The evangelical humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse airlifted over 60,000 gift-filled shoeboxes on Wednesday to the Kurdish-controlled region of Northern Iraq, intending to provide hope to children living as refugees after they were forced to flee their homes to escape from the wrath of the Islamic State.
Through Operation Christmas Child, a program run by evangelist Franklin Graham and his Samaritan's Purse organization, people from all over the United States, United Kingdom and Canada have combined efforts to fill up 60,000 shoeboxes with small gifts and uplifting messages, which will be flown from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to the city of Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.
With Samaritan's Purse already supporting a major refugee camp in the town by airlifting supplies in October, the Operation Christmas Child airlift is the second that Samaritan's Purse has conducted to support the refugees living in Iraq. more >>
Researchers are saying that a recent mass execution video released by the Islamic State, showing the simultaneous execution of 22 Syrian soldiers, took up to as many as six hours to film, required expensive production software, and likely needed a small production crew to produce.
In mid November, ISIS released a propaganda video entitled "Though the Unbelievers Despise It", which runs about 16 minutes and was filmed in the town of Dabiq in West Syria. Along with the mass beheadings of the Syrian soldiers, this video also purported the death of U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig by showing his severed head.
Researchers from the Terrorism research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC) and the England-based counter terrorism group the Quilliam Foundation, which analyzed the video for weeks, found that shadows and lighting in the video changed throughout and was not consistent with the videos runtime. The researchers claim that the video took approximately four to six hours to film although, to the untrained eye, the video looks to be shot without any kind of stoppage. more >>
The Assyrian Democratic Movement has announced the formation of the Nineveh Plain Protection Units, a militia largely comprised of Christian volunteers created to defend civilians from ISIS. The NPU also hopes to recapture land that was taken over by the terrorist organization.
There are reportedly between 500 and 1,000 Assyrian volunteers in training with the NPU, which was fomed by the Assyrian Democratic Movement, the primary political party of Assyrians in Iraq, according to Aletia.
"The mission of the NPU will be first to protect the remaining Assyrian lands from further attacks by ISIS, and then to participate in the necessary military campaigns to liberate the Assyrian homeland of the Nineveh Plain from these notorious terrorists," reads a press release from the American Mesopotamian Organization, which is helping the project by raising awareness and support for the NPU. more >>
Terror group ISIS has been turning churches into prisons in the Iraq city of Mosul, which used to be the site of a large Christian community before it was driven out by the jihadists.
Fides News Agency reported on Tuesday that a number of detainees were recently sent to the ancient Chaldean church of the Immaculate Conception in the eastern part of the city. Sources have shared that St. George monastery has also been turned into a place for female detention, raising fears that women might be abused.
"The jihadists of the Caliphate have occupied the churches, including those which are very ancient," said Rebwar Audish Basa, Procurator of the Order of St. Anthony sant'Ormisda of the Chaldeans. more >>
Four Iraqi Christian children, who were all beheaded by the Islamic State, refused to betray Jesus and graciously died in his name when the ISIS militants gave them one last chance to say the Islamic words of conversion, the Rev. Canon Andrew White revealed in a recent interview.
In an interview last week with the Christian Broadcast Network published on the Orthodox Christian Network, White, who is the only Anglican vicar in Iraq and is know as "The Vicar of Baghdad," detailed the plight of Christians in Iraq and recounted two instances when Islamic State's forceful conversions directly pulled the strings of his heart.
Speaking on ISIS' brutal mistreatment of religious minorities, White recounted the recent incident when ISIS militants beheaded four kids, all of whom were under the age of 15, when the kids refused to say that they would follow the Prophet Muhammad and told the ISIS fighters that they will always "love" and "follow" Jesus. more >>
Islamic State militants are claiming that they have built a "dirty bomb" with radioactive uranium that was reportedly stolen from Mosul University after ISIS seized the city of Mosul in June.
Four months after 40 kilograms of uranium were reported as missing from the university, several ISIS militants have taken to social media to purport that they have used the missing uranium to build a "dirty bomb," which is a special improvised explosive device consisting of radioactive nuclear waste and conventional explosives, designed to spread hazardous radioactive material over a wide ranging area.
If the militants' claims are true, the "dirty bomb" would represent the first "weapon of mass disruption" controlled by the Islamic State. more >>