Ariel Sharon, the influential former prime minister of Israel who had a hand in many of the country's most defining events, died Saturday at the age of 85 at a hospital in Tel Aviv. He passed away after eight years in a coma after suffering a debilitating stroke that left him comatose.
Sharon's long political and military careers encompassed some of the most historic events in Israel's history and shifted the country's foreign policy toward its Arab neighbors. Serving as a major general, Sharon was credited for Israel's stunning win against the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War that resulted in Israel occupying most of the Sinai area. Sharon is considered one of the country's greatest military strategists and field commander.
In politics, Sharon was responsible for ordering the withdrawal of Israeli settlers from Gaza in 2005, which stunned many people, especially Israeli, because he was a Zionist who believed that Jews must defend the land connected to their history and culture, and not be overly dependent on outside forces. more >>
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Thursday that nuclear negotiation talks with the U.S. reveal the western country's enmity toward Iran and Islam. He also described the U.S. as "Satan."
While speaking in the religious city of Qom, Khamenei said that the talks between Iran and the U.S. do reveal America's enmity, but this enmity will not stop the Middle Eastern country from pursuing negotiations for their nuclear weapons program and an easing of their international sanctions.
"We had announced previously that on certain issues, if we feel it is expedient, we would negotiate with the Satan (the United States) to deter its evil," Khamenei said, as reported by the official IRNA news agency. more >>
Israel's cabinet approved on Sunday new health policies that are set to offer women aged 20-33 free abortions. But the president of a Messianic Jewish group with offices in the Mid-East country has called it a sign that preaching the Gospel in Israel is greatly needed.
Dr. Mitch Glaser, president of Chosen People Ministries, told The Christian Post in an email on Wednesday that "these new policies provide one more sign pointing to the importance of proclaiming the Gospel to Israelis and to help the secular majority within Israel appreciate more traditional Jewish values on sex, life and marriage and to turn to the Scriptures for guidance."
According to The Times of Israel, the new policies add to already liberal laws on abortion in Israel, where women can receive subsidies to end their pregnancy if they face medical emergencies or are the victims of rape or abuse. Women can also apply for abortion for a variety of other reasons, including emotional and mental, and although they need to appear before a three-member committee to examine their abortion requests, 98 percent of such requests are approved. more >>
An Israeli woman and her doctor expressed shock and amazement when the woman's massive malignant tumor, initially found in her leg, vanished almost completely after five months of no treatment, only intensive prayer.
Therese Daoud, a high school science teacher living in the city of Isfiya, was told by doctors at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv that she had to have part of her right leg amputated after an MRI detected a large tumorous mass, about the size of an orange, growing near her ankle. The mass was malignant sarcoma and cancer was quickly spreading throughout her leg. Doctors told her she would probably die if her leg wasn't partially amputated to remove the tumor.
Daoud reportedly scheduled an appointment for the operation, but the surgery was postponed twice for reasons unrelated to her treatment. When the third tentative surgery date was scheduled, Daoud's mother fell ill and she decided to cancel the surgery, saying that if the surgery had to be rescheduled three times, perhaps it was a sign that she shouldn't go through with the procedure. more >>
American leaders denounced the burning of a Christian leader's library in Tripoli, Lebanon, last Friday night as based on false pretenses and said it's a threat to religious liberty.
"The really bad news is that this is not out of the ordinary," Robert P. George, chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), told The Christian Post in an interview on Monday. George emphasized the need to advocate for religious freedom across the world to prevent attacks like this one.
The Friday night fire burned two-thirds of some 80,000 books and manuscripts in the Al-Saeh library owned by Greek Orthodox priest Ibrahim Surouj, RT reported. The arsonists targeted Surouj due to an alleged pamphlet insulting the Prophet Mohammed was found in one of the library books. When Surouj met with Islamic leaders in the city, he stated that he had nothing to do with the pamphlet. more >>
Farsi-speaking Iranian Christians have suffered a new setback after it was announced that they will no longer be allowed to attend one of the major churches in Tehran, following increased government pressure.
"The squeeze on Christians inside Iran continues. Even while [President Hassan] Rouhani spoke about religious freedom during a Christmas message last week, the clamp down on Christians, especially Muslim Background Believers, has increased," Jerry Dykstra, director of Media Relations at watchdog group Open Doors USA, shared in an email to The Christian Post on Friday.