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Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible in All Cases

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ROME — Pope Francis has declared the death penalty inadmissible in all cases because it is “an attack” on the “dignity of the person,” the Vatican announced on Thursday, in a definitive shift in Roman Catholic teaching that could put enormous pressure on lawmakers and politicians around the world.
Francis, who has spoken out against capital punishment before — including in 2015 in an address to Congress — added the change to the Catechism, the collection of beliefs for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
The revision says the church would work “with determination” for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.
“I think this will be a big deal for the future of the death penalty in the world,” said John Thavis, a Vatican expert and author. “People who work with prisoners on death row will be thrilled, and I think this will become a banner social justice issue for the church,” he added.
Sergio D’Elia, the secretary of Hands Off Cain, an association that works to abolish capital puni…

Mauritania cracking down on apostasy with mandatory death sentence

Mauritania
There will no longer be mercy for those convicted of apostasy in Mauritania.

Previously, any Mauritanian who committed blasphemy or left the Muslim faith had 3 days to repent before they were punished. Penalties included prison terms or a death sentence.

However, a new law was passed on April 27th by the Mauritanian National Assembly. Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs explains, "This new law sort of becomes more stringent - that 3 days to repent disappears. Everyone is going to be punished. Even if you do repent, you are still going to be punished. And in the case of blasphemous remarks or sacrilegious acts, according to the law, the death penalty is now mandatory.

"The other thing that was very fascinating to me is, in explaining this change in the law, the Minister of Defense said that 'what we had before was actually in contradiction with official Sharia code, the official Sharia law. We want to be as close to the real Sharia law as possible, so we needed to eliminate that discrepancy between the 2.'"

Mauritania is a Muslim nation and while no Christian has been given a death sentence yet, this law is especially concerning for new converts. A mandatory death sentence for apostasy could cause someone who is considering following Jesus to think twice.

Even though the CIA World Factbook reports that Mauritania is officially 100 % Muslim, there is an underground Church presence. The Holy Spirit cannot be stopped at the Mauritania borders, and Mauritanian believers are living out their faith in secret. One of their biggest needs is fellowship.

"What often happens to someone who comes to faith in Christ is they are cut off. They are cut off from their Muslim friends. They are cut off even from their families. So having fellowship with other believers, having a way to be encouraged and to be discipled, those are challenging things in a country where there are so few Christians."

Source: mnnonline.org, June 7, 2018


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