Catholic group the Legions of Christ have reportedly uncovered a 1st-century synagogue in the ancient town of Magdala in Israel, where they say Jesus Christ is likely to have preached to the people.
"Eighty percent of Jesus' public life was here," Father Eamon Kelly said about northern Israel, according to Haaretz.com.
Kelly revealed that his organization uncovered the synagogue after starting archaeological excavations at a site in the town of Magdala, believed to be the home of Mary Magdalene, known as one of Jesus' female disciples. The plots of land are supposed to be used to build a pilgrims' hotel, inter-faith chapel, a restaurant and a women's shelter. more >>
Islamic State militants recently executed at least 100 of their own foreign fighters in the group's Syrian stronghold of Raqqa after the fighters were caught trying to abandon the group's Syrian base, a source close to the conflict said.
The Financial Times reports that an unnamed anti-ISIS activist, who also opposes the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, has confirmed that ISIS executed the foreign fighters because they attempted to desert from the jihad after ISIS released a new set of rules designed to prevent fighters from deserting.
Although many fighters from all over the world are persuaded to join the Islamic State's jihad because ISIS recruiters tell them that they will help implement the correct brand of Islam, many foreign fighters, once they actually get involved in the conflict, become disillusioned by the horrible atrocities that are actually being committed by the group and want to flee from the conflict. more >>
Although hundreds of thousands of refugees are displaced from their homes in Iraq and their futures remain uncertain due to the siege of the Islamic State, The Vicar of Baghdad wrote in an online Christmas statement that Christian refugees in Iraq have not been deterred from exhibiting joy in the only thing they have left: the unconditional of Jesus.
Writing from his new temporary home in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, the Rev. Canon Andrew White, the only Anglican pastor in Iraq, said that even though ISIS has left these displaced Christian refugees with no homes, no clothes and, in some cases, no families, their faith remains strong in the "refugee child," Jesus.
"All you have got left is the love of that refugee child. That to us in the Middle East is all that matters this Christmas," White explained. more >>
A German author who recently traveled to the Middle East has declared that the Islamic State terrorist organization is "more dangerous than people realize."
Juergen Todenhoefer, an author and former politician who's been a critic of American foreign policy, recently went into territory held by ISIS to investigate the militant group.
A spokesman for ISIS has claimed in an interview that it's only a matter of time before the jihadists expand and conquer Europe. He also defended the terror group's practices of mass enslavement and beheadings, and said that it plans to carry out "the largest religious cleansing campaign" in history, which will include the killing of hundreds of millions of people.
"No, we will conquer Europe one day. It is not a question of if we will conquer Europe, just a matter of when that will happen. But it is certain. ... For us, there is no such thing as borders. There are only front lines," the spokesman, identified only as a German ISIS fighter, told journalist Juergen Todenhoefer in an article for CNN.
"Our expansion will be perpetual. ... And the Europeans need to know that when we come, it will not be in a nice way. It will be with our weapons. And those who do not convert to Islam or pay the Islamic tax will be killed." more >>
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have announced that they've taken the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar back from Islamic State militants in a battle months after tens of thousands of minority Yazidis had to flee their homes while others remained trapped after the town's capture by the terrorists.
The Kurd soldiers, backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, Saturday reached the flanks of Mount Sinjar, which was captured by ISIS early August, with food and other aid three days after they started a major offensive against terrorists, according to Press TV.
The fighters "succeeded in taking complete control of it and nearby villages," the Kurdistan Region Security Council said in a tweet about Sinjar. more >>