FaithWorld

Sudanese Christian at centre of Muslim conversion row arrives in U.S.

(Mariam Yahya Ibrahim (C) and her husband Daniel Wani (bottom) are greeted by a cheering crowd of people as they arrive at the airport in Manchester, New Hampshire July 31, 2014. Ibrahim who was sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity, then detained after her conviction was quashed, arrived in the United States on Thursday. REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

(Mariam Yahya Ibrahim and her husband Daniel Wani are greeted by a cheering crowd at the airport in Manchester, New Hampshire July 31, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder )

A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death on charges of converting from Islam to Christianity, then detained after her conviction was quashed, arrived in the United States on Thursday.

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire, where she has relatives and where she was greeted by a crowd of people from the local Sudanese immigrant community who sang and handed her bunches of flowers.

“I can’t describe the feeling,” said her husband, Daniel Wani, who had traveled with Ibrahim and their two children from Rome, where the couple had been recovering after Ibrahim’s release by the Sudanese government.

“We are so tired,” Wani told reporters at Manchester airport. “The ordeal is over.”

In change of heart, Nepal allows cremation of Tibetan monk

(Buddhist monks take part in the funeral of Shamar Rinpoche in a monastery in Kathmandu July 31, 2014. Nepal has allowed a monk prominent in Tibetan Buddhism to be cremated in a monastery in Kathmandu, a minister said on Tuesday, disregarding fears of possible anti-China protests by his followers during the funeral. The government had previously barred the followers of Shamar Rinpoche from bringing his body back to Nepal - where he ran a monastery - for the final rites, a decision that local media had blamed on pressure from China. Rinpoche, also known as the Shamarpa, died of a heart attack in Germany aged 62 on June 11. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar )

(Buddhist monks take part in the funeral of Shamar Rinpoche in a monastery in Kathmandu July 31, 2014. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar )

Nepal allowed a monk prominent in Tibetan Buddhism to be cremated in a monastery in Kathmandu on Thursday, disregarding fears of possible anti-China protests by his followers during the funeral.

The government had previously barred the followers of Shamar Rinpoche from bringing his body back to Nepal – where he ran a monastery – for the final rites, a decision that local media had blamed on pressure from China.

Anti-Semitic incidents rise in Britain as Gaza conflict rages

(Demonstrators carry Palestinian flags as they protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London July 26, 2014. Foreign ministers from the United States, Europe and the Middle East called on Saturday for an extension of the 12-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor)

(Demonstrators carry Palestinian flags as they protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London July 26, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor)

Anti-Semitic incidents in Britain have risen to a near record level since the start of an Israeli assault on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza this month, a Jewish advisory body said on Thursday.

The Community Security Trust, which advises Britain’s estimated 260,000 Jews on safety, said the surge came as figures showed a significant rise in such incidents for the first six months of the year.

American opinion of Arabs and Muslims is getting worse: poll

(People pray at at the Imam al-Khoei Foundation in New York, January 3, 2012. New York police are investigating as bias crimes four Molotov cocktail attacks on Sunday night including one against a mosque with 75 people inside and another against a Hindu place of worship. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz )

(People pray at at the Imam al-Khoei Foundation in New York, January 3, 2012. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz )

How Americans view Arabs and Muslims has gotten worse in recent years, with negative feelings strongest among Republicans and senior citizens, according to a new poll.

Only 27 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Muslims, down from 35 percent in 2010, according to the Zogby poll, commissioned by the non-profit Arab American Institute. Favorable attitudes toward Arabs dropped to 32 percent from 43 percent in 2010.

Nigeria opens its long-awaited battle of ideas against Boko Haram

(A teacher at Maska Road Islamic School teaches Hadith excerpts in a classroom in Kaduna, July 16, 2014. In classrooms facing a sandy courtyard in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, Maska Road Islamic School teaches a creed that condemns the violent ideology of groups like Boko Haram. The school is steadfast in preaching tolerance to its pupils, and the government is about to adopt this message in a new strategy for containing Boko Haram, which has killed thousands in a five-year campaign for an Islamic state. Picture taken July 16, 2014. To match Insight NIGERIA-BOKO HARAM/ REUTERS/Joe Penney)

(A teacher at Maska Road Islamic School teaches Hadith excerpts in a classroom in Kaduna, July 16, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney)

In classrooms facing a sandy courtyard in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, Maska Road Islamic School teaches a creed that condemns the violent ideology of groups like Boko Haram.

Not everyone has got its message. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, known as the “Pants Bomber”, spent his youth in this school – and ended up trying unsuccessfully to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day 2009 with explosives hidden in his underwear.

U.S. says millions forced to flee for religious beliefs in 2013

(Christians set up tent shelters at Raikia village, in the eastern Indian state of Orissa August 31, 2008. Thousands of people, most of them Christians, have sought shelter in makeshift government camps in eastern India, driven from their homes by religious violence which has killed at least 13 people this week. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal)

(Christians set up tent shelters at Raikia village, in the eastern Indian state of Orissa August 31, 2008. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal)

More members of religious communities around the world were forced to flee their homes last year than at any time in recent memory, the United States said on Monday, in its annual report on religious freedom.

“In almost every corner of the globe, millions of Christians, Muslims, Hindus and others representing a range of faiths were forced from their homes on account of their religious beliefs,” the report said.

Gold and diamonds feed Central African Republic’s religious violence

(Mine worker Jimmy Adoum weighs gold on a scale balance in a hut at the foot of the Ndassima gold mine in Central African Republic, May 22, 2014. At Ndassima, 60 km north of Seleka's military headquarters in the northern town of Bambari, sweat-soaked labourers toil beneath the gaze of Seleka gunmen to produce some 15 kilos of gold a month - worth roughly $350,000 on the local market, or double that in international trade. Picture taken May 22, 2014. To match Insight CENTRALAFRICA-RESOURCES/ REUTERS/Daniel Flynn )

(Mine worker Jimmy Adoum weighs gold on a scale balance in a hut at the foot of the Ndassima gold mine in Central African Republic, May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Daniel Flynn )

Three young rebels, their AK47s propped against wooden stools in the afternoon heat, guard the entrance to the giant Ndassima goldmine carved deep into a forested hilltop in Central African Republic.

Sat in a thatched shack at the edge of a muddy shantytown, the gunmen keep the peace – for a price – among hundreds of illegal miners who swarm over the steep sides of the glittering open pit, scratching out a living.

September 11 museum allowed to display Ground Zero cross-shaped beam

(Father Brian Jordan (L), a Franciscan Priest, blesses The World Trade Center Cross, made of intersecting steel beams found in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the September 11 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, before it is transported and lowered by a crane into an opening in the World Trade Center site below ground level where it will become part of the permanent installation exhibit in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, in New York, July 23, 2011. Frank Silecchia (3rd R), a construction worker who found the cross, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (2nd R) and Richard Sheirer (R), director of the Office of Emergency Management listen to the prayer. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site will open on the 10 year anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2011. REUTERS/Chip East )

(Father Brian Jordan (L), a Franciscan Priest, blesses The World Trade Center Cross, made of intersecting steel beams found in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the September 11 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, New York, July 23, 2011. REUTERS/Chip East )

A cross-shaped steel beam pulled from the rubble of the collapsed World Trade Center in New York days after the September 11, 2001, attacks can be displayed in the national memorial museum at the site, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday.

An atheist group in 2011 sued the museum and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey seeking to block the display as unconstitutional, arguing that the cross was a religious symbol that had no place in a government-sponsored institution.

Gaza residents see no joy in Muslim Eid holiday at end of Ramadan

(Palestinians perform the Eid al-Fitr prayer at al-Farouk mosque, which witnesses said was hit by an Israeli air strike, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip July 28, 2014. The U.N. Security Council agreed on a statement on Sunday urging Israel, Palestinians and Islamist Hamas militants to implement a humanitarian truce beyond the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr and engage in efforts to achieve a durable ceasefire. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

(Palestinians perform the Eid al-Fitr prayer at al-Farouk mosque, which witnesses said was hit by an Israeli air strike, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip July 28, 2014. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

One of the most joyous days in the Muslim calendar, the holiday of Eid al-Fitr was marked on Monday by tears and sorrow in the Gaza Strip, left battered by three weeks of merciless fighting between Israel and Hamas Islamists.

Marking the end of the holy Ramadan month of fasting, Eid is normally a time of feasts and fun, presents and parties, even in this impoverished and isolated Palestinian coastal enclave.

Pakistan mob kills woman and 2 girls over ‘blasphemous’ Facebook post

A Pakistani mob killed a woman member of a religious sect and two of her granddaughters after a sect member was accused of posting blasphemous material on Facebook, police said Monday, the latest instance of growing violence against minorities.

The dead, including a seven-year-old girl and her baby sister, were Ahmadis, who consider themselves Muslim but believe in a prophet after Mohammed. A 1984 Pakistani law declared them non-Muslims and many Pakistanis consider them heretics.

Police said the late Sunday violence in the town of Gujranwala, 220 km (140 miles) southeast of the capital, Islamabad, started with an altercation between young men, one of whom was an Ahmadi accused of posting “objectionable material”.