Editor's note: This article is tied to a report on Yazidi immigrant Murad Ismael and NYC Pastor William Devlin's humanitarian trip to Erbil, Iraq. Read that report here: US Pastor Who Supported Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan Heads to Iraq With Yazidi Activist; Says Christians Can Pray, Give Money But Should Put Their Bodies on the Line. Also, read Ismael's account of the atrocities unfolding in Iraq under the Islamic State here: US Yazidi Returning to Iraq Amid ISIS Persecution Calls for People of All Faiths to Act.
NEW YORK — A New York City pastor traveling with a U.S. Yazidi leader to offer humanitarian assistance to religious minorities targeted by the Islamic State in Iraq believes Christians in America should do more to encourage believers living in some of the world's most persecuted countries.
The Rev. William Devlin, co-pastor of Infinity Bible Church in the Bronx borough of New York City and a former politician, is as much of an activist as he is a missionary. When the City of New York banned churches and other religious groups in 2011 from renting public schools for worship gatherings, Devlin embarked on a 42-day fast, was arrested in an act of civil disobedience, and publicly confronted then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg during an interfaith breakfast about the city's decision (which the current mayor has vowed to reverse). more >>
A gunman ambushed and shot to death two New York City police officers before killing himself Saturday, in what the man claimed was a revenge killing for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The chief of the city's police union blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio and protesters who were chanting for dead cops in the city last weekend.
Officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, were killed at close range as they sat in their squad car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, Reuters quoted Police Commissioner William Bratton as telling a news conference Saturday evening.
The officers "never had an opportunity to draw their weapons" and were "killed with no warning, no provocation," he added. "They may have never even seen their assailant, their murderer." more >>
Editor's note: This article is tied to a report on Yazidi immigrant Murad Ismael and NYC Pastor William Devlin's humanitarian trip to Erbil, Iraq. Read that report here: US Pastor Who Supported Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan Heads to Iraq With Yazidi Activist; Says Christians Can Pray, Give Money But Should Put Their Bodies on the Line
NEW YORK — Murad Ismael's words came in a constant stream, with only the occasional stammer as he grasped for the right English words slowing them down. When he did pause, his absence of words were replaced by a sigh. He sounded weary. Thousands of Yazidis, his Yazidis — those related to him by blood and those who are not — have been killed, tens of thousands of them displaced, and more women and young girls than he would care to count abducted and sold, and being used as sex slaves by the Islamic State.
If Ismael sounded like a man in shock during his 40-minute phone conversation with The Christian Post, it was understandable. The people and town he has called family and home for nearly all of his life "(are) not in place anymore." more >>
The film premiere of the upcoming Sony Pictures movie "The Interview" has been canceled in New York after a group of hackers threatened an attack reminiscent of 9/11 in a series of emails. The hackers have protested against the comedy, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, which depicts an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
"Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you'd better leave)," the hackers warn in one the emails, sent to various media organizations.
The group, which calls itself "Guardians of Peace," has targeted Sony and released a series of emails and data stolen from the entertainment group. more >>
NEW YORK — The Micah Summit, an event that reflects on the progress of the Millennium Declaration made by the U.N. in 2000, which vowed to solve issues in the world such as poverty and hunger, hosted its Celebration and Sorrow event at the Church Center in New York City last week.
The event was held to celebrate the achievements of some of the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, in the last 14 years and to reflect on the work that still needs to be done throughout the world.
"Over the last generation, 25 years we have actually reduced extreme poverty by 50 percent, that's to celebrate. The churches, Christian NGOs, Christian movements, individuals are hugely impacting things. We want to celebrate that," said Joel Edwards, chairman of Micah Challenge, the organization that sponsored the event, to The Christian Post last Tuesday. . "But we still want to say it's not good enough — that a billion people still live in extreme poverty, 300,000 women die in child birth every year, kids are still not being schooled, women are still being raped as weapons of war, and that's not good. We want to express lamentation over that." more >>
An estimated 300 to 330 million "spiritual tourists" visit significant religious sites every year, such as the Jesus Trail or the Wailing Wall in Israel. Why do they do it, and what are they searching for? Bruce Feiler, author of the bestsellers Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses and Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths, embarked on several spiritual journeys with seekers of various faiths to find out.
In a new series titled "Sacred Journeys With Bruce Feiler" and premiering on PBS Tuesday, Dec. 16, Feiler accompanies pilgrims from the U.S. in their spiritual quests to sacred sites in France, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem, India, and Nigeria. The six-part series kicks off with Feiler's journey with a group of solders that includes Wounded Warriors, soldiers injured during their service in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the believed healing waters of a Roman Catholic shrine in Lourdes, France.
Feiler also spends time with Brian Kwan, a Colorado man who had a crisis of faith after losing his Christian father. Why did Kwan, who converted from Buddhism to Christianity as a teen, choose to embark on the 40-mile, four-day journey known as the Jesus Trail? more >>