For the first time in 1,600 years, prayers were not held Sunday in Egypt’s Virgin Mary Monastery near Asyut. One of the oldest monasteries in the world, it was set on fire Thursday by Morsi supporters.
In stinging commentary from an Egyptian Social Democrat leader on U.S. policy: What’s clear to Egyptians yet somehow debatable for Americans is that President Barack Obama has sought “under the banner of deferring to the will of the people of the region, to hand the Middle East over to political Islamists, based on the idea that ‘if they want to eat [expletive deleted] … give them a spoon.’”
Gunmen in Syria on Saturday shot at least 11 Christians in Wadi al-Nasarra, which had been a relatively safe area and an ancient Christian enclave where many displaced Christians in Syria had taken refuge.
For the second time this summer, police have shut down a house church in China’s Xinjiang Province and are holding its pastor. Other churches in the region also have been disrupted. In Beijing, two pastors at Shouwang Church are still under house arrest more than two years after the fellowship was forced to worship in the open air.
A family seeking to flee United States government interference in religion is back in the U.S. after losing their boat at sea and making a narrow—and expensive—escape to Chile. Sean Gastonguay says he has to repay the U.S. State Department $10,000 the family borrowed to fly back from Chile.
The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who released documents obtained by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, probably regrets posting this early Sunday tweet:
When I was in Hong Kong, I spoke to my partner in Rio via Skype and told him I would send an electronic encrypted copy of the documents.
His partner, David Miranda, was subsequently detained by British security for 9 hours at London’s Heathrow Airport. Agents seized his laptop and other equipment before releasing him. Miranda had visited a U.S. filmmaker in Berlin who is also working on the Snowden case.