Iraqi Christians who were forced to flee their homes two years ago and are now living in refugee camps say they are determined to stay and help rebuild the country despite the risk of being killed by Islamic State militants, according to a new report.
The international nonprofit ministry Open Doors, which has supported persecuted Christians for more than 50 years, announced last week that it spent eight months consulting with church leaders in Iraq and Syria to release a report called "Hope for the Middle East" in collaboration with Middle East Concern and the University of East London.
The report, which will be launched in the British Parliament on Oct. 12, documents "the contributions that Christians have made to the region and looked at healthcare, business, culture and welfare across the centuries," and will include recommendations for how the British government can effectively speak and act on behalf of the church in the Middle East. more >>
The top commander for the Islamic State Egyptian branch was reportedly killed by Egyptian army in Sinai Peninsula, according to reports.
Abu Dua Al-Ansari was the original leader of the Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, which earlier in October 2015 claimed responsibility for the crash of a Russian commercial airplane over Sinai, claiming the lives of 224 people on the flight. They have also claimed responsibility for the bomb attack that killed Egypt's prosecutor general in Cairo.
Pledged loyalty to ISIS more >>
Many are familiar with "The Vicar of Baghdad," Canon Andrew White, the head of one of the most prominent relief charities helping thousands of Christians displaced by ISIS, but many don't know that much of the work White gets credit for is actually carried out by a Muslim woman.
Meet Dr. Sarah Ahmed, an Iraqi dentist who for the past few years has devoted her time to traveling all over Iraq to bring clothes, medicine, food, hygiene supplies and just about any other need imaginable to the Christians, Yazidis, Muslims, Shebeks and others who have been thrown from their homes, tortured and raped at the hands of the Islamic State.
"She is there protecting all of the Iraqi Christians. You never hear anything about it in the news but you hear about the work I am doing. The work that I am doing is being done by a Muslim caring for the Christians," White, the former chaplain of St. George's Church in Baghdad, asserted last December during a lunch visit in Washington. "We think and hear about Islamic terrorism all the time. What about Islamic people working for the protection of Christians?" more >>
New estimates suggest that over 1,400 yazidi children are being held by the Islamic State and are being trained to be jihadi fighters or trained to carry out suicide attacks.
The Directorate of Yezidi Abductees Affairs in Duhok, a city in northern Iraq, announced on Wednesday that there are believed to be 3,770 yazidis still held captive by IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL), regional news outlets are reporting.
Hussein Kuru, who heads abductees affairs office and traces abducted Yazidis in the Duhok province, said at a press conference that as many as 2,640 abducted yazidis of both sexes have been freed from IS by the Kurdish Regional Government and its peshmerga forces. more >>
Famous atheist author Richard Dawkins has decried the "horrific scenes" of radical Islamists praying before raping young women, as found in The Girl Who Beat ISIS, the ghost-written memoir of Farida Khalaf, the pseudonym of a 19-year-old Yazidi and former Islamic State terror group sex slave.
Dawkins wrote a review of Khalaf's book on his website, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, describing the teenager as an "almost superhumanly brave and heroic young woman."
The Girl Who Beat ISIS provides a first-hand account of Khalaf's struggles in IS slave markets, where she is sold, beaten, and raped by numerous IS fighters. more >>
The Islamic State terror group has reportedly executed a pregnant woman and taken away her four children, punishing the family for trying to flee the village of al-Marir in Iraq.
MailOnline reported on Wednesday that witnesses saw the mother taken away and executed by the Islamic extremists after she was caught trying to guide her children out of the village, which is located nearby the city of Mosul, one of IS' main bases.
The mother was trying to reach an Iraqi military base, but was spotted and stopped by the jihadists before she could escape with her children. more >>