A recently released report by Israel's National Insurance Institute shows that 1.7 million Israelis live below the poverty line, including 23 percent of the country's seniors and 13.7 percent of working families, up from 7 percent in 1999.
Those are the numbers that push Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein — founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) — onto airplanes and then onto stages at packed auditoriums around the world, in order to raise awareness and funds. Though he made aliyah 13 years ago, Eckstein spends half the year away from his Jerusalem home on the road promoting The Fellowship's mission.
The Fellowship is the largest private charitable foundation in Israel, and receives 99 percent of its annual $137 million in donations from Christians — mostly from North America. Funds raised by The Fellowship are distributed to Jews and others in need, whether they are Jews and other communities in Israel lacking adequate food, shelter, and security; Diaspora Jews needing financial assistance to move to Israel; Israeli soldiers finding it hard to make it on an IDF stipend; or elderly Holocaust survivors and other Jews in the former Soviet Union. more >>
Israeli leaders have promised to implement a "zero tolerance" policy toward religious discrimination after Jewish extremists vandalized a Christian church in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan condemned the attack on Jerusalem's Dormition Abbey, warning that those who carried out the hateful act will face the full brunt of the law.
The Turkish army has bombed the Iraqi border village of Sharanish, home to many Christians, Chaldeans and Assyrians, under the supposed pretext of its ongoing war with the Kurdish PKK.
Fides News Agency reported Monday that the bombings took place over the weekend, creating panic and forcing many to flee to the city of Zakho in bitter cold conditions. Reports have not yet revealed the number of victims, but the Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans condemned the attack as "totally unjustified."
"The attack was carried out under the pretext of the fight against the positions of the Kurdish PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party)," Patriarchate Louis Sako said. more >>
A church in Jerusalem has been vandalized on Sunday morning with hateful anti-Christian graffiti by suspected Jewish extremists.
Sunday's incident marked the second time that alleged Jewish extremists desecrated the Dormition Abbey compound of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, which is near Zion Gate. Red ink was used to write hateful messages such as "Christians to Hell," "May his name be obliterated," "Death to the heathen Christians the enemies of Israel," and a Star of David on one of the walls in the compound, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said they already deployed forensics investigators to take a look at the graffiti. In addition, they also began investigating the hate crime, the report details. more >>
The Islamic State terror group has massacred nearly 300 people, most of them women, children and the elderly, in a day-long attack on the town of Deir el-Zour in Syria.
The government-run SANA news agency revealed in a report on Sunday that the shootings and beheadings were among the worst carried out by the terrorist organization, which continues to hold significant territory across the country.
Watchdog groups, such as the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, have confirmed the massacre, noting that IS controls most of the province, and has been battling with government forces for control of the provincial capital of the same name. more >>
Nasir has come a long, long way, and at 12 years of age, he has seen the worst things in life after being taken by the Islamic State to serve as a child soldier.
In his interview with CNN, Nasir (not his real name) said he was being trained to be a suicide bomber before he escaped. "There were 60 of us....When they were training us they would tell us our parents were unbelievers and that our first job was to go back and kill them," he said.
He, along with the other captured children, was treated nice to make them feel that the ISIS fighters loved them more than their parents did. They were taught that Americans were "unbelievers" and had the goal of killing them all. more >>