With Islamic extremist attacks seemingly happening throughout the world on a regular basis, the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, delivered a groundbreaking New Year's Day speech at the highly-prestigious, 1000-year-old Al-Azhar University and urged Muslim imams to change radical rhetoric and lead a "religious revolution" that embraces peace.
With extremists groups like the Islamic State, Boko Haram, and Al Qaeda killing thousands of innocent people in addition to the increase of radical attacks in other parts of the world, most in the international community no longer view Islam as "religion of peace," al-Sisi stated.
"Is it possible that 1.6 billion [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants – that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!" al-Sisi asserted. "I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma [international Muslim community] is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost – and it is being lost by our own hands." more >>
Nigerian terror group Boko Haram is believed to have killed close to 2,000 people in an attack on the city of Baga and surrounding villages in Borno state. Christian leaders have confirmed that several churches have also been burned in the attack.
"I received a message of the Christians Association of Nigeria, the association of Christian churches in Nigeria, which states that in that area Boko Haram has burned several churches and caused numerous victims" said Fr. Patrick Tor Alumuku, director of social communications of the Archdiocese of Abuja.
Boko Haram first attacked Baga on Wednesday, over-running a key military base there. Scores of people fled the surrounding area, and media reports have noted different estimates for the numbers of killed — though Musa Alhaji Bukar, a senior government official in the area, said that close to 2,000 people have died. more >>
Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped at least 40 boys and young men from a village in the state of Borno following a major raid. The victims, believed to be aged from 10 to 23 years old, are likely to be trained to fight for the jihadists.
CNN reported on Sunday that Boko Haram attacked the village of Malari with assault rifles last week, preaching extreme Islamic ideology to the locals and taking 40 people hostage, before moving on to the Sambisa forest.
The militants, who have been waging war on the government and the Christian population for over five years now, are known for their violent attacks and mass kidnappings. In April, they seized over 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok, an incident which sparked international outrage. more >>
A suicide bomber blew himself up just outside of an evangelical church in Nigeria Thursday morning.
The blast injured several people at a sanctuary located in the Nigerian city of Gombe, according to residents and a rescue worker.
"There was an explosion outside the ECWA church this morning. A suicide bomber who was restrained from getting into the church blew himself up," said Abubakar Yakubu, the head of the Nigeria Red Cross in Gombe. "Luckily no one was killed but some people were mildly injured." more >>
The Nigerian Security Network, an organization monitoring the casualties surrounding the Boko Haram insurgency, estimates that 2014 was the deadliest year so far in the terrorist group's five year insurgency in Northeast Nigeria.
According to World Bulletin, the monitoring group estimates that over 9,000 people have been killed as a result of Boko Haram violence in 2014, while over 1.5 million people have been displaced from their homes due to the conflict.
Additionally, the group estimates that 940 people were killed by insurgent attacks in just the month of November alone, while May saw the highest death toll of any month when over 4,000 deaths were tallied due to the violent insurgency. more >>
Andrew Palau, the son of famous evangelist Luis Palau, worked with 800 Christian churches to reach over 35,000 people in a series of major events in December in Burkina Faso, with a mission to bring hope to the troubled African nation.
Palau said that the response to the evangelistic message was "remarkable."
"We had people coming up to us asking how to accept Christ and wanting to do so throughout the week, Zacchaeus-like moments," he said. more >>