Section » Religion

El Salvador: Women serving prison terms for abortions they said they never had

thedailybeast.com/Nina Strochlic

Inside the women’s prison in El Salvador, set on the outskirts of the capital in a dangerous neighborhood called Ilopango, at least 21 women are serving sentences for abortions they say they never had. All of these women claim they are jailed for miscarrying their babies. In the prison’s leafy courtyard, a petite woman in a white tank top and bright sneakers confidently takes a seat. Teodora Vásquez is used to telling her story. After an Amnesty International campaign, the 32-year-old has become the face of women imprisoned under the world’s harshest abortion laws. Since 1998, abortions have been banned in El Salvador in all circumstances, regardless of the fetus’s viability or the risk to the mother’s life. Hospitals are required to report suspicious cases to the police. Sometimes, women who miscarry are accused of having a late-term abortion and charged with aggravated homicide—which carries up to a 50-year sentence. Read Article
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Iquitos Peru: One of the last Jewish Communities in Amazon Basin may disappear

theguardian.com reported Iquitos – the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road – is home to one of the last Jewish communities in the Amazon basin, but that may not be true for much longer: a modern exodus to Israel has seen the city’s Jewish population drop by more than 80% in the […]

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Expert’s view on Iran’s export revolution to Latin America

Sofey Saidi, PhD, on Tehran’s efforts to “export revolution” in Latin America Iran’s increasing involvement in South American and Central American countries has worried some observers who fear that the country may be “exporting” fundamentalist religion in these regions. The 1979 Iranian Revolution was, according to many analysts, the birth of modern Islamic fundamentalism, an […]

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Fanesca in Ecuador, a soup like no other

Calvin Trillin/newyorker.com(2005) reported, When I decided last winter to regroup my forces, it occurred to me that Ecuador might be a good place to study Spanish this go-around. I had in mind Cuenca, around Holy Week. From what I’d gathered during a previous trip to Ecuador, Holy Week is the only time of year you […]

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Mexico: Pope’s jet attacked by laser on final approach to Mexico City

Pope’s jet attacked by LASER as it approached Mexico City: Crew reports being targeted by ‘green laser 15 miles away’ dailymail.co.uk/Darren Boyle reported The Papal Airbus A330-202 was on final approach to Mexico City Airport Flight AZ4000 was passing 8,000 feet when the pilot reported a laser attack The aircraft landed moments later without any […]

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Tumbaco Ecuador: Historic Church Damaged by Fire

latino.foxnews.com reported a fire broke out on Christmas Day in the Tumbaco parish church, part of the Ecuadorian capital’s cultural heritage, and damaged some of its religious art, though no victims have been reported a yet, The blaze specifically hit the Chapel of the Third Order of St. Francis in the historic Church of Tumbaco, […]

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Investigation Reveals: Priests Accused of Sex Abuse allowed to relocate to Parishes in South America

kgw.com/Global Post/Will Carless reported the Catholic Church has allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children in the United States and Europe to relocate to poor parishes in South America, a yearlong GlobalPost investigation has found. Reporters confronted five accused priests in as many countries: Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Peru. One priest who relocated to […]

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Cuba: Rekindling of faith for Jews

mcclatchydc.com reported…At the time of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, there were 15,000 Jews on the island and five synagogues in Havana, but the community dwindled after thousands left in the 1960s and death claimed many of the older Jews who stayed. The Cuban government has always allowed Jews to practice their religion, but for decades, […]

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Mormon Church, celebrates fifty-year presence in Ecuador

50 years of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ecuador eluniverso.com reported one of the principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is service to others, since they consider that if they serve the fellows are serving God. This was explained last Wednesday night, Fabian Vallejo, one of the […]

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Pope Francis appeals to Ecuador for better care of Amazon forest and Indigenous people

csmonitor.com reported Pope Francis is appealing for better care of the Amazon rain forest and the indigenous people who live there, as he wraps up the Ecuador leg of his South America trip. “The tapping of natural resources, which are so abundant in Ecuador, must not be concerned with short-term benefits,” Pope Francis said Tuesday. […]

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Venezuela: The Court of Thugs, magical religious belief

qz.com reported The Court of Thugs, or Corte Calé, belongs to the cult of goddess María Lionza, one of the popular expressions of the most widespread magical-religious beliefs in Venezuela. These practices are based on the veneration of miraculous spirits and are divided into groups classified under certain hierarchies known as The Court of Thugs […]

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ControlZ.fm a new voice for evangelism in Ecuador

Upbeat music and thought-provoking comments by youthful voices in Spanish are some of the attention-catching sounds you’ll hear on ControlZ.fm, a digital outreach of Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global) in Quito, Ecuador, also home of the world’s pioneer missionary radio station, dating back to 1931. New energy, new enthusiasm, new communication tools, new expressions, and […]

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Five Priests in Callao Peru claimed threatened with death

peru21.pe reported Since more than one year ago, 5 priests of Callao come claiming that they are harassed and threatened with death. They have carried out three complaints before various bodies, which have not been heard. Among them is the father Gilberto Silva, Chaplain of the police of Callao, who broke his silence and told […]

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President of Turkey vows to construct Mosque in Cuba

todayszaman.com reported …. Despite a lack of historical evidence for such a building, Erdoğan went on to say: “Now I will talk with my brother from Cuba [the representative at the summit]. A mosque would be fitting on top of that mountain today as well. Their permission is sufficient [for Turkey to build a mosque […]

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Mexico: Attacks on Catholic Priests up 80% in two years

indcatholicnews.com reported attacks on Roman Catholic priests in Mexico have increased by 80% over the past two years, according to a new report released by the Mexican Catholic Multimedia Centre (CCM). CCM reports that six priests have been killed and three others have been the victims of forced disappearances since President Enrique Pena Nieto came […]

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Archibishop of Rio de Janeiro robbed at gunpoint of his cricifix

telegraph.co.uk reported the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro was robbed at gunpoint of his crucifix and ring by three armed men as he travelled through the city on Monday. Cardinal Dom Orani Tempesta, 64, was being driven through the Santa Teresa neighbourhood with a photographer and seminary student when his car was ambushed by the […]

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Vatican places former envoy to Dominican Republic under arrest for sex abuse

bbc.com reported the Vatican has placed its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Jozef Wesolowski, under house arrest on charges of sexually abusing children. The former archbishop was defrocked in June after a Church tribunal found him guilty of abusing Dominican boys. Read Article

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Convent in Quito Ecuador opens doors for first time in 150 years, it may be the last

citizen.co.za/afp reported a group of Ecuadoran nuns opened the doors of their convent to the outside world Saturday — a first since the order arrived in the South American country 150 years ago. The nuns of the Mothers of Augustine were expelled from Colombia in 1864 and subsequently settled in the center of Quito, where […]

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Guatemala: Group of Orthodox Jews forced to leave their settlement under threats

bbc.com reported Some 230 members of an Orthodox Jewish group have begun leaving a village in western Guatemala after a bitter row with the local indigenous community. The Lev Tahor members were asked to leave San Juan La Laguna after meetings with elders of the Mayan community. The elders accused the Jews of shunning the […]

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Substantial Numbers of Hispanic Americans Believe in Magic, Witchcraft, Spiritual Beings

theatlantic.com reported a new study shows that 57 percent of Hispanics believe in otherworldly beings—and the percentage is even higher among evangelical Protestants. Modernity be damned: It’s 2014, and the spirit world is alive and well. Even in secular life, mild superstitions loom; just look at the popularity of Paranormal Activity, haunted-house tours, and teen […]

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Brit Braja, first virtual synagogue conducting services in Spanish, Portuguese

kcjc.com reported…Local fans of Hadassah Magazine will see a familiar face when they thumb through the current issue. Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn and his Brit Braja Worldwide Jewish Outreach are featured in the summer edition of the international magazine. According to its website, Brit Braja is the first virtual synagogue to conduct services in Spanish and […]

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Group meets to discuss future of Jewish communities in Latin America

jta.org….The youthful group of 60 drew their chairs around tables strewn with jars of markers and the occasional Rubik’s Cube, nearby chalkboards at the ready for jotting down big ideas. The conference hall was suffused with a can-do vibe that wouldn’t have seemed out of place in Silicon Valley. But high-tech was not on the […]

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Ecuador: 2014 increase in theft of historical artifacts

Elcomercio.com reported that trafficking in stolen artifacts from Ecuador has shown an increase in 2014. The Ecuadorian National Institute of Cultural Patrimony revealed that so far in 2014, there have been 17 reports of stolen historical items. Most of the thefts have occurred from convents, churches, and museums. MAJOR MARKETS FOR STOLEN ITEMS OF HISTORICAL […]

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Shalom Ecuador

SHALOMLIFE.COM reported Like most of Latin America, the first Jews in Ecuador were Conversos (converts to Catholicism) fleeing persecution during the Spanish Inquisition. Throughout the subsequent centuries, there was little Jewish immigration into the country. It wasn’t until the 20th century, that Ecuador a substantial increase in the Jewish population. The Immigration Act of 1924 […]

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Ibarra Ecuador: Priest among five arrested in drug sting

Eluniverso.com reported that the confiscation of 74 kilos of cocaine and the arrest of five people, including a priest, was the result of the anti-drug operation called transporter, held in Ibarra, which included raids and seizures in other four cities in the country. READ THIS BOOK FOR AN INSIDE LOOK AT ECUADOR’S CULTURE The police […]

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HCJB voice of the Andes to terminate English Language Broadcasts on International Shortwave

Radio Station HCJB, the Voice of the Andes reported… it will air its final English-language broadcasts on international shortwave radio from Ecuador on Saturday, May 6, even as the station’s English Language Service shifts its emphasis toward teaching English as a second language. English was one of the first two languages, along with Spanish, to […]

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Ecuador: Ministry approved to work with released inmates

The ministry of Crossroad Bible Institute in Ecuador, which began just four years ago in 2009, will soon be opening a new Bible training and rehabilitation center for released prisoners from around the country. The center will be built on donated land in southwest Ecuador. CBI Ecuador director Angel Aguirre Villamar will be overseeing the […]

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Ecuador: Evangelical pastor senteced to one year jail, organizing anti-Catholic marches

hoy.com.ec reported that the Ecuadorian courts sentenced to one year in prison for an evangelical pastor who organized anti-Catholic marches in religious imagery destroyed along with most loyal in the country, according to a judicial source. The Eleventh Court of Criminal of Ecuador on Tuesday issued its first conviction for the crime of hatred against […]

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Loja: Police Arrest Priest in Suspected Sexual Offense against teenager

lahora.com.ec reported Judicial Police agents, along with a delegate of the Attorney arrived last night, outside the church Christ the Priest, Motupe district, located north of the city to arrest the pastor, who weighs a complaint for an alleged indecent assault against a teenager. The committee waited for the end of the Mass the priest […]

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Costa Rica: Catholic Nun denounced for the alleged sexual abuse and rape of two girls

A Catholic nun was denounced by the state National Association for Children of Costa Rica (PANI) for the alleged sexual abuse and rape of two girls, ages 3 and 6 years, Efe confirmed judicial sources. The nun was on the staff of a private children’s shelter of the order of the Sisters of Mary Help, […]

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Rio De Janeiro, Brazil: 300 Protesters Rally After Pope’s Speech

Terra reported on July 26, 2013 that about 300 people participated in a protest in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro. The protest was against Governor Sérgio Cabral and government spending on World Youth Day. Among the demonstrators, were pilgrims who came to listen to Pope Francisco speak. Military Police report at least one person was arrested. […]

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Sao Paulo, Brazil: Bomb discovered on site where Pope is expected to visit

Globo reported on July 22, 2013 that security forces (including the Air Force) prepared for the visit of Pope Francisco, discovered a bomb inside a bathroom at the Santuário Nacional in Aparecida, Sao Paulo. The bomb, wrapped in plastic tape, is considered to have a “low potential for harm”. In preparation of the Pope’s visit […]

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Pastor detained for allegedly raping members of his church

Rio Pastor Detained on Rape Charges Globo reported on May 7, 2013 that Marcos Pereira da Silva; pastor at Assembly of God of the Latter Days in Rio de Janeiro, was detained for accusations of raping six women of his church; including his ex-wife. One victim claimed she was raped for eight years by the […]

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Muslim population growing in Tijuana Mexico

fronterasdesk.org reported that Mexico is a predominantly Catholic country, but the border city of Tijuana has always hosted a more diverse population of worshipers. In the last few years, one of the largest religions in the world has begun making inroads and building a presence there. Every day, at a small, nondescript building in Playas, […]

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Vatican Wants Brazilian President Dilma at First Papal Mass

On March 14, 2013, O Estado de São Paulo reported that Vatican officials, excited over the election of a Latin American to the papacy for the first time in history, are inviting heads of state from every Latin American country to share in Pope Francis’ first Mass.  Sources from Brasília say that Dilma’s presence is […]

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Mexican sexual abuse victims say they have no hope after abuse by priests

“If the Vatican had acted when it found out about the crimes committed by Father Marcial Maciel, things would be different”, says Joaquín Aguilar, a Mexican child sex abuse victim. “He wouldn’t have been able to continue perpetrating these crimes until the end of his life.”

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Controversial Pastor Confirmed to Head Brazilian Human Rights Committee

On March 7, 2013, O Estado de São Paulo reported that Marco Feliciano (PSC-SP), a pastor the Assembly of God church network, was confirmed this morning in a controversial vote held by current members of the federal government’s Human Rights Committee.  In a vote of 11-0 (one abstained), Mr. Feliciano was elected the leader in […]

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Mexico: Estate asset seized belonging to Los Defensores de Cristo (Defenders of Christ)

The Attorney General’s Office, through the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence against Women and Trafficking (FEVIMTRA), said the country estate where they were arrested 24 members Defenders of the cult of Christ. Their leaders, the Spanish Ignacio González de Arriba, “The Master Phoenix”, the Venezuelan José Segovia and Tito Losanger Arenas Shoucri Mohamed Ahdalha […]

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Evangelical Pastor in Brazil Caught Running Drug Ring

On February 1, 2013, the Christian Post (Portuguese) reported that police in Foz de Iguaçu arrested a female Evangelical pastor and charged her with drug trafficking.  An anonymous tip brought police to the pastor and a previously undisclosed safe house, where they also found in the house weapons, drugs and money.  Police also arrested three […]

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Mexico: 14 foreign members of sect “Defenders of Christ” deported

Federal District Ministerial Authorities reported that 24 members of the organization “Defenders of Christ”, held in Tamaulipas, 14 foreigners were sent to their home countries, three Mexicans claim to the Attorney General in the Federal District and the rest were released on law reserves. The three people held by staff of the National Institute of […]

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Latin American Jewish Congress meeting in Venezuela

The Latin American Jewish Congress is holding its plenary meeting in Venezuela “to strengthen the link with a community that has difficulties,” according to the organization’s executive director. World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder is scheduled to attend the regional meeting in the Venezuelan capital, which begins Sunday, Latin American Jewish Congress executive director Claudio […]

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Louis Farrakhan to tour Belize and other countries in Caribbean

Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, has begun a tour of five countries within the Caribbean. The journey, which began last Wednesday in Grenada, will see the controversial religious and social leader visit Barbados, Dominica, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Belize and the Bahamas, respectively. Read Article

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Jamaica: Preaching Banned on Public Buses

Jamaica’s public transport authorities have banned lay preachers from addressing commuters in public buses. Jamaica is a predominantly Christian country, but many passengers have complained about the noise and disturbance. Read Article

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Brazil: New Catholic temple for 100,000 followers

In the new temple priest in São Paulo Rossi will have space for 100,000 Catholics to attend Mass and confirmations 20,000 inside and 80,000 outside, following the act by the eight screens that broadcast. A Mass on Friday inaugurated the exhibition. The project, which began 10 years ago, is still unfinished, and the result will […]

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Peru: Priest conducts marriage ceremony for woman and dead boyfriend

Relatives of the deceased, just wanted to fulfill his last wish. A religious ceremony was unique in Huachaq district in the province of Chupaca in Huancayo (Junin). A woman married the father of her four children, Inga Waldo Navarro (52), who was killed in a traffic accident on Wednesday July 4. Relatives of the deceased […]

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Mexico: mother stated she removed eye balls from five year-old son to prevent massive earthquake

A group of religious fanatics held a ritual to prevent a major earthquake and its ritual physically assaulted a minor. Mexico State’s over! It is the end of the world, “said Carmen, 23, and asked his family to close their eyes, and with prayers and supplication to God, his hands pulled her eyes to his […]

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Mexico: 5 year-old child’s eyes removed in satanic ritual

On May 24 members of a rescue team transferred by helicopter a 5 year old victim to the emergency Red Cross hospital in Polanco, Mexico City. The victim had his eyes pulled out by seven individuals, including his parents, during a Satanic Ritual. Read Article

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Mexico: Easter services cancelled Cathedral of Chilpancingo, earthquake damage

Religious activities were canceled at the Cathedral of Chilpancingo, Guerrero, cracks caused by earthquakes that have occurred since 20 March, the pastor, Daniel Castellanos. Read Article

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Mexico: Group responsible for deaths in Santa Muerte ritual, committing sacrifices since 2009

The worshipers of Santa Muerte discovered this week in Nacozari Garcia were carrying out human sacrifice cults since 2009, according to the eight detainees revealed in his statements to the State Attorney. Silvia Meraz Moreno, 44, and originally from Hermosillo, was identified by his own family were also members of the sect, as mastermind of […]

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Mexico: Bodies located of child, teenager, woman killed by Satanic Sect worshipers (Santa Muerte), Agua Prieta and Nacozari Mexico

Ireport.cnn.com reported on March 30th, 2012, authorities discovered the bodies of a little boy, a sexually assaulted teenage girl and an elderly woman in Nacozari and Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. The victims were found to have been sacrificed in satanic rituals by a group of the “Santa Muerte” sect and by the victim’s own family […]

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Amnesty International reports harassment of human rights activists during Pope’s visit Cuba

Amnesty International said today Cuban authorities escalated their harassment of human rights activists during Pope Benedict’s visit, increasing arrests, disconnecting activists’ phones and surrounding activists’ houses to prevent them from speaking out about human rights abuses during the Papal tour. Amnesty International urged the Pope to condemn the crackdown and lack of freedom in Cuba. […]

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Sick visit the “psychic surgeon” in Brazil

John of God grabs what looks like a kitchen knife from a silver tray and appears to scrape it over the right eye of a believer. The “psychic surgeon” then wipes a viscous substance from the blade onto the patient’s shirt. The procedure is repeated on the left eye of Juan Carlos Arguelles, who recently […]

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Mexico: Anonymous Hacks Archdiocese Website

Mexico: Anonymous Hacks Archdiocese Website The Archdiocese website was hacked by Anonymous protesting the Pope Benedict XVI visit to Mexico. Hackers have named this operation as #opFariseo and #opGorron in their @MexicoSystem Twitter account. Read Article

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U.S. congresswoman believes Iran is danger to Latin America, Bolivia

In search of the ‘Islamic menace’ in Bolivia One US congresswoman is convinced that the Iranian government is a danger to Latin American countries such as Bolivia. he possibility of a bomb in La Paz was raised in December 2011 by Ros-Lehtinen, co-star of a non-factual documentary entitled “La amenaza iraní” (“The Iranian Threat”), in […]

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Pastor gunned down on MEXICO, GUATEMALA border

The drug-related violence that has plagued Mexico since 2006 has claimed another victim – this time a pastor. Church of God pastor Neftali Leiva was allegedly gunned down south of the Mexican border by drug traffickers associated with the Zetas, one of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels. It remains unclear what prompted the killing Read […]

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Bolivia: Departure of nuns leaves hospital specializing in leishmaniasis and leprosy in poor financial health

Jorochito Dermatological Hospital, located 43 kilometers southeast of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, still feel the void left by the Sisters of the Congregation “Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.” In the corridors of the hospital, where the nuns used to run from one place to another in search of medical care for […]

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New Muslim Cemetery in Medellín, Colombia

•In the cemetery Jardines de la Fe in Medellín, Colombia, there will be a section for Muslims with 50 spaces available. •According to eltiempo.com, Muslims have had to have bodies sent to Bucaramanga or Maicao to Muslim cemetaries. •The section will follow the various burial practices according to Islam such as having the graves face […]

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Priest Sentenced to 7 years for Sexual Abuse, Colombia

•Priest Jairo Alzate Cardona has been sentenced for 7 years for sexual abuse of a minor in a school in Pereira, Colombia. •According to adn.es, Cardona is facing two other trials for the same crime. •He is charged with having abusive carnal access of a 14-year-old minor in 2008 when the victim was 10 years […]

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Espinar, Peru: Church Alter Attacked by Robbers

Peru21.pe reports that criminals robbed the church of Santa Ana in Espinar of its precious metal-plated ornaments adorning the altar in the church. The article says that residents in the Cusco province of Peru have been disturbed by recent reports of religious theft that left the city of Lambayaque without the Cross of Motupe. The […]

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Battle lines drawn over Argentina’s abortion ban

Argentina’s strict abortion laws prohibit terminations except when the life or health of the pregnant woman is in danger or if the pregnancy results from the rape of a mentally disabled woman. The government has rolled out national contraceptive campaigns, but despite this there are still up to 500,000 clandestine abortions in every year. Read […]

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Mexican government urged to bar Mormon missionaries

A Latino activist in Utah says he will ask Mexico to bar Mormon missionaries from the United States in retaliation against tough immigration-reform bills. Read Article

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‘Criminal gangs want to surrender to the Government’: Archbishop Vidal

According to Julio César Vidal leaders of these bands are willing to deliver weapons, roads and crops, even to extradite them if necessary. Bishop statements came during the inauguration of the National Assembly of Bishops, which will run until Friday. Read Article

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Argentina introduces hijab-friendly law

The administration of Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez pushed for the legislation, which allows Muslim women to wear hijab in public places, the Press TV correspondent in Buenos Aires reported on Tuesday. According to the new law, Argentinean Muslim women can use photographs wearing headscarves for their national ID cards. Read Article

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Bolivian Church expresses solidarity with archbishop threatened with expulsion

The Bolivian Church expressed its “deep worry” over recent “agression and threats” against Cochabamban archbishop Tito Solari due to his declaration against youth involved small-scale cocaine trafficking in the Chapare neighbourhood. According to catholic.net, Bolivian Catholics are alarmed at the government’s threat of expulsion for Monseigneur Solari if he does not retract his statement. The […]

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