, the accused committed a very brutal act and attempted to [kill] Waqar Masih [over] a very petty matter, therefore, the accused Muhammad Shahbaz is convicted under section 324 PPC and is sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment” and the “accused Muhammad Qasim is convicted under sections 324 and 34 PPC and is sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment.” Both defendants were sentenced to more imprisonment under other sections, but the magistrate ordered the sentences to run concurrently because a magistrate of his rank can only sentence up to seven years imprisonment. The court also fined both defendants 1,710,107 Pakistani rupees (approximately $10,663) to be paid to our client.

After the court announced its decision, we spoke to our client and his father. They both said they first give thanks to God for this decision and then to the ECLJ’s office in Pakistan for standing with them for over three years and fighting in court at every step.

At the ACLJ, we want to also thank all of our supporters, who, while they are behind the scenes and not in the courts with us, pray for us and support us so that we can represent our brothers and sisters around the world.

While this is a victory, we believe the punishment both defendants received is not adequate according to the crime. Waqar was paralyzed as a result of his injuries and may not ever be able to walk. Therefore, we are appealing this decision so that the sentences are ordered to run consecutively. If we win on appeal, Shahbaz will serve 10 more years, and Qasim will serve six more years.

(Source: ACLJ via Charisma News)

Alito: ‘Religious Liberty Is in Danger of Becoming a Second-Class Right’

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is sounding an alarm about ongoing actions that undermine religious liberties and individual freedoms in America, whether from COVID or from pro-LGBT hardliners.

School District Bans 9-Year-Old Girl From Wearing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ Mask

A Mississippi family is suing their young daughter’s school on the grounds of religious discrimination after the principal told the girl to remove a face-mask with the words “Jesus Loves Me” printed across it.

LA Times Targets Megachurch for COVID ‘Outbreak.’ There Were Three Cases

The Los Angeles Times targeted Pastor John MacArthur’s church in a recent article, condemning his congregation for causing a coronavirus “outbreak.”

Recent Attacks Reflect State of Christian Political Engagement

In a series of baseless online attacks by partisan activists, participants in the First Principles Project (www.firstprinciplesproject.com) have been unfairly targeted for their nonpartisan call to reground the evangelical Church’s approach to political life.

Churches Prepare for ‘International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians’

On November 3, churches are invited to join the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

Groups Support Student Free Speech Case Before SCOTUS

Ratio Christi Campus Apologetics Alliance will be one of four conservative groups to file amicus briefs supporting college students’ free speech in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski.

« Older Entries