At least four non-U.S. civilians were killed and 18 others were injured in a suicide car bomb attack Friday at the entrance of the U.S. Consulate in the Kurdish Iraqi city of Erbil, for which the Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility, according to reports.
While the attack was clearly targeted at the U.S. Consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, none of its personnel was hurt, according to the U.S. State Department.
A report released Wednesday that includes interviews with 11 women and nine girls who were sexually enslaved by the Islamic State reveals horrifying details about how the terrorists beat, torture and pass around sexually abused Yazidi and religious minority women and girls.
The investigation, which was conducted by Human Rights Watch, explains that religious minority women and children as young as 8, were abducted by the terrorist group when it took over large swaths of northern Iraq last year. It has been widely reported that many of the abducted young women and girls have been sold in sex slave markets, forced to marry ISIS fighters, and are often sold and raped by multiple foreign ISIS fighters.
The report states that ISIS often holds abducted Yazidi girls in many different locations throughout northern Iraq, in places such as farm compounds, hotels, prisons, military bases, schools, and former government buildings. more >>
Terror group ISIS has reportedly been trying to eliminate and drive off the last Christian speakers of Aramaic, the ancient language that Jesus Christ spoke.
The Associated Press noted in a report that thousands of people from the ancient Christian communities in Syria, known as Assyrians, have fled the region since February due to attacks by the jihadists.
As the United States continues to negotiate with major world powers and Iran aimed at limiting the Middle Eastern nation's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, the wife of American pastor Saeed Abedini says her husband, who has been imprisoned there for more than two and a half years for his faith, is being threatened by guards that he will never be freed unless he renounces Jesus Christ.
"Last week had been quite difficult for Saeed. He has been under a lot of pressure and attack from the hardliners. The guards have also been threatening Saeed that he will never go free and additional charges (and years) will be added to his sentence (which they have done to other Christians and fellow inmates)," said the pastor's wife, Naghmeh Abedini, according to ACLJ.
"They continually threaten Saeed that the only key to his freedom is denying Christ and returning to Islam. Saeed refuses to deny Christ and continues to be a light and witness in that dark prison. These threats, coupled with the fact that there have been mass executions during the last week in Rajayee Shahr prison, have really taken their toll on Saeed. He asks for prayer for continued strength," she said. more >>
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West toured some of Jerusalem's most sacred sites and their visit included having their daughter baptized at the St. James Cathedral.
Reality star Kim Kardashian and her rapper husband Kanye West visited some of the most holy shrines in Jerusalem where they had their 21-month-old daughter, North West, baptized as a Christian at the St. James Cathedral.
The couple were in the Holy Land for two days following the Kardashian family's visit to Armenia, their father's ancestral homeland. more >>
Christian leaders in Syria have condemned the Easter-period bombings of neighborhoods in Aleppo, noting that the ongoing civil war continues to slaughter men, women and children.
"During the Easter period, our city and our people suffered intense pain, anguish and discomfort during the night when neighborhoods in the city were hit with rocket-propelled grenades, with a destructive capacity that we had never heard and seen before," the heads of churches and Christian communities in Aleppo said in a statement, according to Fides News Agency.
They asked whether Easter is "the time of the Resurrection of the Savior or the funeral of his disciples?" and called on all "people of conscience" to stop the ongoing massacre in Syria. more >>