Hillary Clinton defends religious liberty — abroad

The U.S. State Department wasn't surprised last October when Egyptian security forces smashed into flocks of demonstrators outside the state Radio and Television Building, killing 25 and injuring hundreds.After all, the rally was called to protest the government's failure to stop the burning of Coptic Orthodox churches or to arrest and convict leaders of the mobs. Sure enough, waves of thugs attacked the Copts, starting riots that drew deadly police vehicles.Once again, it didn't shock State … [Read more...]

Rights and wrongs of Pastor Terry Jones

The deaths of the 10 International Assistance Mission medical workers inspired headlines that were both shocking and numbingly familiar, since these are dangerous times for believers whose convictions steer them into Afghanistan.A Taliban blandly leader told the press: "They were Christian missionaries and we killed them all."If the gunmen had only waited a few weeks, they could have claimed that their victims were linked to a powerful global conspiracy to burn Korans.That's the kind of … [Read more...]

That global blind spot

BERKELEY, Calif. -- The interfaith coalition that formed in the 1990s to lobby for religious liberty in China was so large and so diverse that even the New York Times noticed it.One petition included two Catholic cardinals and a dozen bishops, Evangelical broadcasters, Eastern Orthodox bishops, Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Baha'is, Orthodox and liberal rabbis, Scientologists and Protestant clergy of a various and sundry races and traditions. One Times article noted that these were signatures that … [Read more...]

‘No go’ zones in UK — again

The alleged crime took place at the corner of Alum Rock and Ellesmere roads in Birmingham, England, where an officer spotted two missionaries distributing "God's Bridge to Eternal Life" tracts.The controversial pamphlets contained comments such as, "Throughout history individuals have tried many ways to gain or earn eternal life, but every attempt has been unsuccessful." There were Bible verses, such as, "Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us. … [Read more...]

Big Ben preaches human rights

It would be hard to pick a more symbolic moment to join the church than during an Easter Vigil Mass -- the high point of the ancient Christian calendar.Thus, the pope traditionally baptizes several new Catholics during this rite in St. Peter's Basilica. This year, one of the converts was Magdi Allam, a high-profile journalist and, perhaps, Italy's most famous "moderate" Muslim.This caused a firestorm. One Muslim scholar active in interfaith talks condemned the "Vatican's deliberate and … [Read more...]

Fighting blasphemy laws is blasphemy

OXFORD, England -- Abdul Rahman of Afghanistan was not the first Muslim convert to Christianity to be sentenced to death and he will not be the last.Human-rights activists around the world cheered when -- despite efforts by the post-Taliban parliament -- he was allowed to seek asylum in Italy. Other converts have been less fortunate, facing imprisonment, abuse, torture and death at the hands of state officials or vigilantes in Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, Nigeria, … [Read more...]