‘Allah’ verdict postponed
Malaysia’s Federal Court has reserved judgment on a Catholic newspaper’s application to appeal against a ban on the use of the word ‘Allah’ in its publication.
In a case which started in 2008, The Herald appealed to the Federal Court after the Court of Appeal’s Oct. 2013 decision to ban the newspaper from using the word to refer to the Christian God.
No date has been set for when the Federal Court will again consider its judgment.
The case has potential wider repercussions for all Christian publishing, although it is still not clear what implications any judgement might have for Christian worship and other practices in Malaysia.
Sources: Free Malaysia Today, Channel News Asia
ISIS makes Christians an offer
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, has posted a list of options for Christians in the Syrian city of Raqqa:
1. Convert to Islam
2. Pay a tax equivalent to 1/4 ounce of gold. Remove all symbols of Christianity from public view. Pray only in private. Leave firearms at home.
3. Refuse the first two and become "legitimate targets". "Nothing will remain between them and ISIS other than the sword."
ISIS, which took control of Raqqa last year, posted its conditions online.
Copts found dead in Libya
Seven Egyptian Christians have been found dead on a beach near the Libyan eastern city of Benghazi.
The Copts, who were found tied up and with gunshot wounds to the head, were identified as Talaat Sidik Bassiouni, Hani Garas Habib, Nadi Garas Habib, Fawzi Fathi Sidik, Edward Nashed, Ayoub Sabri Tawfik and Osama el-Romani, reports MCN.
A local resident and an Egyptian worker, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters that unknown gunmen had arrived at the Egyptians’ Benghazi home and dragged them away the night before.
“They were killed by headshots in execution style,” a police officer told Reuters.
MEC reported that the gunmen went door-to-door, searching for residents who were Christian.
No group has claimed responsibility. Benghazi has seen the rise of several extremist militia groups operating in the city since the civil war in 2011 that toppled the longstanding leader, Col. Muammar Gaddafi. Residents blame these groups for the almost daily assassinations and frequent bombings targeting the army and police.
Before Christmas, an American chemistry teacher, Ronnie Smith, was shot dead while he was jogging in a popular residential area of the city. And in January, a British man and a New Zealand woman were shot, execution-style, on another beach 100km (60 miles) to the west of the capital, Tripoli.