A Syrian Christian mother said the country's civil war is continuing in full force, with street bombings and deaths an everyday occurrence. The mother said she is praying to God constantly, but is getting "tired of praying" and "tired of crying" in the midst of the hopelessness of the situation.
"Sometimes it seems like there is no end to all this misery. I know God is in control, but sometimes I feel so hopeless. I regularly fall on my knees and cry out to Him about why all of this is happening," the mother, identified by persecution watchdog Open Doors USA as Hanna, said.
Open Doors USA, which is providing help to Syrian refugees, noted that at least 120,000 people have lost their lives in the past three years in the war between President Bashar al-Assad and rebel forces determined to take down his government. more >>
Palestinian Christians are complaining that Israeli authorities have intentionally excluded them from Holy Week celebrations in East Jerusalem by limiting entry permits to the week's festivities.
According to a report from Radio Bethlehem, the government requires special entry permits for Palestinians hoping to join Palm Sunday celebrations, but arbitrarily distributes them. Consequently "in many cases, when families apply to get permits through their churches, Israel deliberately grants some family members permits and denies permits to others, and therefore, the whole family won't be able to attend."
In a rare and powerful act of forgiveness, an Iranian mother and her husband forgave the man who killed their 18-year-old son during a street brawl seven years ago, then spared his life just moments before he was to be publicly executed for his crime.
Photographs taken by Arash Khamooshi of the Iranian Students' News Agency captured the emotional moments when the parents of Abdollah Hosseinzadeh forgave Balal Abdullah, who is now in his 20s according to The Guardian.
The victim's parents were supposed to push a chair on which Balal stood with a noose hanging around his neck to effect qisas, the sharia law of retribution. more >>
The Syrian Army has recaptured the Christian town of Maaloula, along with the nearby villages of Sarkha and Jibbeh, from rebel forces, its state media announced Monday.
State media and security officials confirmed this week that the Syrian government, with the help of Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters, has retaken Maaloula, Sarkha and Jibbeh. The three towns have been under the control of rebel fighters, including members of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, since December.
"The army has taken full control of Maaloula and restored security and stability. Terrorism has been defeated in al-Qalamun," a security official confirmed to the AFP on Monday. Al-Qalamun is the area in which Maaloula, Sarkha, Jibbeh, and other villages north of Damascus are located. more >>
The Israeli Antiquities Authority announced this week that it has uncovered a 3,300-year-old ceramic coffin containing a male skeleton and a scarab in the country's northern region.
Archaeologists said workers accidentally discovered the Bronze Era tomb while installing a natural gas pipeline through the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel. The tomb contained ceramic pieces and a ceramic coffin containing the skeleton of a man. Next to the skeleton sat a scarab affixed to a ring that bore the name of Seti I, considered to be one of the most powerful pharaohs in Egypt during the Nineteenth Dynasty.
Seti I is the father of Ramesses II, believed by some to be the Pharaoh in the biblical story of the Exodus who drove the Israelites from Egypt. more >>