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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…

Death Penalty 'Now Mandatory' for All Who Blaspheme Against Islam in Mauritania: Group

Mauritania
A missionary group that exposes Christian persecution has warned that new changes to Mauritania's apostasy law means that the death penalty will now be an unavoidable punishment for all people who are found to have blasphemed against Islam, even if they repent.

Todd Nettleton of The Voice of the Martyrs told on Thursday that there is increasing worry among Christians in the African nation regarding the changes to the law made by the Mauritanian National Assembly on April 27, which removes the 3-day window of opportunity for people to repent from blasphemy before they are punished.

"This new law sort of becomes more stringent - that three 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," Nettleton said.

"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.'"

While there have not been reports yet of Christians being given a death sentence over blasphemy in the predominantly Muslim nation, groups have warned that the fear of a mandatory death penalty could provide further obstacles for those thinking about following Jesus.

Source: bedfordnewsjournal.com, July 19, 2018


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