Entries in Christianity (2)


Iranian Pastor May Soon Face Death for Converting to Christianity

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TEHRAN, Iran) -- A pastor in Iran could face death within days for renouncing Islam and bringing others to the Christian faith.

Youcef Nadarkhani, a convert to Christianity, has reportedly received his final execution order.  The American Center for Law and Justice says he is in imminent danger, with a rising chance his sentence will be carried out.

The case had stalled for months after a global outcry.  The White House and a Congressional resolution have both called for Nadarkhani's release.´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pope Hears From Bishops About Christians Leaving The Middle East

File photo. Palestinian Christians and visiting pilgrims pray during mass in St. Catherine's Church, which adjoins the Church of the Nativity in the biblical town of Bethlehem in the West Bank. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(RAMALLAH, West Bank) -- Christian leaders from all over the Middle East have gathered in Rome. They represent different religious sects and denominations from a variety of mainly Arab states, but they are all facing the same crisis: Their Christian flocks are fleeing the land where the faith was born.

Pope Benedict convened the special meeting of bishops, or Synod, to try and stem the tide. But the statistics of recent years tell their own depressing story.

Since 2003 in Iraq over 500,000 Christians have fled the effects of war and Islamic extremism.  In Lebanon, thousands have left the country after decades of civil war.  And in the Palestinian Territories, the Pope heard of a steady exodus of the faithful fleeing the seemingly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  In the last 40 years, in the Palestinian Territories alone, the Christian population has plummeted from almost 20 percent to less than 2 percent of the total population. And this in the land where Jesus was born, preached and died.

In Rome, the bishops heard that a combination of deteriorating security, increased religious extremism, Christians having smaller families and dire economic prospects were all forcing Christians to emigrate. They heard fears that with that departure might come a vacuum which might be filled by yet more extremism.

So far the bishops have urged greater dialogue with both Muslims and Jews, an end to the Israeli Palestinian conflict with the creation of a Palestinian state and a greater determination from Christians despite all their problems.

They are desperately hoping to stem the hemorrhage of Christianity from the Holy Land before Christians face final extinction.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐

ABC News Radio