The al Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia is claiming responsibility for the Christmas day attack on the African Union base in Mogadishu that killed at least three peacekeepers and a civilian contractor last Thursday.
At least eight al Shabaab gunmen infiltrated the base and carried out the attack, which was initiated while the AU base was hosting a Christmas party. The al-Qaeda-linked extremist group's military operations spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters that the barrage was specifically designated to be carried out while Christmas was being celebrated on the base.
"We targeted the enemies at a time they were celebrating Christmas," Musab said. more >>
Christians in Nigeria reportedly celebrated Christmas in good numbers despite the constant threats of attacks, including suicide bombings, by terror group Boko Haram, which has destroyed churches and slaughtered entire congregations throughout the years. Many who celebrated the holiday at churches are internally displaced people, who no longer have any homes to go to.
Fr. Gideon Obasogie, director of communications of the Diocese of Maiduguri, told Fides News Agency that despite fears of terrorist attacks, "the Catholic faithful went to Christmas Mass, majority of whom are IDPs from the Adamawa part of the diocese (Pulka, Madagali, Gulak, MichiKa, Mubi), to express their faith in an eloquent manner."
Boko Haram has been attacking Nigerian government and church buildings for over five years now, often targeting the country's Christians who make up close to half of the population. The militants have made it their mission to establish Islamic law over the nation, and drive out all followers of Christ. more >>
Ridley Scott's latest film "Exodus: Gods and Kings" starring Christian Bale has been banned in Egypt after censors deemed the film historically inaccurate.
The blockbuster was set to premiere in both Egypt and Morocco on Friday, according to several reports. The Egyptian censorship board said that "Exodus," which is based on the biblical book of Exodus, was historically inaccurate since it depicts Jews building the Pyramids, according to the BBC. Moreover, the Hollywood film portrays an earthquake, not a miracle, causing the Red Sea to part.
"It contains historical fallacies," Egyptian censorship board head Abdul Sattar Fathy said in a statement, according to Egypt's news portal, Mobtada. Fathy also cited the film's depiction of Moses that was similar to a general in an army as opposed to the biblical prophet who is highly revered in the Abrahamic religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. more >>
A Christian missionary who has been serving with her husband in Central Africa for the past 25 years tells of her experiences working to empower women and children victimized by militants in the conflict-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo.
Congo, home to an estimated 77.4 million people, has been wracked almost since its declaration as a republic in 1960 by civil war, and later ethnic conflicts and a refugee crises. Subsequent peace deals and an eventual democratic election have done very little to redeem the 5.8 million lives lost to violence and reassure the additional millions living in displacement. Roaming militia forces, vying to control pockets of the country as well as its many natural resources, remain the bane of any attempts to stabilize the Christian-majority nation.
A particular kind of violence, perpetrated mostly upon Congo's female population by roaming militias (from Rwanda, Uganda, or elsewhere) and even by members of the national army, have earned the Central African country the deplorable distinction of being the "rape capital of the world," as well as the worst place in the world to be a woman, according to the United Nations. more >>
The parents of one of the over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamic terror group Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria earlier this year have expressed their "indescribable pain" at facing Christmas without their daughter.
Rebecca Yaga told CNN that she refused to believe her daughter was among those taken by Boko Haram's raid on the all-girls school in April, but the fact was confirmed on the evening news.
"Seriously, seriously, mum and her daughter. The pain is indescribable," she said. more >>
Boko Haram militants are believed to have kidnapped around 172 women and children and killed 35 other people during a raid earlier this week in the northeast Nigerian village of Gamsuri. Boko Haram's advancements in Cameroon have been dealt a heavy defeat, however, after 116 militants were killed on Wednesday in an attack on a northern base.
Residents of Gumsuri reported the kidnappings on Thursday, according to Reuters, in the latest attack by the Islamic militants on villages and cities across Nigeria. The terror group, which has killed thousands in the country since 2009 in a mission to establish Islamic rule, gained international notoriety for kidnapping over 200 schoolgirls from a secondary school in Chibok, only 15 miles from Gumsuri.
Abba Musa, a villager who survived the attack, revealed that the gunmen shouted "God is Great" as they attacked the village and killed at least 35 people. more >>