Iranian authorities have again arrested an Iranian pastor they freed from a Tehran prison in September. Youcef Nadarkhani, 35, who spent nearly three years in jail on apostasy charges, was rearrested on Christmas Day and ordered to serve the remaining 45 days of a three-year prison sentence for evangelizing.
The UN estimates 60,000 killed in Syria as the civil war there nears its two-year anniversary. The UN accounting in Syria is based on reporting by seven organizations, and is up by half of estimates that have been kept by anti-Assad groups of the number killed. Most are civilians.
A freelance American reporter was kidnapped in Syria in November and is still missing. James Foley, 39, has contributed to Agence France Presse and other agencies. He was also kidnapped while covering the Libya conflict.
In case you missed it, the entire Diocese of South Carolina disassociated itself from The Episcopal Church in November—one of the most drastic steps in the long battle between the orthodox and liberal elements within the oldest Protestant denomination in America. The diocese, with its 75 Episcopal churches, was founded in 1785 and represents many of the oldest churches in America. As the New York-headquartered denomination already is maneuvering to secure title and property of the now disaffected churches, the global Anglican community isn’t idly watching: Anglican leaders predominantly from the global south have sent letters of support for the diocese’s action. These leaders include the archbishops of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Nigeria, India, Australia, Southeast Asia, Myanmar, and others—among the largest population centers of the Anglican Church. It’s further evidence, if anyone needed it, that the weight of the Anglican Church worldwide, like others, is shifting away from “the West” and its liberal Christianity.
Religious cleansing in the Middle East is real and could threaten genocide, writes Christian Solidarity CEO John Eibner.
Surgery: the “neglected stepchild of global public health.” In Africa and other poverty-stricken parts of the world, what keeps surgical training and programs going is undeniable, writes Brian Till in The Atlantic: “It’s about that Christian heart. … It’s about choosing to live sacrificially and not moving somewhere where you can make a buck.”
Read more about “long hours and little thanks,” the key features of serving as physicians on a mission in a 2010 WORLD feature on some of the same Pan African Association of Christian Surgeons (PAACS), including WORLD’s 2010 Daniel of the Year.
I’m reading: “Flashing Red: A Special Report on the Terrorist Attack at Benghazi,” the Senate compendium on the attack that killed four Americans, released on Monday. The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin calls it “a stern and broad rebuke of the entire administration.”