FaithWorld

Google loses bid to keep anti-Islamic video on YouTube during court order appeal

(Cindy Lee Garcia (L), an actress in the “Innocence of Muslims”, and her lawyer M. Cris Armenta hold a news conference after a court hearing in Los Angeles, California September 20, 2012. REUTERS/Bret Hartman )

Google Inc on Friday lost its bid to keep an anti-Islamic film on its YouTube video sharing website while it appealed a federal appeals court order that the company said would have “devastating effects” if allowed to stand.

Earlier this week, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to reject Google’s assertion that the removal of the film “Innocence of Muslims,” which sparked protests across the Muslim world, amounted to a prior restraint of speech that violated the U.S. Constitution.

In a court filing on Thursday, Google argued that the video should remain accessible to the public while it asks that a larger, 11-judge 9th Circuit panel review the issue. Google called this week’s opinion “unprecedented” and “sweeping.”

However, the 9th Circuit on Friday rejected Google’s request in a brief order. Google representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

Extra funds help float Noah’s Ark replica in Kentucky

(Another replica of Noah’s Ark, this one built by Dutchman Johan Huibers, under construction in Schagen, the Netherlands March 31, 2006. REUTERS/STR)

A Christian ministry that plans to build a Noah’s Ark replica in Kentucky has raised enough money to go ahead with the $150 million project – and is thanking an adversary for boosting its support.

Creation Museum founder Ken Ham announced this week that a municipal bond offering has brought in enough money to begin the long-delayed “Ark Encounter,” a theme park featuring a 510-foot-long model of Noah’s Ark near the Kentucky-Ohio border.

The dangers of oversimplifying the Central African Republic conflict

(Anti-balaka fighters from the town of Bossembele patrol in the Boeing district of Bangui, Central African Republic, February 24, 2014. REUTERS/Camille Lepage)

When violence spiralled in Central African Republic’s capital last December, the country’s most senior Muslim cleric sought shelter with the Catholic archbishop of Bangui.

And that month no one was attacked in Lakounga, one of the oldest parts of the capital, where Christian and Muslim leaders worked together to protect the community. Posters were plastered on every street corner with the message: “Christians and Muslims, the same blood, the same life, the same country”.

Islamists demand levy in gold from Christians in Syrian city they control

(Residents search under rubble at a site hit by what activists say was a Scud missile from forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Raqqa, eastern Syria November 28, 2013. REUTERS/Nour Fourat )

An al Qaeda splinter group has demanded that Christians in a Syrian city it controls pay a levy in gold and curb displays of their faith in return for protection, according to a statement posted online on Wednesday.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), mainly composed of foreign fighters, is widely considered the most radical of the groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad, and is also engaged in a violent struggle with rival Islamist rebels.

Indian ministry to discuss developing Islamic endowments for large Muslim minority

(Muslims pray at the Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) during Eid al-Fitr, in the old quarter of Delhi August 31, 2011. REUTERS/Vijay Mathur )

India’s Ministry of Minority Affairs has enlisted a Kuala Lumpur-based body to help develop Islamic endowments, or awqaf, aiming to mobilise a large pool of assets in a country that is home to one of the biggest Muslim populations in the world.

The World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation, which organises conferences and workshops on Muslim business around the world, will hold a roundtable later this year to discuss ways to improve management of India’s estimated 490,000 waqf properties.

Kid gloves treatment seen softening Israeli crackdown on pro-settler vandals

(Israeli soldiers stand near the damaged door of a mosque in the West Bank village of Orif, near Nablus November 19, 2012. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini )

Last March, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a crackdown on crimes that elsewhere might be shrugged off as ugly but sufferable mischief – racist graffiti, slashed tires, hacked orchards and small-scale arson.

Such vandalism takes on a whole different meaning when it is perpetrated by ultranationalist Jews against Palestinian property, risking renewed violence in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, disrupting U.S.-mediated peace talks and further sapping Israel’s image abroad.

Generations on, Christians fleeing Syria return to Turkish homeland they once fled

(Syriac Christians from Turkey and Syria attend a mass at the Mort Shmuni Syriac Orthodox Church in the town of Midyat, in Mardin province of southeast Turkey February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas)

When Louis Bandak fled the violence in Syria, he sought refuge in the country his grandfather was forced to abandon exactly 90 years ago this week.

Bandak, his wife and two daughters are part of a small but growing trickle of Christians arriving in Turkey after three years of civil war in Syria killed more than 140,000 people.

Pakistani Taliban see no peace unless Islamabad government enforces sharia law

(The Pakistani Taliban negotiating team at peace talks with the government that soon broke down,  at a news conference in Islamabad February 4, 2014. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed )

The Pakistani Taliban has told the Islamabad government there was no chance of peace in the country unless Pakistan changed its political and legal system and officially embraced Islamic law.

The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wants to find a negotiated settlement to years of fighting with the militants but talks broke down this month after a string of attacks.

from Photographers' Blog:

Afghan refugees – Seeking sanctuary

Brussels, Belgium

By Francois Lenoir

It was a cold, wet morning when I passed through the doors of the Church of Saint John the Baptist at the Beguinage, a grand 17th century building in the center of Brussels.

Inside, children were playing and shouting in the large, dark hall, which was lined with rows and rows of tents. I had not just entered a church – I was inside people’s homes. The building had become a very private space.

Saint John the Baptist’s is occupied by a group of Afghan migrants, who have been living there for more than three months. Their first asylum request was refused by the authorities and they were told to leave Belgium, but some ended up travelling around the county aimlessly and were left squatting in unoccupied buildings.

Australian Christian missionary arrested on second trip to North Korea

(North Koreans pay their respects in front of statues of North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung and former leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, on the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il,  December 17, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA)

An Australian man has been arrested while doing missionary work in North Korea, his wife told Reuters on Wednesday, making him the second foreign Christian missionary to be held by the North.

The wife of 75-year-old John Short told Reuters her husband was arrested in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, on Sunday and had been open about his religious work on his second trip to the isolated country.