Secretary of State John Kerry confronted Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for continuing to grant Iran access to its airspace, warning that Baghdad's behavior was raising questions about its reliability as a partner.
"I made it very clear that for those of us who are engaged in an effort to see [Syria's embattled] President Assad step down and to see a democratic process take hold … anything that supports President Assad is problematic," The Associated Press quoted Kerry as saying at a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad after meeting with Maliki at his office.
"And I made it very clear to the Prime Minister that the overflights from Iran are, in fact, helping to sustain President Assad and his regime," Kerry said, adding he and Maliki had "a very spirited discussion" on the Iranian flights, which Washington believe is ferrying weapons and fighters intended for the Syrian government. more >>
Iraq had 300 churches and 1.4 million Christians in 2003, but now only 57 churches and about half a million Christians remain with members of the minority fleeing Islamist attacks, according to local reports.
Patriarch Louis Sako of the Chaldean Church told Mideast Christian News the remaining 57 churches also continue to be targeted. The number of Christians has fallen from about 1,400,000 in 2003 to nearly half a million now, added William Warda, the head of the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, a registered local non-governmental organization.
This means more than two-thirds have emigrated, Warda said. "The last ten years have been the worst for Iraqi Christians because they bore witness to the biggest exodus and migration in the history of Iraq." more >>
Pastor Abdi Ali Hamzah might be released from Iraqi prison after Dr. Terry Law of World Compassion Ministries met with high-ranking government officials and petitioned for his freedom.
"We need a continued focus of prayer over the next week or so as we continue to go through the appeal process," Jason Law, vice president of Operations and the son of Dr. Terry Law, shared in an email with The Christian Post on Friday. "We have high expectations for his release soon." more >>
A Christian pastor in Iraq being held in prison is suffering from urgent health problems and might die unless he receives immediate attention, a missionary organization says.
Pastor Abdi Ali Hamzah has been held in jail since July 2011, after he was arrested without charges in his home and sentenced to five years in prison. World Compassion Terry Law Ministries is seeking to raise urgent attention for a man who it says has put his life on the line going undercover to refugee villages and helping Dr. Terry Law distribute $100,000 dollar-worth of food to desperately hungry people in Iraq.
"He has been in prison for 18 months now, and before that we sent him to Jordan to have some gammanite surgery done," Jason Law, vice president of Operations and the son of Dr. Law, shared with The Christian Post on Thursday. "He had a tumor in his brain, and they believe that it is coming back. From our understanding, he is now in a prison hospital but is not really receiving the treatment and care that he needs." more >>
As violence against Christian minorities continues in Mosul, Iraq, Carl Moeller of Open Doors USA worries that the U.S. has turned its focus away from these persecuted Christians, as the U.S. no longer has a military presence in the Middle Eastern country.
Moeller, president/CEO of human rights watchdog Open Doors USA, calls the continued violence against Christians in Mosul a "religicide," saying in a recent statement: "Christians in cities like Baghdad and Mosul are gripped by terrorism. They are fleeing in droves. [On August 16] it was reported that at least 20 people died in blasts and shootings across the country."
The violence began in 2003, when U.S. military forces overthrew Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. The subsequent U.S. occupation of Iraq resulted in immense violence between Christians, the minority in the country, and Muslims. more >>
Iraq's Shi'ite community and government officials were targeted in a series of attacks around the country that killed at least 125 people soon after the beginning of the Muslims' holy month of Ramadan.
While the attacks on Sunday were targeted mainly at the Shi'ite population, on Monday security forces and government officials were killed.
Monday's coordinated attacks in 13 cities left at least 103 people dead and about 200 wounded, according to The Associated Press. The blasts took place within a few hours of each other. more >>