Atheist Republic News Summary: Pastor Gets Short Jail Time

1. Pastor Raped His 14-Yr-Old Daughter For 2 Years, Gets Shorter Jail Time For Being "A Man Of God"
Location: Tennessee, USA

2. Iraqi man sentenced to 2 years in prison for 'insulting' Prophet
Location: Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq

3. Filmmaker Subhash Ghai Suggests Indian Temples To Donate 90% Of The Gold To Help People In Need
Location: India

4. Man tries to set 4-year-old on fire to 'burn demon' out of him
Location: Pennsylvania

5. Afghan attack: Babies killed as gunmen storm Kabul maternity ward
Location: Kabul, Afghanistan

6. Girls at risk of child marriage as half of local authorities fail to keep records
Location: England & Wales

7. Pakistan girls murdered over phone video footage
Location: North & South Waziristan tribal districts

8. Christian Pastor: I Won’t Obey Health Orders Until They “Sell Popsicles in Hell”
Location: Louisiana, USA

9. Moroccan Police Arrest 5 for Deliberately Smoking During Ramadan
Location: Rabat, Morocco

10. A 21-year-old queer student dies in Goa. Homophobia triggered her suicide, say friends
Location: Hosdurg, India

Video descriptions:
1. A former pastor was convicted of raping his adopted teenage daugther, beginning when she was just 14 years old. David Lynn Richards Jr. was found guilty by the jury on nine felony counts, including rape, incest and sexual battery by an authority figure. He was given only 12 years of prison time despite the prosecutor recommending a sentence of 72 years. The Judge attributed this light sentence to Richards’s religious leadership and the outpouring of support from his congregation. The pastor maintains his innocence despite DNA evidence to the contrary.

2. An Iraqi man has been sentenced to two years in prison for alleged blasphemous comments against the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook. After an investigation, he confessed he owned the Facebook page and that all the comments were issued by him as an atheist. The supreme court claimed that the man had “harmed the feelings of millions of Muslims in the East and West” through his alleged defamatory comments, adding that he was sentenced as per Article 372 of Iraqi Penalty Code which has been in place since 1969.

3. On May 14th, Subhash Ghai tweeted: “All rich temples with huge gold reserves should surrender to the government and donate 90% of its gold to serve poor people under stress since they got it from people only in the name of Gods?” Several congress members have echoed similar statements. Meanwhile, his tweet prompted much criticism, and demands that he donate 90% of his wealth.

4. A Pennsylvania man was arrested after he doused a 4-year-old boy with gasoline and threatened to burn a "demon" out of him, police said. A witness, who arrived at the home before the police, reported that the perpetrator told him, “If we can’t get out the demon, I’ll burn it out of him," according to the complaint. In addition to the aggravated assault of a person under the age of 6, the 27 year old Josiah James McIntosh was charged with reckless endangerment and child endangerment.

5. On May 12th, unidentified gunmen stormed a government-run hospital in Kabul, killing 2 babies and 16 mothers as well as staff. In the days following, Afghan officials have said the attack left 24 people dead in total. Although no group has claimed responsibility, Afghan officials are blaming the Taliban. U.S. officials believe the Islamic State is responsible, as they have taken responsibility for a bombing at a funeral on the same day, killing 32. Many are attributing the attack to sectarian violence as the attack occurred in a mostly Shia area of the capital.

6. The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organization (IKWRO) warns officials about a likely spike in child marriage cases in England and Wales following the easing of pandemic lockdowns. It has written to local authorities amid concerns that social workers can not properly identify “honour”-based abuse including child marriage. Of the 1,764 cases involving a possible forced marriage the UK “Forced Marriage Unit” gave support to in 2018, 574 (33%) involved victims under 18. Currently, 56% of departments responsible for children’s social care in the two countries were found not recording how many minors were at risk of child marriage.

7. 2 girls, age 16 and 18, were shot dead by male family members in Shamplan village after they appeared in a video wherein they were kissed by a man aged 28. The video was recorded nearly a year beforehand, and had been circulating on social media shortly before the murders. The man in the video has since been arrested for making the “vulgar” video. A male cousin of the girls has since been arrested, and the father of one victim and the brother of the other are also in police custody for failing to report the killings and concealing evidence.

8. Pastor Tony Spell of the Life Tabernacle Church said he won’t obey the sensible instructions to hold church services outdoors and limit attendance to 25% of capacity until they “sell popsicles in Hell and set up an ice skating rink in the Lake of Fire and sell tickets for admission.” He continues, “… We will never comply with any anti-God, anti-church, anti-free American Christian order that says ‘Do not have church.’” Spell went on to say he would have overflow attendance at future in-person indoor church services, including people coming from out-of-state.

9. Article 222 of the Moroccan constitution criminalizes breaking the fast in public during the holy month. Five teenagers were arrested, not only for breaking the fast in public, but also for violating the state of emergency. The five individuals risk a fine between MAD 300 and MAD 1,300 ($30 to $130) for violating the state of emergency, in addition to one month to six months in jail for breaking the fast in public.

10. Roughly a month before her death by hanging, Anjana Harish, a 21 year old, openly bisexual student, posted a video to Facebook detailing the abuse she suffered from her family in an attempt to “cure” her bisexuality. She described solitary confinement inside a cell at a mental health centre, under the guise of “conversion therapy,” and the dizzying side effects of the medication she was made to take. Her friends point to the pervasive homophobia in her household as a major factor in her death.

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