Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spanish Priest: Beat your wives, but don't kill them

How merciful of him!

A sermon by a Spanish priest during a holy communion has caused a storm after he spoke of how men wouldn't beat their wives to death thirty years ago because they had Christian values.

The inappropriate speech, given during a child’s first communion in the southern city of JaĆ©n, has sent shockwaves through Spanish society after it was posted on YouTube on Monday.

“Thirty years ago there was a lot more ignorance and a man would maybe get drunk and when he got home beat up his wife, but he wouldn’t kill her like they do nowadays,” the priest told his audience.

“There used to be a set of Christian principles and values. People would live by the commandments and their Christian education, so even if a person got drunk, he knew that the fifth commandment said ‘thou shalt not kill.”

According to the priest, the ‘current’ situation has arisen because “Jesus has disappeared from our society”.

“There are more crimes, violence, drugs, murders, cases of gender violence” even though human beings are “technically more perfect”, he added.

“Do you see how important it is to know Jesus?”

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Alabama pastor arrested for raping his own family member

William Best, 47, who formerly lead Living Waters Worship Center in Valley Grande, Ala., has been arrested and charged with allegedly committing second degree rape, second degree sodomy and incest against an underage family member.

Best was arrested Tuesday after the victim reported the activity to her mother Saturday and brought the charges to police Monday. He is being held at the Dallas County Jail on a $2 million bond, the higest ever set in the county for similar charges, said District Attorney Michael Jackson during Best's Thursday court appearance.

The victim has accused Best of sexually assaulting her at the church, where he served for three years, and his home. According to the 17-year-old victim's report to Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman Jr., Best had sex with her "dozens of times."

The sherriff's department said it has "solid DNA evidence" implicating Best. After arresting the pastor on Tuesday, the sheriff's department seized several pieces of physical evidence, including a computer, which it suspects will contain pornographic pictures of the 17-year-old, reported the Selma Times Journal.

"Pastors, of all people, should be above stuff like this," Huffman said. "By committing these acts, he let so many people down who would come to him with their problems."

The day he was arrested, Living Waters' board fired Best in a unanimous decision. Rick Barrett, the chair of the board, expressed anger at the turn of events, telling WSFA that Best had been highly recommended by another Alabama church.

The Christian Post called Living Waters for comment but no one answered the phone at the church, though local news reports said the church had posted a sign Wednesday that read, "Pray for our church — God will see us through."

Colorado pastor arrested for sexually abusing teenage girl

WESTMINSTER - A Westminster pastor was arrested Wednesday for alleged sexual abuse of a teenage girl who was a member of his church.

Gerald Clark, 51, was booked on a $20,000 bond. He bonded out Thursday.

According to an arrest affidavit, Clark is the pastor of Jericho Ministries International, which meets at Greenway Club House at 110 Greenway Drive in Broomfield. Clark previously served as a leader of a Westminster church.

The affidavit says the abuse occurred over a period of several years, beginning in 2009. The victim lived with Clark and his wife during the summer months, according to the affidavit.

The victim told police Clark sexually assaulted her as many as 50 times over the three years. She says it happened at his home, in church, during church trips, and in his car.

Police say the girl finally confronted Clark, because she was worried about others in the church youth group. That's when the abuse stopped, according to the affidavit. The female victim is now 17.

The Jericho church's web site included audio of many sermons by Clark. The site also described infidelity in the pastors marriage, though it said he has since healed his relationship with his wife.

The website appeared to have been shut down Thursday night.

Clark is due in court next week.

Mississippi pastor arrested for raping high school girl

A Mississippi man working as a Baptist preacher has been arrested for the rape of a Jackson high school student, authorities said.

Lenell McGee resigned last month as a janitor for the Forest Hill High School after a student accused him of taking her to a motel room and sexually assaulting her, reported WAPT-TV.

He was arraigned Friday and released after posting $50,000 bail.
He surrendered Thursday to the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department. He had been serving as a Baptist pastor.
There were conflicting local reports on the name of his church.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Ghana pastor rapes teenage girl and threatens to kill her, but other pastors force police to let him go

The Tesano Police have arrested a pastor of a church based at Sowutuom, a suburb of Accra, for raping a church member.

“After drinking anointing oil given to me by Pastor Isaac Asante, I instantly felt dizzy and the next moment, I saw my pastor lying on me and having sex with me right on the bare floor…..”

These were the words of an 18-year old Senior High School leaver who accused an associate pastor of the Sowutuom church, Pastor Isaac Asante, of sexually assaulting her.

She said the matter was reported to the Tesano Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit which arrested the pastor, but he was released by the police without the matter being taken to court.

“I spent three days on admission at the Police Hospital and upon my discharge, I was told Pastor Isaac, who was arrested, had been freed by the police without the matter going to court,” the victim claimed.
In an interview with the father of the victim, John Kwarteng, at the offices of DAILY GUIDE, he alleged that he received a telephone call from the coordinator in charge of the Tesano DOVVSU, DSP Sophia Ennin, suggesting to him to settle the matter out of court instead.

“Even though doctors who attended to my daughter at the Police Hospital confirmed in the doctor’s report that my daughter’s hymen was broken, and also confirmed that she had been raped, the police freed the suspect after several interventions from his senior pastors,” Mr Kwarteng alleged.

Attempts to speak to the Tesano DOVVSU Commander were not fruitful.

Mr Kwarteng therefore called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to intervene in the matter, especially after it had been discovered that his innocent daughter who went to the church for prayers, was instead raped by a pastor.

The 18-year-old victim narrated that she met Pastor Asante on whatsapp, after he had posted an advertisement that they were having a special anointing service.

“I then got in touch with Pastor Asante and since then we constantly met on the platform for a chat about life and religion.

“One day while we were chatting, Pastor Asante told me to see him immediately around 5:00pm on March 12, 2014 for special prayers since he had a revelation about me and wanted to pray for me.

“He also asked me to put on something red for the special prayers but on that day when I was leaving, I forgot and wore a black and white attire.”

She said Pastor Asante was not happy upon seeing her attire and consequently handed her a red handkerchief for the special prayers.

“We went into a room he claimed was their consulting room and collected the red handkerchief from me to pray on it.

“Pastor Asante took an olive oil from his pocket, mixed something with it and gave it to me to drink, claiming that it will drive any evil spirit from me.

“After taking the oil however, I felt dizzy and fell on the ground and when I regain consciousness, I discovered my pastor lying on me, and having sex with me on the floor.

“I also felt a sharp pain in my abdomen and blood oozing from my vagina after the act.

“Pastor Asante, in the process, warned me not to tell anyone or he would personally kill me, and went ahead to wipe the blood on my thighs and those that had dropped on the floor with the red handkerchief, but later put it into his pocket.”

The victim said she went straight home with the pain and reported the matter to her parents who also reported it to the Tesano DOVVSU.

“A hospital form was given to me for medical attention at the Police Hospital. I spent three days on admission at the Police Hospital and when I was discharged, I was told the suspect had been freed by the police on grounds of health.”

Florida pastor molested three females, including 12 year old

Hillsborough County, Florida -- The Hillsborough County Sheriff's office has arrested a pastor who is accused of molesting three women.

Pastor Francisco Rios was arrested around 1 a.m. on Friday morning for molesting women in incidents dating back to 2011. The investigation was initiated after the three victims talked to each other and discovered that each of them had been inappropriately touched by Rios.

A 17-year-old victim says she was molested by Rios on 15 different occasions beginning back in 2011 and Rios insisted he was doing it because he loved her as a pastor and she was not to tell anyone because he could get in trouble.

The second victim is a 43-year-old woman who says Rios convinced her that his inappropriate behavior was a way to cure a medical condition.

The third victim is a 12-year-old girl who was touched by Rios approximately two times a week for the past year.

Rios is the pastor of Casa de Amor in Brandon where all the incidents occurred. He is currently being held without bond.

10 News has a crew headed to the church and will have more tonight at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pastor from South Carolina arrested for sexually abusing teen girl multiple times

SPARTANBURG, S.C - The pastor of The Church in Spartanburg, 27-year-old Ronald Thomas Norris of Roebuck, is charged with third degree criminal sexual conduct.

According to Lieutenant Kevin Bobo, an investigator with the sheriff's office Special Victim Unit was notified by a school official at Woodruff High School that a girl had been sexually assaulted.

The investigators obtained statements from the victim, her mother and the victim's boyfriend, and then approached Norris, who invoked his right to an attorney. Investigators took Norris into custody.

According to a report obtained from the sheriff's office, the victim told investigators that she had been sexually abused by Norris multiple times since she was 16-years-old. She stated that he touched her inappropriately and kissed her.

Bobo said that Norris is the pastor at The Church, located at 1855 East Main Street, Unit 14, Suite 130 in Spartanburg.

Spartanburg Detention Center says Norris was released on a $10,000 bond.

Kentucky pastor arrested for exposing his penis to 15 year old girl

Kevin Lohse, who police say is the acting pastor at Woodlawn Baptist Church, was arrested Wednesday on charges of exposing himself to a 15-year-old girl in Burkes Outlet. Police posted a still mage from video surveillance camera footage of the suspect on social media in an attempt to indentify the man.

"In the video [not disclosed to the public], you can clearly see Mr. Lohse manipulating his zipper, then exposing his penis to the 15-year-old girl," Russellville Police Detective Samantha Reeser told WBKO.

Even though the suspect had left the scene before police arrived, once his image was posted on the police department's Facebook page and was shared more than 600 times, he later turned himself in to authorities.

"A still image was taken from the video and posted to our Facebook page. We asked the community to help us identify the male. That picture quickly received a lot of attention and obvious concern, which resulted in Mr. Kevin Lohse reporting to the police department on Feb. 21, 2014, to turn himself in," said Reeser.

Authorities say that Lohse admitted to being accompioned by his 7-year-old son in the store. He was in the juniors section of the store when he allegedly exposed himself.

Ingrid Sweeney, who is a neighbor of Woodlawn Baptist Church, described Lohse's alleged actions as "just unbelievable, but you never know."

"People think just because he is a preacher (pause) well, preachers do everything that everyone else is doing," she told WBKO.

Sweeney added that she has a close relationship with many of the church's leadership and attributed Lohse's actions to something wrong that is with him and not his congregation.

"It's not the church. No, it's him. I feel horrible for his family, he must have went through some type of depression or something. Something must not have clicked up there," said Sweeney.

Lohse was released from jail on Thursday.

On Monday, the Russellville Police Department thanked the community for its help on its Facebook page.

"This is a prime example of community policing. Due to an overwhelming number of people who have shared this photo, we now have charges pending against the perpetrator in this case. You are our most valuable resource. Thank you!" the department wrote.

The comment thread showed several dozen community members relaying information about who to contact to move forward with information about the case.

California pastor arrested for having sexually explicit images of underage girls

An Oakdale youth pastor facing a local charge of possessing child pornography was arrested on federal charges Wednesday afternoon in Stanislaus Superior Court.

Tyler David Bliss, 27, was arrested on suspicion of receiving or distributing images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to criminal complaint filed in federal court Friday.

It’s likely Bliss will appear in federal court today because he was taken into federal custody Wednesday afternoon, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento.

Bliss was a youth minister at Bethel Church when he was arrested Feb. 17. The Oakdale church on G Street is affiliated with the Assemblies of God. Wednesday, Bliss was taken away in handcuffs by two officials who served a federal arrest warrant for him in the downtown Modesto courtroom.

Bliss was questioned by investigators at the Ceres Police Department shortly after his arrest last month. He told the investigators he downloaded child porn images from a website, according to an affidavit filed by federal authorities March 14 in support of the criminal complaint.

As the investigation into Bliss continued, investigators found sexually explicit images of an underage girl with whom Bliss has had a relationship, according to the affidavit. The images were sent by cellphone from the girl to Bliss. “Bliss developed the relationship with the minor female through his work as a youth pastor,” the FBI agent wrote in the affidavit. Bliss had served in youth ministry at the church since 2009 and oversaw junior high, high school and college programs while pursuing a preaching license with the Assemblies of God.

A few days after Bliss’ arrest last month, Ted King, vice chairman of the church’s board, said the church was extremely shocked and would continue to cooperate with authorities in the investigation. King also said the church would not comment further until the case concludes, because of the nature of the charges.

Bliss told investigators he paid $12.95 per month for a website subscription and sent the child porn images to four other email accounts, where he stored the images, according to the affidavit.

“I know from training and experience that subjects who participate in the illegal trading of child pornography will often have numerous email accounts,” FBI agent Mark Lucas wrote in the affidavit. “This is because email service providers will often close down accounts that participate in illegal activity, thus forcing the suspects to resort to using alternate email accounts.”

Lucas said investigators found child porn images on Bliss’ laptop computer in his bedroom, his cellphone and a laptop computer found at the Oakdale church. Bliss told the investigators he has used the church computer to view child porn. The FBI agent wrote in the affidavit that Bliss said “he thought he was getting more adept at hiding his child pornography so that no one else would discover it.” After the police interview, Bliss was booked at the Stanislaus County Jail and later released on bail.

The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office initially charged Bliss with one felony count of possessing child porn. The defendant was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for the first time since his initial arrest.

Bliss appeared before the judge with defense attorney Kirk McAllister, who told the judge his client was going to plead not guilty to the local charge. They were about to discuss scheduling a pretrial hearing when the prosecutor spoke up.

Deputy District Attorney Rob Taro told the judge that the local prosecutors were dropping the child porn charge “in the interest of justice.”

Superior Court Judge John Whiteside then pulled up a document from the case file, telling the attorneys it was a federal arrest warrant for Bliss. Two officials standing in the courtroom aisle during the hearing approached Bliss from behind.

One of them told Bliss he was under arrest and read him his rights as the other placed handcuffs on him. As they were ushering him out of the courtroom, Bliss mouthed, “I love you,” to his family and supporters sitting in the audience.

Bliss ducked his head as he was walked out of the courthouse to avoid news photographers waiting to catch a glimpse of him. His family and supporters did not comment after the brief court hearing. McAllister also declined to comment about Bliss’ federal arrest. Ceres police officers searched Bliss’ Oakdale home, in the 600 block of Hudson Avenue, and the church, in the 100 block of East G Street, and confiscated the computers.

The Ceres Police Department’s High Tech Crimes task force initially investigated Bliss’ suspected activities. The investigation was launched after Google Inc. discovered a child porn image on Bliss’ email account and sent a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The center then sent the information from Google to the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force. Ceres police Detective Britton Moore is assigned to the federally funded task force.

The initial image that alarmed Google and later investigators was of two girls who appeared to be 5 to 8 years old in a sexual act with an unidentified man, according to the affidavit.

Moore determined that Bliss’ email account had been used extensively for the purpose of trading in child pornography because investigators found on the account 286 images associated with the sexual exploitation of children and other child erotica, including bondage, according to the affidavit.

Google had disabled Bliss’ email account as soon as the original child porn files were discovered Dec. 2. Moore discovered that Bliss’ email account was used to send some child porn images to another email address registered to Bliss – at least 17 times from Oct. 11 through Dec. 1, according to the affidavit.

Bliss admitted to investigators that he was sexually attracted to girls ages 12 to 14 and viewed pornographic images of children as young as 4 years old, according to the affidavit.

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Muslim convert to Christianity arrested for sexual assault

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A re-interpreted critical analysis of interfaith marriage

This has been bothering me for some time now. Maybe I'm overreacting. When one reads the title, he/she would think of me as a secular, liberal/reformist kinda guy, but thats far from the truth. In this day and age, when Muslims, both men and women, are marrying outside their religion, and the kids that they have grow up non-muslim, it is painful for another to see this. Below is what I have thought of. For some, it might not make sense, others might call me a blasphemer (you'd be surprised what muslims say to one another these days), but I firmly believe in what I have considered about interfaith marriages. My conclusion: Muslims can ONLY marry Muslims. Period.

Verse 4:25 from Sahih International. All translations say the exact same but this one is worded better:
"And whoever among you cannot [find] the means to marry free, believing women, then [he may marry] from those whom your right hands possess of believing slave girls. And Allah is most knowing about your faith. You [believers] are of one another."

Allah knows about our faith. He then says in verse 5:3 (Sahih)

"This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion."

Question: Why is Allah SWT telling us to marry Muslims? If not free, then believing slaves? Note: This verse applies to women as well. He also says that he knows about our faith. He says islam is our religion. He also says that the believers are one of another.

Verse 9:71 from Sahih International, Muhsin Khan, Pickthall, Yusuf Ali, and Shakir:

The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those - Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

"The believers, men and women, are Auliya' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); they perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give the Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. "

"And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey Allah and His messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise."
"The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practise regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise."

"And (as for) the believing men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other; they enjoin good and forbid evil and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger; (as for) these, Allah will show mercy to them; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise."

And who exactly are these people? The Quran answers again:

Whoever works righteousness — whether male or female — while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)." (Quran 16:97)

"Lo! men who surrender unto Allah, and women who surrender, and men who believe and women who believe, and men who obey and women who obey, and men who speak the truth and women who speak the truth, and men who persevere (in righteousness) and women who persevere, and men who are humble and women who are humble, and men who give alms and women who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast, and men who guard their modesty and women who guard (their modesty), and men who remember Allah much and women who remember - Allah hath prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward." (Quran 33:35)
So, as we can see, the believing men and women are allies, protectors and guardians of each other. When Allah SWT stated Islam is the religion, then what makes up those who follow islam? It's the above verse. Clearly, connections can be seen from all of these verses. Which has to mean that verse 5:5, where man say it speaks of interfaith marriages, has to mean something else.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Florida pastor arrested for punching and slapping his daughter

CALLAHAN, Fla. -- A local pastor is speaking out for the first time since his arrest on Dec. 9 in a domestic battery case.

"My heart is heavy. I'm not angry at my daughter," said Elmer Holbrooks.

Holbrooks said he's embarrassed. He was cuffed right outside of his Nassau County church and thrown in jail after a fight with his 19-year-old daughter.
Holbrooks said she was using his backhoe and became frustrated with it.

"She throwed it in reverse turned the wheels and throwed it in forward, and full steam ahead, slammed on the brakes," he said. "I popped her on her right shoulder once, maybe twice. I don't think it was the second time until she looked at me with a hateful attitude like 'what did you do' and I popped her again and said 'don't disrespect your dad'," said Holbrooks.

His daughter Charity called police, and according to the report, she told deputies she was slapped in the face.

Action News called Charity to get her side of the story,  but she swore at our reporter and hung up. Holbrooks said the damage to his reputation is done and he's apologized to his congregation at The Anchor Church.

"We have often stated that 'I'll go to jail for what I believe in' as far as discipline and I guess this is one of those cases where you get it. The public likes it and I have to suffer with it now," said Holbrooks.

The pastor said he was told he won't lose his congregation or his standing with the church. He is facing a misdemeanor charge and has an arraignment scheduled for Dec. 30.

Alabama pastor arrested for murdering his wife

NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- An Alabama pastor charged with murdering his wife was arrested in Nashville Thursday after booking a flight from BNA to Frankfurt, Germany.

Reverend Richard Lee Shahan was charged with the murder of his wife Karen, who was found murdered inside their home in July. Shahan was the pastor at First Baptist Church of Birmingham.

The Department of Homeland Security conducted the arrest.