Radical militias with Iranian support are reportedly attacking Christian communities in Iraq, seizing property and sites of cultural interest.
Lisa Daftari of Foreign Desk wrote Tuesday that this was happening especially around Baghdad and attributed her information as coming from multiple sources, including "Christian members of the Iraqi Parliament," "Christian community leaders," and the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.
"According to leaders, the seizures have been carried out in the upscale regions of Baghdad, where militia men have forced entry into homes and businesses with falsified documents," wrote Daftari. more >>
Christians in Iraq have recently joined with Kurdish fighters and government forces in an effort to push the Islamic State out of the northern territory, including the city of Mosul.
The Nineveh Plains Protection Unit (NPU), formed two years ago following the rise of the Islamic State's persecution of Christians in northern Iraq, works together with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government to fight the terrorist group's militants.
"We are currently 600 trained fighters and more young Christians are ready to join," Sefa Ilyas Checo, the commander of of the Christian military unit, told Voice of America. "We are ready to fight IS inside Mosul city." more >>
The Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday denied reports that his country is constructing a concrete wall around the capital city of Baghdad to prevent attacks from the Islamic State terror group.
"Baghdad is the capital of all Iraqis. There can be no wall or fence to isolate it or prevent other civilians from entering it," Al-Abadi said in a statement, according to Reuters.
The prime minister's statement comes days after Baghdad Operations Command said preparations were on for the construction of a security barrier around the city to restrict Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, which controls areas north and west of Baghdad and has launched several attacks. more >>
Hundreds of Yazidi women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by the Islamic State have managed to escape and report that they've been subjected to painful "virginity tests" by Iraqi authorities to prove that they were actually abused.
The Independent reported that watchdog groups, such as Human Rights Watch, have documented the traumatic experiences women have been forced to undergo after escaping from IS.
Rothna Begum, a researcher at the group's women's rights division, said she has spoken with victims who have confirmed that hundreds of women and girls have been subjected by Iraqi authorities to the painful virginity tests to prove that they have been raped. more >>
Voice of the Martyrs is partnering with Integrity Music and its parent organization David C Cook to aid Christians displaced by the Islamic State terror group and bring greater awareness to the "I Am N" movement.
The movement gets its name from the the Arabic letter ن or "N" that IS Sunni terrorists are known to have painted on the homes of Christians (Nazarenes) in Mosul before forcing them to flee the city, as reported by The Christian Post back in 2014.
David C Cook, the 140-year-old church resource provider, is helping VOM to combat the plight of persecuted Christians around the world through a new 12-track album titled I Am N that will be released on Feb. 12, accompanied by a book of the same name, I Am N: Inspiring Stories of Christians Facing Islamic Extremists along with a curriculum and 90-day companion devotional, which is set to release on March 1. more >>
A mass grave containing 40 bodies, including women and children, has been discovered in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, which was recently liberated from the control of the Islamic State terror group.
CBS News reported Tuesday that Iraqi video footage shows local security forces and a forensics team at the scene, wearing masks and digging with shovels. Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan confirmed, explaining that the mass grave contains the bodies of civilians and police.
A joint United Nations report from earlier in January said that as many as 18,800 people have been killed since 2014 in the ongoing Iraq war, while 3,500 women and children are being kept as IS sex slaves. more >>