The Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Mosul, Mgr Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, has described how extensive the destruction of the Islamic State terror group's efforts against Christians are in Iraq and Syria.
"They take everything from us. They take our churches, they take our monasteries, they take our houses, our land, our money, our life, our dignity, our history," Sharaf told the European Centre for Law & Justice, an affiliate of the American branch, ACLJ.
The church leader said that IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) repeatedly destroys or converts to mosques early-century Christian churches essential to the history of the faith, and called for Western citizens to push their governments to help. more >>
Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson testified before a congressional subcommittee, warning that indigenous Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria face extinction in less than a decade and that the United States can avert this crisis.
"Many of the region's indigenous communities now face extinction. These communities may disappear in less than a decade. But their fate is not inevitable," Anderson told the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
In March, Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged for the first time that genocide being committed by the Islamic State terror group, which is also known as ISIS or ISIL or Daesh, against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. more >>
The fight to protect Christians and other religious minorities from genocide at the hands of the Islamic State terror group has intensified, with the United Nations being called to take immediate action, the American Center for Law and Justice has confirmed.
In a letter thanking U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for declaring the massacre against Christians in Iraq and Syria a genocide, the ACLJ called on the U.S. to take several steps and advance the case at the U.N., by:
"1) pressing the United Nations to declare that the ongoing atrocities committed by the Islamic State and associate groups constitute genocide; 2) communicating with all appropriate offices of the United Nations to that end; and 3) doing everything in your power to mobilize the international community to take swift and decisive action." more >>
As United States lawmakers weigh legislation that would commit U.S. support to Christian militias in Iraq and Syria, the Primate of the Chaldean Church warns that arming Christian militias fighting against the Islamic State is a "bad idea."
The National Defense Authorization Act that was already passed by the House and is caught up in the Senate would commit the U.S. government to provide defense articles, services and training to tribal and local security forces who are "committed to protecting highly vulnerable ethnic and religious minority communities, such as Yezidis, Christian, Assyrian and Turkmen."
Although there have been reports highlighting the efforts of Christian militias dedicated to protecting their homelands, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako told Fides News Agency that there are really no actual Christian militias and asserted that the U.S. should not arm any so-called Christian militias. more >>
Three Christians from the Church of Iran denomination, who were arrested as part of a series of raids on house churches and believers in the Shia nation two weeks ago, will be released on bail only if they pay $33,000 each, a court in Rasht city says.
The three Christians – Yasser Mosayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammadreza Omidi (Youhan) – are being held in a jail in Rasht, the capital city of Gilan Province, pending payment of 100 million Toman, which is equivalent to about $33,000, each, according to the U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide, which has been following their case since they were arrested on May 13.
The three Christians were arrested along with their pastor, Yousef Nadarkhani, and his wife, Tina Pasandide Nadarkhani, by officials from Iran's Ministry of Intelligence, known as VEVAK. The officials also seized Bibles, computers and mobile phones belonging to the three church members. more >>
Up to 120 people have died in large-scale suicide bombings in two Syrian towns on the Mediterranean coast, human rights agencies have said, with the Islamic State terror group taking responsibility for the slaughter.
BBC News reported that the attacks occurred in the port city of Tartous and in Jableh, a town to the north, which are two of President Bashar al-Assad's strongholds. While state media have said that at least 78 people have been killed so far, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported from sources on the ground that there are at least 73 people dead in Jableh, and another 48 in Tartous.
Sana, the state news agency, said that the majority of the victims in Jableh are women and children. more >>