The Rev. Franklin Graham noted Thursday that the country of South Sudan marked its fourth independence day since it separated from the Republic of Sudan, but warned that people caught in the ongoing civil war that has torn the nation apart are "suffering beyond belief." Some shocking reports from the war have shared stories of children burned alive, or castrated and left to die.
"I was there when this new nation was born, but sadly their stability and peace was short-lived. Now a civil war is raging, and it is largely instigated by Sudan in the north," Graham said in a Facebook message.
He pointed to a recent article in the The New York Times that reported on a number of the personal tales of daily struggles and death that South Sudanese people face, and said that the horror of these stories "will open" people's eyes. more >>
Last July, as the Ebola crisis in West Africa grabbed the world's attention, fear gripped and paralyzed many leaders. The concern about Ebola's spread reached all the way to North America, where several medical missionaries received treatment, and even American hospital workers became infected by a traveler coming into the country.
One year later, scientists are still tallying the results. The Ebola outbreak apparently started when a bat infected a 2-year-old child in December 2013, according to Nature, the International Journal of Science (June 17, 2015). Soon, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia were battling a near pandemic as Ebola infected more than 27,000 people and claimed 11,134 lives.
As the world approaches the first anniversary of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, we must ask what efforts would avert a repeat of this tragedy. more >>
The Nigerian terrorist outfit Boko Haram has offered the release over 200 kidnapped schoolgirls who were abducted from a boarding school over a 14 months ago in exchange for the release of multiple Boko Haram militant leaders who are being held by the Nigerian government.
A human rights activist who is close to the negotiations between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity that the terrorist group's renewed offer includes only the release of the 200-plus girls who were kidnapped from a school in the northern Nigerian town of Chibok in the early hours of April 15, 2014.
Although the militant group kidnapped a total of 276 girls, some managed to escape and an estimated 219 girls remain detained by the Nigerian ISIS affiliate. The girls are believed to have been forced into marriages with Boko Haram fighters or trained to become suicide bombers. more >>
Today, South Sudan is celebrating its fourth Independence Day, but almost no one there is celebrating. Instead they are trying to avert a famine.
Last month I was at a nutrition center in the city of Kuajok in South Sudan where I measured the circumference of the upper arm of Riing Ayii, a 15-month-old boy, in order to determine his level of malnutrition.
With skin hanging off his bones the little boy easily fit the U.N. definition of severely malnourished. Riing's upper arm measured no more than the circle you could make with your thumb and index finger. I couldn't help but think of my own healthy 15-month-old grandson toddling around the backyard at twice Riing's size. more >>
The American Center for Law and Justice has warned that "time is running out" for two imprisoned Presbyterian pastors who are on trial and facing a possible death penalty for their Christian faith. The ACLJ has also launched a letter-writing campaign for the pastors, and urged people to sign it.
"We have launched a massive letter-writing campaign to Sudan's new minister of justice demanding Sudan follow international law, ensure that these persecuted pastors can properly prepare a defense, and that the case be dismissed for a lack of evidence," the law group said on Wednesday.
"The more letters we send to him, the higher the international pressure. The higher the international pressure, the more likely pastors Michael and Peter will find justice and freedom." more >>
A Sudanese court has ruled that a young Christian woman must pay a fine or serve a one month jail sentence after she and 11 other girls were accused of violating Shariah law by wearing trousers and skirts while walking home from a church function in the nation's capital of Khartoum.
According to Sudan Tribune, only one of the 12 Christian girls who were arrested on their way home from a church service at El Izba Baptist Church in Khartoum on June 25 was ordered to pay a fine of 500 Sudan pounds, which is the equivalent to about $83. The judged stated that if she was unable to pay the fine she would be imprisoned for one month.
As previously reported, the women were stopped by police on their way home, arrested and taken to the local police station where two of them were freed without charge, while the other 10 were forced by officers to strip out of their clothes. The officers claimed they needed the women to strip so that they could inspect the clothes to determine if they were in violation with the law, an explanation that many believe is "hypocritical." more >>