Follow-Up: American Pastor Sentenced to Eight Years in Iranian Prison

This is a follow-up of Pastor Saeed Abedini’s news-story that appeared in December’s News Digest. Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen who was born in Iran, has been sentenced to eight years in one of Iran’s harshest prisons for preaching Christianity in Iranian homes. He has been held since September and was charged with ‘threatening the national security of Iran’ by the authorities. The 32-year-old father of two says he was in the country only to establish an orphanage and was not preaching Christianity. Read more on this story here.

Christian Music Pioneer John Paculabo Dies

John Paculabo

John Paculabo

Christian music pioneer and worship leader John Paculabo passed away in Eastbourne, England, after a six-month battle with cancer. The managing director of Kingsway for more than 20 years was 66. Originally from Liverpool, England, Paculabo was signed by Kingsway in 1971 as an artist/writer with his band Parchment. A year later, the group enjoyed mainstream chart success with the single ‘Light Up the Fire,’ a song which is still being used in school assemblies throughout Britain. Click here to know more about him.

Egyptian Woman and Her 7 Children Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison For Converting to Christianity

egypt-woman

Nadia Mohamed Ali and her seven children were sentenced to 15 years in prison by a judge in Beni Suef, a city of 200,000 located about 75 miles south of Cairo. Ali, who was raised a Christian and converted to marry her Muslim husband, sought to return to her spiritual roots when he died. But the Egyptian government zeroed in on her effort to have her and her children’s national ID cards altered to mark the conversion. Supporters of the woman are urging the U.S. government to intervene for her and other religious minorities in the Middle-East. For more on this story, click here.

Christianity Fastest Growing Religion in the World, Newly Released Survey

christianity-growing-religion

A newly released survey of world religion showed that Christianity is the fastest growing religion, and the largest, in the world. The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life conducted a study of religion in more than 230 countries and territories, based on 2010 data. Christianity claims 2.2 billion adherents, or 32 percent of the world’s population, followed by Islam, with 1.6 billion followers, or 23 percent of the population. A more telling statistic is that the growth is concentrated majorly in regions below the equator – Africa and South America. Read more here.

Scientists Strive to Save Dying Spoken Language of Jesus

biblical-languageBritish scientists are attempting to preserve the Aramaic language spoken by Jesus and tied to Hebrew and Arabic. Professor of linguistics at the University of Cambridge, Geoffrey Khan, has begun a quest to record the ancient language that’s been around for three thousand years before it finally disappears.

By recording some of the remaining native Aramaic speakers, the linguist hopes to preserve the 3,000-year-old language on the verge of extinction.

Speakers can be found in different parts of the world, from America to Iraq. Click here to read more.