An American nonprofit assisting refugees filed a lawsuit against two Middle Eastern banks and a sheikh on Monday, for allegedly funding the Islamic State terror group's systematic murder and displacement of Christians in Iraq and Syria.
St. Francis of Assisi, an Alameda, California-based group that works with refugees in the Middle East, sued the banks Kuwait Finance House and Turkey-based Kuveyt-Turk Participation Bank and Sheikh Hajjaj al-Ajmi in Federal Court, claiming, "To successfully plan, fund, and carry out the killings of members of [St. Francis of Assis], ISIS relies upon an open, notorious, well known, and formalized system of terrorist financing which incentivizes and incites the killings and displacement of the Assyrian Christians."
"My clients have lost everything," Courthouse News quoted St. Francis attorney Mogeeb Weiss as saying. "They've lost their property, livelihoods, members of families that have been murdered systematically. It's very important, for no other reason than it is so unprovoked, other than religious beliefs." more >>
Three people were killed and several injured in northeast Syria after a suicide bomber believed to be from the Islamic State terror group attacked a religious ceremony by Assyrians to commemorate the massacre of Christians more than a century ago.
The suicide attacker detonated his explosive belt when he was stopped by local security forces while trying to enter the hall where people were gathered for the ceremony in the city of Qamishli on Sunday, according to AFP.
During the attack, Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, the patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, was holding the ceremony to commemorate the 101 anniversary of the Ottoman genocide against Armenians and Assyrians of Qamishli, MassiPost reported. more >>
Iraqi Christians who are joining Muslims in fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan as a sign of peace and solidarity are facing rebuke from other believers.
"In this way we just wanted to propose a Christian gesture: as Christians, we are confident that fasting and prayer, also shared with others, can work miracles, while weapons and military interventions only kill," Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I told Fides News Agency.
The Patriarch explained that other Christians, though he did not identify who, have taken issue with Christians and Muslims worshiping together in such a way. more >>
The United Nations has released statistics on World Refugee Day on Monday signaling that the refugee crisis has now affected 65.3 million people – the largest number since World War II.
Humanitarian organizations around the world, including a number of Christian relief groups, have been marking the day by sharing the stories and experiences of refugees forced to survive on meager provisions in harsh environments.
"When they doze off, they have nightmares about the things they've experienced," one unnamed mother says about her children in a "refugee mom's to-do list" released by children's charity World Vision. more >>
After weeks of fighting, Iraqi special forces backed by multiple airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition on Friday recaptured the government headquarters and most other parts in the city of Fallujah from the Islamic State terror group, which has held the city since January 2014.
Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the government forces have retaken most of Fallujah from Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL or Daesh, as they continue to flush out terrorists from other parts in the city, according to Al Jazeera.
"We promised you the liberation of Fallujah and we retook it. Our security forces control the city except for small pockets that need to be cleared within the coming hours," al-Abadi said in a brief address on state TV. "Fallujah has returned to the nation and Mosul is the next battle," he wrote on Twitter. "Daesh will be defeated." more >>
Three Christian missionaries have gone missing in the Middle East following their release from a hospital earlier this week.
Bibles for Mideast, a group of missionaries that delivers Bibles to underground house churches in 17 countries in the Middle East, announced on Tuesday that it is believed three of its young missionaries were abducted by "Islamic terrorists."
The ministry's website explains that Samuel, 29, James, 30, and Stephan, 32, who are all Christian converts from Islam, were hospitalized on Sunday after being ambushed by Muslim extremists as they were preaching to a man they met on their way home from prayer service. more >>