Christian refugees fleeing war and poverty in Africa to seek a better life in Europe recounted how they formed a human chain last Thursday to avoid being thrown to their deaths in the Mediterranean along with 12 of their brothers during a clash over their faith with Muslims on a migrant boat near southern Italy.
"The motive for the resentment was traced to their faiths," police in the Sicilian capital Palermo noted in a Newsweek report of the drowned Christians. "Twelve people are said to have drowned in the waters of the Mediterranean, all of them Nigerian and Ghanaian."
Italian police arrested 15 African men from the Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal alleged to have thrown the Christians to their deaths based on survivor accounts. more >>
ISIS militants have been desecrating Christian graves and destroying entire cemeteries in Mosul, recording their actions on video, which they say are part of their efforts to "eradicate pagan symbols."
Images of jihadists tearing down tombstones were spread through the terror group's social media websites, and have been republished by sites such as Iraqi News.
Fides News Agency reported that one of the destroyed cemeteries was located at the Syrian Orthodox Cathedral, dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle, which housed tombs of Christian soldiers who died during the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s. more >>
Terror group ISIS has released a new video showing the slaughter of two groups of Ethiopian Christians in Libya, numbering 30 people in total. ISIS warned "the nation of the cross" that more killings are to come, vowing further "revenge" for what it called "shed Muslim blood" in the region.
CNN noted that the 30-minute video, titled "Until There Came to Them Clear Evidence," shows two groups of captives being executed in two different locations in Libya. The men in one of the groups were apparently shot to death, the others were beheaded.
A narrator says: "All praise be to Allah, the lord and cherisher of the world, and may peace and blessings be upon the prophet Muhammed. To the nation of the cross, we are back again on the sands, where the companions of the prophet, peace be upon him, have stepped on before, telling you: Muslim blood that was shed under the hands of your religion is not cheap." more >>
Some 700 migrants, a number which could climb to 950, fleeing poverty and persecution to find "a better life" and "happiness" in Europe are now feared dead after the boat they were travelling in capsized in the Mediterranean some 112 miles south of Italy's Lampedusa shortly before midnight Saturday.
One survivor quoted by Italy's Ansa news agency says there were 950 migrants aboard the boat when it sank.
"They are literally trying to find people alive among the dead floating in the water," Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta – the first port of call for many of the 35,000 migrants who arrived in southern Europe so far this year. "Children, men, and women have died." more >>
The British pop-electronica band Ooberfuse recently teamed up with the Archbishop of Erbil to release a music video for its new song, "We Are One," which was written to let the thousands of refugees displaced by the Islamic State know that they are not alone in their suffering.
"We Are One" features very strong Christian overtones and reiterates the fact that although many of these refugees have lost their homes and lives they once knew in Iraq, they will never be without the love and hope of God.
"In our home, in our faith, in our love, we are one," Ooberfuse female singer Cherrie Anderson sings in the song. "You aren't alone in this dream. We are one." more >>
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.