Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Executive director of the Voice of the Martyrs, a major Christian rights group, arrested for molesting ten year old girl

Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) is an organization that exists to help “persecuted” Christians who go to countries where proselytizing is both unsolicited and unwelcome.

Tom White was the executive director of VOM, having worked for the group for some 20 years, until April 17, 2012, when he was reported missing. Cops pinged his cell phone to find him, and did, Wednesday morning, inside a warehouse at VOM’s HQ in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where he reportedly left a suicide note in his car.

Why would a devout Christian, in a position of great authority in an organization in which he truly believed, commit The Ultimate Sin, abandoning his wife, his children, and his grandchildren in order to enter the Seventh Circle of Hell?

Only Mr. White knows (er, knew) for sure, but one thing is clear: At the time of his death, he was under investigation for child molestation, accused of sexually abusing a ten-year-old girl.

There’s not much more to tell, other than the details in the links below. Do notice, however, two things: 1) the most fundy Christian and other hardline, right-wing sites soft-peddle the suicide angle, saying that White “passed away” (with the exception of Christianity Today, which isn’t as hardline as some), while the wildly right-wing-fundy Christian Post completely omits any mention of suicide and/or the abuse investigation (but then, CP bids adieu to Watergate felon and rabid homophobe Chuck Colson with “Goodbye, Friend and Hero,” so what do you expect?); and 2) VOM’s statement on the situation is quick to note: “None of those in leadership at VOM, including our Board of Directors, were [sic] aware of these allegations at the time of Tom’s death.” (Why deny something before anybody accuses you of it?)

http://home.conservativebabylon.com/2012/04/22/voice-of-the-martyrs-leader-tom-white-apparently-kills-himself-over-child-molestation-investigation/

New Jersey Pastor arrested for sexually assaulting teen girl

A Mahwah pastor refused a plea offer Tuesday, electing instead to stand trial on charges that he had sex with an underage member of his church.

The decision comes two months after a jury found the Rev. Curtis Franklin guilty of second-degree sexual assault for having sex with a different underage parishioner.

Under the deal that Franklin rejected Tuesday, he would have pleaded guilty to five sexual assault counts in exchange for spending 10 years behind bars. Now, if a jury convicts him at trial, Franklin could be sentenced to up to 50 years in prison.

Dressed in an orange prison suit and shackled at the wrists, waist, and ankles, Franklin stood beside his Garfield attorney, Amy Lefkowitz, as Superior Court Judge Edward Jerejian scheduled the next hearing in the matter for September 4. Franklin looked back at the gallery three times Tuesday, mouthing the words “I love you guys” to a pair of relatives.

Franklin, who was an assistant pastor at the Mahwah Full Gospel Church, was arrested in 2009 and charged with having sex with a young parishioner. Bergen County prosecutors alleged that he befriended the girl and engaged in sexual acts with her on several occasions, beginning when the girl was 12 years old.

He went to trial last year on that charge, but the case ended in a mistrial after a juror conducted online research on the case in violation of court rules, bringing printouts of articles into the jury room during deliberations and distributing them to the other jurors.

Earlier this year, Franklin was tried on charges that he molested another underage parishioner for years starting when the girl was 15.

Franklin, a 46-year-old father of two, argued during the trial that he had consensual sex with the girl, and that he never had sex with her before she was 16 — the age of consent in New Jersey.
The jury in that case deliberated for less than two days before convicting him of second-degree sexual assault.

Franklin’s bail was revoked after his conviction and he has since been held at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack awaiting his Sept. 28 sentencing. He faces up to 10 years in prison in that case, followed by lifelong parole and registration under Megan’s Law.

http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=3489545392424047311#editor/target=post;postID=277077389493398085

Pastor arrested for raping young girl

THE Kabushi Local Court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a pastor who impregnated a girl he was praying for and ran away.
The pastor had sex with the girl under the guise of exorcising a curse upon her life, known as ‘ ichishilu’ in Bemba, which is believed to cause bad luck in relationships and hinders victims from marrying.
A bench warrant was initially issued last year but was only enforced last week when the Pastor, went back to Ndola thinking the case was closed.
This came to light in a case where Marjory Chungu sued Pastor Aaron Moyo for pregnancy maintenance. However, Chungu has since given birth.
Facts before the court were that on unknown dates but between June 1 and 10, 2010, Chungu approached Moyo for prayers.
She said Moyo told her that she was living under a curse locally known as ‘ichishilu’ and they needed to go to the mountains for prayers.
Chungu said two days later, they went to the mountain where Moyo told her that before praying, he was supposed to have sex with her in order to remove the curse.
“When I discovered that I was pregnant, Moyo asked me to do an abortion because it (the case) was a disgrace to society and his church,” she said.
Chungu said when she refused to terminate the pregnancy, Moyo ran away and went to Lusaka without informing his family about the matter.
However, Chungu reported the matter to the court recently when the pastor was spotted in Ndola.
The court messengers confirmed the arrest of Moyo ,who at press time was in police custody at Masala Police Station.
Senior local court presiding magistrate Agnes Mulenga, sitting with senior local court magistrates Celestine Muchimba and Paul Kayula, advised Chungu to sue Moyo for child maintenance since she has already given birth.


http://www.daily-mail.co.zm/?p=9712

Pastor arrested for murdering fifteen year old girl

A pastor with a Ruhango-based church, Francoise Mukamurenzi, has been arrested and detained following the death of a 15-year old girl who passed away in her church.

Mukamurenzi, a pastor with a new ministry, the Redeemed Church also known as Horeb Church, is being held at Nyamagana Police Station as investigations continue.

The deceased was identified as Ariette Tuyisingize. She hailed from Butare cell, Kabacuzi Sector of Muhanga District. Police sources told The New Times she had been brought from Muhanga by her parents who believed she was possessed by demons and hence sought the pastor's intervention.

At the time of the girl's demise last Thursday, a group of other sick people were straddled around the ill-fated church's premises in Nyamagana, Ruhango District, Police said.

Ruhango District Police Commander (DPC), CIP Mark Gasangwa, told The New Times that preliminary investigations indicate that the deceased had spent six days in the church.

It is reported that the cleric attempted to conceal the death after realising that the girl was no longer breathing. She allegedly instructed her followers not to reveal the ordeal, but after some while, a resident informed the police of the death, which prompted the arrest.

The death occurred on Thursday at around 3.00 am but the pastor was detained at 4.00 pm, sources said.

"She [Tuyisingize] was sick and instead of taking her to hospital, her parents brought her to the church," the police officer said as he condemned the act.

"People should know that even under medical treatment, one can still appeal for God's help and be heard."

By press time, the body of the deceased had been taken to Kabgayi hospital, Muhanga District, for post mortem examinations.

Speaking to the New Times, the Regional Police Commander (RPC), CSP Elias Mwesigye, warned religious leaders against duping people to believe that they could heal without medical assistance.
"The Police do not interfere with the freedom of religion and worship. But we will not tolerate the destruction of public order," Mwesigye warned.

"Church leaders must know that it is prohibited to dissuade residents from seeking medical help whenever they are sick. This is against the law and anyone who doesn't abide will be held accountable."

Mwesigye urged the clergy to make sure the lives of their congregations are not put to danger.
Last Thursday, a group of 16 members of an outlawed religious sect, Abagorozi, were arraigned before a court in Ruhango for frustrating government policies and programmes.

The members, including their families reportedly neither study nor seek medical treatment. They are also said to resist various national programmes including the monthly community work, Umuganda, the health insurance (Mituelle de Santé).

The group was arrested two weeks ago in Bweramana Sector, Ruhango District, during a mass at the house of one of the members.

The ruling of the case is set for August 6.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201207310104.html

Saturday, July 28, 2012

California Priest arrested for sexually assaulting three women

Father Luis Jose Cuevas, a Los Angeles Archdiocese parish priest at St. Athanasius Catholic Church at 5390 Linden Avenue in Long Beach, was arrested by Long Beach police officers with the assistance of the US Marshals Service at a residence in San Jacinto Monday on charges of sexual assault.

Through his attorney, Father Jose Luis Cuevas entered a plea of not guilty Wednesday in a Long Beach courtroom overflowing with supporters of the 67-year-old.
The Long Beach Police Department received information that two women were victims of sexual battery at the hands of Cuevas, 67. The women first reported the incidents to the Archdiocese, then filed a police report.

After an investigation was launched, a third female came forward, a 17-year-old. The teen said there were repeated incidents of inappropriate touching over a two-year period by Cuevas. Police believe there may be other victims.

Long Beach police presented the case to the L.A. District Attorney's Office on July 19. The D.A. filed eight misdemeanor charges against Cuevas and one felony count involving lewd acts with a child.

"There are allegations of inappropriate touching over clothing, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals who will say what a good man Father Cuevas is," said Cuevas's defense attorney George Bird.

"There might be hundreds of people in support but we have three victims -- this has occurred over years and in this case if the court releases the defendant OR ["own recognizance"] or reduces bail, the court would in essence, your honor, be returning this defendant into a pool, into the community of his preferred prey," said the prosecutor in court Wednesday.

Wednesday afternoon the judge set bail for Cuevas at $260,000. He ordered Cuevas to stay away from children, refrain from changing residences and that he relinquish his passport.
Cuevas is no longer employed at St. Athanasius, but his supporters say they stand behind him and will raise money if they have to to get him out of jail.

"He has always been a person who has dedicated his life to helping others, to being of service," said Maria Zambrano, a Cuevas supporter.

The Los Angeles Archdiocese released a statement Wednesday: "The Archdiocese takes all such matter seriously. Father Cuevas has been removed from all ministry and he will be living privately pending the outcome of these matters. The Archdiocese is fully cooperating with law enforcement on the investigation."

Cuevas served at the Long Beach parish for the past seven years, according to police. He resided on church grounds during his time there.
The Long Beach Police Department believes additional victims may exist and asks that anyone who has had similar contact with the suspect, or information regarding someone who has, to contact the Sex Crimes Detail's Tip Line at (562) 570-7878. Anonymous tips may be submitted via text or Web by visiting www.tipsoft.com.

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=8749057

Friday, July 27, 2012

Another Christian honor killing: Woman found shot to death in Los Angelas

And of course this will all be dismissed by the mainstream media. Honor killings are very common in Armenia and in the Armenian community.

A 14-year-old girl discovered her mother shot dead behind the wheel of her car, more than a year after finding her father and sister murdered in their apartment.
The latest attack appeared to be connected to the earlier killings, Los Angeles police said.

Karine Hakobyan, 38, a nursing assistant at Childrens Hospital, was found on Friday in her Honda CRV with a gunshot wound to the back of her head.

Detectives investigating the killing of her husband Khachik Safaryan, 43, and their nine-year-old daughter Lucine said there appeared to be a link to the crimes.

"We're working on a theory that was developed in the previous homicides," Detective Dan Myers said.

He did not provide further details but said none of the Armenian victims had any criminal associations.

In both cases, the bodies were discovered by another daughter in the family, Detective Myers said.

Police had been in regular contact with Mrs Hakobyan during their first investigation.

Detective Myers went to her apartment last week then got a call on Friday saying she was dead.

"It's horrible," he said. "You meet a victim, you spend a lot of time together, then you get a call in the middle of the night saying she's been murdered."

Police have developed few leads in any of the shootings, despite a £50,000 reward offered for information about the killing of Mr Safaryan and his daughter in their family home on 11 December, 2008.

Shortly after those killings, the mother and her surviving daughter moved to her in-laws in a nearby apartment complex.

Neighbours said they were shocked by the attack on Mrs Hakobyan in the complex they described as mostly family friendly and secure.

A woman at the apartment of Hakobyan's in-laws said the couple was too upset to speak.

The woman, who would not give her name, said Mrs Hakobyan kept her feelings to herself but struggled with the deaths of her husband and daughter and frequently visited a nearby memorial park.

The Hakobyans married in Armenia and moved from the capital city of Yerevan to the US in 2003, Detective Myers said.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/police-probe-third-murder-in-armenian-family-1931347.html

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New York Pastor arrested for running over eighty eight year old woman

A Brooklyn pastor said he was so busy eating an ice cream cone that he didn’t notice he fatally mowed down an 88-year-old woman in his BMW and fled the scene, prosecutors charged at his arraignment.

Wayne Stokeling, pastor of St. John’s Baptist Church on Bainbridge St. in Bedford-Stuyvesant, was driving without a license when he plowed into Isabel Rodriguez, who was crossing the intersection of Stone Avenue and Livonia Avenue near her Brownsville home about 8:45 p.m.

Stokeling, 50, sped away, continuing south on Stone Avenue, police said. One of his side view mirrors snapped off and was left behind at the scene.

Rodriguez was launched 15 feet into the air and landed on her head, prosecutors said. She was rushed unconscious to Brookdale University Hospital, where she died, officials said.

After witnesses described the dark-colored BMW sedan to police, cops spotted the damaged vehicle - with cracks on the windshield and dents on the body - just a few blocks away at the corner of Riverdale Avenue and Watkins Street.Stokeling told the officers the dents were caused by potholes and he was distracted by the tasty treat he was devouring, prosecutors said.“Sometimes, accidents happen,” Stokeling’s attorney, Scott Brettschneider, said in court. “It was a tragic accident, but it was an accident.”

Rodriguez lived with her 86-year-old sister in the Tilden Houses, neighbors said.
“We call them the kissing sisters because as soon as they come outside they would just hug and kiss us,” said Mable Spence, 49.

“When I heard this morning, I started crying. She was just such a sweet person.”
Stokeling was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident and driving without a license. He has an open warrant on a motor vehicle-related charge, according to police sources, and four prior arrests, including one for driving without a license.

Stokeling is described as an “outstanding community activist” who has given speeches around the world, sponsored the construction of affordable housing and started drug and alcohol counseling programs on a website for a public relations firm promoting him.

He has led St. John’s Baptist Church since 1986, according to the site.
Officials at the church refused to speak to a reporter.

Stokeling was held in lieu of $200,000 bond or $100,000 cash bail. He is due back in court on July 27.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/man-arrested-allegedly-mowing-88-year-old-brooklyn-woman-article-1.1119950#ixzz21a3ThJqU

Monday, July 23, 2012

Christian teen girl killed by her uncle and Pastor

Zambia is officially a Christian nation according to the constitution. Also 87% of the country follows Christianity.
On a positive note, we've moved away from countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. On the other hand though, the unoticed oppression of Christian women continues.

 As investigations continue into the gruesome murder of 19 year old NIPA Student, Ruth Mbandu, police have arrested fugitive suspect, Stanley Munkonji.

The arrest of Munkonji, who is Bishop Evans Ngulube’s aide and driver, brings the number of people arrested in connection with Ruth’s murder to four.

Acting police spokesperson Munganga Chanda has told MUVI TV news that several sim cards were discovered with Munkonji adding that this discovery will assist police in tracing Ruth’s last call.
Munkonji is believed to be key suspect who was on the run after the police questioned him about the murder of the Human resource student about a week ago.

Police on Friday issued an alert on Munkonji to the public.

Results of the forensic testing are being awaited after police on Friday exhumed Ruth’s body.
Ruth’s Mother, Victoria Mbandu, has since narrated that her daughter had gone to Kabanana to visit her uncle while her uncle George Kalomo who is among the arrested suspects claimed that Ruth left Kabanana around 18: 00 hours on that day.

http://www.zambianwatchdog.com/2012/07/22/ruth-mbandu-murder-pastors-aide-arrested-after-going-underground/

The Deen Show: The Top 10 Reasons Why Jesus isn't God

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mexican teen girls explain how they were kidnapped and forced into prostitution

92% of Mexico has the holy spirit guiding them. Now what I don't get is in the article it'll mention Christian menn who would help save the girls, why is that needed? Seems like CNN is trying to water down what Christianity really does.

They were only 14 years old, cousins from a small town in central Mexico, when a fun trip to the local fair turned into a nightmare of drugs and forced prostitution.

As Maria and Lupe - CNN has changed their names to protect their identities - were waiting by the highway for their early evening bus home when they say a semi-tractor trailer stopped right in front of them and two men got out.

There were no conversations. It all happened, very quickly, the cousins say. "They were two men who were wearing black masks like hoodies. We couldn't see their faces," Maria said.

Lupe says she didn't even have time to react. "I only felt that they put something on my nose and that's all I remember. The last thing I remember is yelling for help," Lupe said.

Drugged and drifting in and out of consciousness, they lost track of time. They only know they woke up in a dark room where they were kept for several days. There was no food or water and the cousins were cold. But it was only the start of their ordeal.

Several days later, Maria says, a woman showed up. She let them both know that, from now on, they were going to "work for her," the cousins said. At that moment they had no idea what the stranger was talking about.

Lupe was taken out of the room and Maria was left alone with the woman. A man then entered the room and started beating her savagely. She says he raped her; and then both the man and the woman threatened her life and told her to cooperate.

That night Maria says she was forced to have sex with 23 men. "When they left, I stayed there, lying on the floor, bleeding. My entire body ached. The woman told me to get up, that it hadn't been that bad," Maria said.

It was the beginning of several months the cousins describe as torture. They were sold to a pimp who forced them to have sex with multiple men every night. Their hair was dyed. They were forced to wear skimpy outfits. They would get beaten up if they weren't "friendly" with clients.

Meanwhile, in their hometown, their families were desperately looking for them. At first, they thought the girls had got lost and searched around the town. Then they started looking in wooded areas around the town, afraid they might have been killed or fallen off a cliff.

Lupe's father, a laborer, recalls how desperate his family were to find the girls. The family organized search parties. They posted flyers everywhere they could and reached out to hospitals, jails and other places. At one point, someone suggested searching in bars along highways.

Francisco - CNN has changed his name as well - and a brother went to many different bars in Morelos state, neighboring Mexico City.

Francisco says he was disgusted by what he saw: underage girls who should be in school working as prostitutes. "We would see young girls. There are many in the state of Morelos. Some of them were wearing masks. Others had their hair dyed and wore suggestive clothing," Francisco said.
At one of the bars Maria was taken to, she says she was forced to work from 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. only to get up again at noon to prepare for another 18-hour shift. "I felt so dirty, that every time I took a shower and every time they put makeup on me I felt like an old lady. I felt as if I didn't have a family," Maria said.

Forced to use drugs and drink alcohol, Maria says she thought her life would soon end. She was horrified when she saw a very young girl brought into the house where she and others were being kept. She asked the girl how old she was. The answer: eight years old.

Maria says she attempted to escape once. She ran away and asked some police officers on the street for help. What she didn't know was that the officers were on the payroll of the pimp and took her right back into the brothel where she got another savage beating.

Maria and Lupe were kidnapped on January 27, 2010. Almost three months later, when Maria says she had lost all hope, she finally saw the light - literally.

Maria says she'll never forget the date: April 14. She woke up to see a ray of light in the room coming from behind an armoire. When she pushed the armoire out of the way, she found an unlocked door.
Maria says she ran as fast as she could. Several hours later, she ran into a young man who appeared genuinely concerned about her. A group of young Christian men fed her, gave her a room to stay the night and bought her a bus ticket home.

After Maria reached home, the girls' families went to the police who raided the brothel. Ten people were arrested and six underage girls rescued, including Lupe. The eight-year-old was not among them.

Lead prosecutor Victor Carranca, the state attorney in Puebla State, says this case allowed authorities to learn about the underworld of human trafficking and the vast networks that kidnap underage girl for forced prostitution.

"The State's Attorney's office focused on targeting sources of financing for these criminal groups. We eventually closed down 600 establishments," Carranca said. "Many of these places were not only illegal brothels, but meeting points where criminal gangs planned their crimes and illegal activities."
The cousins are now getting financial, legal and psychological help from Camino a Casa, an anti-trafficking organization that focuses on assisting victims. The foundation was started in 2005 by Rosi Orozco, a Mexican lawmaker who has launched a crusade against human trafficking.

"There are some people that think they can buy another human being," Orozco says. The Mexican Congressman authored an anti-trafficking bill that was signed into law in June.

The new law makes human trafficking a federal crime, punishable by up to 40 years in prison. And it targets not only those involved in sex trafficking, but also other forms of modern slavery, including forced labor and child pornography.

Orozco is also targeting those who pay to have sex with underage girls. "We all can change if we stop saying 'johns' - they're not johns! The clients are criminals," Orozco said. She estimates tens of thousands of underage girls are sexually exploited every year in Mexico.

With the help of the Camino a Casa foundation, both Maria and Lupe are learning new skills that will help them have a brighter future. They're back with their families. Maria says her mother still cries when she thinks about what her daughter went through.

As part of her therapy, she talks to small groups of people about her ordeal. "I want people to know what they did to me. I'm no longer angry or want to get revenge. That's what I want to say.

Vengeance is not good. I have already forgiven those people and I'm happy again," Maria says.
A long and painful road to recovery is ahead, but finally being home, Maria and Lupe say, allows them to dream again of a better future.

http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/19/teens-brothel-escape-triggers-mexico-clampdown/?hpt=hp_c1

Christian billionaire arrested over wife's death

The reclusive billionaire, 49, was arrested after the body of his wife, Eva, 48, was discovered at their luxury home in Cadogan Place, Chelsea. The cause of her death has not yet been established.
Mr Rausing was held on suspicion of murder but was moved to a "medical facility" for treatment for alcohol withdrawal.
He is expected to appear at West London magistrates’ court today on a charge of preventing a burial, which carries a maximum sentence of unlimited imprisonment.
He has been held by police since he was stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs on July 9.
Mrs Rausing’s body was discovered in a subsequent search of their home. It was thought she may have been dead for several days.

Earlier yesterday her father paid an emotional tribute to the couple in which he said the family loved Mr Rausing "with all our hearts".
Tom Kemeny, 71, a retired Pepsi-Cola executive from South Carolina, said: "We shall always remember Eva as a beautiful, generous and fun daughter, wife, mother, sister and aunt. Eva and Hans Kristian adored each other and their four beautiful children.
"When not in London they would have family holidays with their cousins and extended family, without any glitz or glamour. Eva and Hans Kristian were a devoted and loving couple for the 21 years they spent together.
"They bravely battled their demons and supported each other, and Eva will be a devastating loss to our beloved ‘son’, Hans Kristian, whom we love unconditionally with all our hearts."
The couple met at a drugs clinic but Mrs Rausing’s family said the pair had been clear of drugs for the first 12 years of their marriage.

However, they relapsed and were again plagued with an addiction to crack cocaine, while neighbours claimed they had lived in just two squalid rooms of their £70  million home before Mrs Rausing’s death.

Giving further details of her life, Mr Kemeny described his daughter as "immensely bright" but very shy. "We think she started experimenting with drugs in her late teens to overcome her shyness," he said.

After attending drug rehabilitation centres she finally recovered in the late 1980s and began trying to help others.

She married Mr Rausing at the Swedish Church in London on Oct 16, 1992.
Mrs Rausing went on to work for various drug charities. Ten years ago she and her husband established a rehabilitation centre in Barbados that has treated more than 2,000 local people.
Mr Kemeny said: "Eva and Hans Kristian ‘saved’ thousands of lives — tragically not her own. This is a stark reminder that the illness of addiction knows no social class or gender."

He described how his daughter had been receiving drug treatment in California shortly before she died, but her main concern had been to get her husband out from London to join the programme.
"Even in the depths of her despair she always worried more about the happiness and well-being of others," he said.

"At the time of her death her overriding concern was for the safety of her beloved husband, for whom she interrupted her own treatment to return to London in an attempt to take him back with her to California, but tragically to no avail."

Mr Kemeny said he hoped his daughter’s death would generate awareness and financial support to fight the "tragedy of drug addiction".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9407331/Billionaire-Rausing-charged-with-delaying-wifes-burial.html

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Women-only village created to protect Christian women from abuse and forced marriage

In the Samburu District in the Rift Valley Province in northern Kenya lies a village that is only inhabited by women who, in some form or another, have been victims of male abuse and were forced to leave their homes.

The story of the village of Umoja, which means “unity” in the Swahili language, goes back to 1990 when 15 women from the Samburu district formed a group called the Umoja Uaso Women’s Group.

Members of the group, who focused on women’s empowerment, decided to create and sell handcrafted products to be able to provide for themselves. They were, however, constantly harassed by men in their society who were against the independence of women.

To escape growing persecution, group members, led by the charismatic Rebecca Lolosoli, decided to leave their homes and establish a village for themselves, away from men who only seemed to want to subjugate them.

The village proved a great success and was gradually turned into a place where any Kenyan woman who has suffered gender-based abuse could come live.

Residents of the village are women who were raped or sexually assaulted as well as underage girls escaping forced marriages. There are also widows who were mistreated in their communities. The village has also become a provider of political asylum as several women fleeing tribal violence in the Turkana District, also in the Rift Valley Province, choose to live in Umoja.

Villagers here earn their living by selling their handicrafts as well as from a cultural center they established. They agreed to use all their earnings to provide for the entire village.

In addition to food and basic needs, revenue is also used for medical care and for maintaining a school that teaches reading and writing to young girls and illiterate women and offers training on a variety of skills.

Umoja is governed by a set of rules the women established. In addition to banning men from living in the village, all female residents should be treated as equals and should respect each other. They are also required to wear their traditional costume and accessories at all times in order to preserve the cultural heritage of the village.

The only males allowed to stay in the village are children who were born or raised there.

Umoja residents are not against having men in their lives in principle. In fact, many young women are planning to get married and have families. The only difference is that they are determined to do so on their own terms to ensure that their rights are never violated again.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Christian man arrested for killing his three daughters

This guy is from North Dakota, a place where 86% of the population is Christian. It also has the most churches per capita then any other place in the US (and probably Canada as well since a majority of Canadians are atheist).

(CNN) -- A 34-year-old father was being held by authorities Wednesday in connection with the deaths of his three daughters, who were found inside his ex-wife's Wisconsin home with the gas fireplace turned on, officials said.

Aaron Schaffhausen of Minot, North Dakota, is expected to be arraigned Thursday, said officials in River Falls, Wisconsin.

Formal charges are pending, and Schaffhausen is being held in the St. Croix County Jail, officials said.

Schaffhausen and his ex-wife, Jessica, divorced in January, and the three girls were in their mother's home with a baby sitter Tuesday when the father arrived and the baby sitter left, officials said.

The mother called River Falls police Tuesday afternoon with concerns about her three daughters' safety following statements made by the father regarding the children's well-being, officials said in a written statement.

Police found the gas fireplace turned on and smelled the odor of an apparent flammable liquid in the basement, officials said. An officer turned the gas off in the fireplace.

In the home police found the bodies of sisters Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5.
The bodies are being examined by the nearby Ramsey County, Minnesota, medical examiner's office, officials said, and results weren't available Wednesday.

Last March, the father allegedly threatened to harm one of the children in a harassment incident reported to River Falls police, officials said. Police records also show a domestic incident at the River Falls residence in August 2009, they said.

The family had lived in River Falls for several years, officials said.

The River Falls School District has arranged for counseling for families and students of Greenwood Elementary on Wednesday and Thursday, officials said.

The two older sisters attended Greenwood and "are remembered as bright, happy, friendly children," Superintendent Tom Westerhaus said in a written statement.

"The entire River Falls school family is shocked by this tragedy and deeply saddened by the loss of the three Schaffhausen girls," Westerhaus said.

Mayor Dan Toland described the incident as a tragedy.

"In these times, it is important for community members to support each other as we grieve the loss and deal with the shock together," Toland said in a release.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Southern Christian Leadership Conference supports Pastor who punched and kicked daughter

The Rev. Creflo Dollar Jr. picked up more support Friday when a local Southern Christian Leadership Conference official accused Fayette County Sheriff's deputies of mishandling the arrest of the megachurch pastor.

Dollar was charged with simple battery, family violence and cruelty to children last Friday after deputies determined they had probable cause to suggest the minister had choked and hit his 15-year-old daughter.

"I think it's been exaggerated because of who is it," the Rev. Samuel Mosteller, president of the SCLC's Georgia chapter, told reporters at a news conference Friday morning. "If it was a normal family I don't think there would've been an arrest at all."

A Fayette sheriff's office spokesman declined to comment Friday.

In an accompanying news release, Mosteller said that, as a result of Dollar's arrest, parents "may be hesitant to discipline the child and the child may be more likely to involve police."
"We believe the parent was exercising his parental responsibility, as all children cannot be allowed to leave the home when they are underage," Mosteller said.
Dollar's youngest daughter told deputies the altercation started because her father wouldn't allow her to attend a party. She alleged Dollar "punched ... and choked her," telling a 911 operator, "It was not the first time it's happened."

The pastor's 19-year-old Alexandria, who witnessed the fight, corroborated her sibling's story, telling police her father "put both hands around her sister's neck and choked her for about five seconds." Then, she said, the pastor of World Changers Church International in unincorporated Fulton County grabbed the 15-year-old by the shoulders and slapped her in the face.

Dollar, speaking from the pulpit last Sunday, denied the allegations, saying, "I should have never been arrested." Thousands of those in attendance gave Dollar a standing ovation.

Mosteller acknowledged at Friday's press conference that he wasn't "sure of the facts" in the case.
"I wasn't there," he said. "I can't talk about her credibility without some of the facts."
Still, Mosteller added he believes Dollar was merely attempting to discipline his daughter.
The 50-year-old Dollar is one of the most prominent African-American preachers in the Atlanta area. His flock has 30,000 members locally and in a ministry of satellite churches across the U.S.

http://www.ajc.com/news/fayette/sclc-official-deputies-wrong-1458818.html

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New York Pastor arrested for sexually assaulting two young girls

NEWARK — More than seven years after former associate pastor Lonny “Joe” Aleshire was arrested for sexually assaulting two girls, one testified in court for the first time about what happened.
The woman, now 22, described how her interaction with Aleshire, now 41, evolved from baby-sitting his children to having sex with him when she was 13 years old.

“I thought that he loved me and that I was so special,” she said. “Now, I’m made out to be a liar.”

The woman and her sister, who also was sexually assaulted by the former associate pastor of Licking Baptist Church in Hebron, filed a lawsuit in 2010, which culminated in a civil trial that started Tuesday.

Their attorney, Beverly Farlow, said Aleshire was liable for the harm he inflicted on the girls through his actions and the ridicule they received from his supporters.

“He is guilty in criminal court, and we are asking you to find him guilty in here, as well,” she said.

Aleshire’s attorney, Al Mokhtari, said his client was well-respected before he was accused of having a sexual relationship with the girls, and no one witnessed the incidents.

In November 2005, the two girls held hands with their relatives as they watched Aleshire be sentenced to seven years in prison after he pleaded guilty to six counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, three counts of sexual imposition and one count of rape.

Since 2005, Aleshire has filed multiple appeals, saying he thought he would be sentenced to three years in prison for his guilty pleas.

Aleshire’s goal in taking the plea deal was to get back to his children as soon as possible, Mokhtari said.

In 2011, Aleshire was indicted on three counts of perjury for pleading guilty under oath, then saying he was innocent in sworn statements. He admitted to committing perjury this past week and will be sentenced Wednesday.

The civil trial will continue today as well. The women and their parents seek compensation for the damage Aleshire imposed, Farlow said.

http://www.newarkadvocate.com/article/20120626/NEWS01/120626019/Civil-trial-against-former-pastor-Aleshire-begins

California Pastor arrested for sexually abusing teen girl

A pastor at an Inglewood church has been arrested on suspicion of engaging in sexual acts with a minor, authorities said Thursday.

Gordon Solomon, 50, of Christ's Community Church allegedly had a two-year relationship with a teenage congregant that started when the girl was 14, according to a statement released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Solomon and the victim allegedly exchanged emails and texts of a sexual nature and met at various locations. The victim's mother stumbled upon one of the explicit text messages from Solomon that was sent to the girl, authorities said, and immediately called police.

Solomon was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of felony lewd acts upon a child. He is being held in lieu of $3-million bail.

Investigators believe there may be additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Special Victims Bureau at (877) 710-5273 or specialvictims@lasd.org. To remain anonymous, call L.A. Crime Stoppers by dialing (800) 222-8477, texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637) or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/07/inglewood-pastor-arrested-on-suspicion-of-sexual-abuse-of-a-mino.html