There are Christian churches throughout the Middle East that trace their roots back to the time of the apostles that could cease to exist if Islamic State and other radical Muslim groups continue to gain control of more territory in the region.
Author George J. Marlin, who is also chairman of the Board of Aid to the Church in Need USA, recently released a book titled Christian Persecutions in the Middle East, which not only discusses the growing threat to believers in the region, but also provides the history of many of the churches that have existed in the Middle East since the time of the apostles that could now be facing extinction at the hands of Muslim extremists.
Listed below are five of those churches. more >>
The Islamic State has demolished a Syrian monastery and transferred dozens of Christian captives to northeastern Syria, a monitoring group said on Thursday.
Islamic State militants destroyed the Saint Elian monastery in Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. They also moved the Christians they captured during one of its attacks in August to a place near its stronghold in northeastern Syria, according to the International Business Times.
The Islamic extremists bulldozed the monastery in Qaryatain, a town they captured earlier this month. The place is adjacent to a road that links the city of Palmyra to the Qalamoun mountains which border Lebanon. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist group has released pictures and video purporting to show militants bulldozing a nearly 1,600-year-old Christian monastery, while a claim has been made that the jihadis have also dug up and desecrated the bones of a martyred Christian saint.
As Islamic State captured the Syrian town of al-Qaryatain in the Homs province and kidnapped over 230 Syriac Christians earlier this month in what was deemed ISIS' biggest military advance since it took over the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in May, it's believed that some of the kidnapped Christians were taken from the town's ancient Syriac Catholic Mar Elian Monastery.
This week, IS-affiliated social media accounts posted images and footage showing the destruction of the monastery, which was founded in the year 432 and was also the location where priest Jacques Mourad and a church volunteer was abducted in May. more >>
Sixteen fighters from the Islamic State terror group have reportedly contracted the HIV from two Moroccan sex slaves, and as a result have been ordered to carry out suicide bombings and sacrifice their lives.
"Most of those infected are foreign militants who had sexual intercourses with two Moroccan women. The women passed on the disease to the militants before their infection was revealed. We were ordered by the group's local leadership to transfer the infected militants to a quarantine center in the city," a Syrian doctor in the city of al-Mayadeen in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, told ARA News earlier this week.
After IS leadership found out that the two Moroccan women, who have since escaped to Turkey, tested positive for AIDS, they ordered more of its fighters to carry out medical tests in order to avoid further spreading the disease. more >>
The American Center for Law and Justice has started a new petition urging President Barack Obama to do more to support Christians who are facing increasing brutalities at the hands of the Islamic State terror group. The ACLJ urged Obama to appoint an ambassador to lead a Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia.
"While Christians and other religious minorities are decimated in that region, the Obama administration leaves this vital position unfilled. This is why the ACLJ has urged them to fill this spot and will continue to do so," the law group said in an article on Thursday, highlighting the various atrocities committed by ISIS.
"We must help our brothers and sisters in Christ and all people who are suffering daily at the hands of pure evil. We cannot stand by and let our fellow human beings be tortured and exterminated." more >>
Islamic State militants beheaded and strung up the body of an elderly university professor who devoted his life to preserving relics in the ancient city of Palmyra.
Khaled al-Assad, 82, was a leading scholar and according to Syrian officials he was beheaded Tuesday for refusing to divulge the location of ancient treasures to members of the Islamic State.
The Fall of Palmyra, which was reported on by The Christian Post in May, was seen as particularly devastating to experts of antiquities because of its well preserved Roman ruins. The militants have destroyed some of the ruins and artifacts of Palmyra while leaving some of the most prolific Roman ruins intact. Assad played a significant role in helping to secure and evacuate artifacts before the fall of Palmyra, according to multiple reports. more >>