The horror in Libya could have come from a Hieronymus Bosch painting of hell: 21 knife-wielding figures hacking the heads off 21 young men in orange jumpsuits along the shoreline, blood staining the surf red. But this was no imagined scene — it was the mass execution of Egyptian Copts who had been kidnapped by Islamic State terrorists.
The killers may have aimed to exploit sectarian hostilities — as they have in Iraq and Syria — and splinter Egyptian society. Paradoxically, however, this blatantly anti-Christian attack may finally lead to the easing of Christian-Muslim tensions in Egypt.
This week, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Sisi responded to the beheadings with acts that unequivocally recognized the Copts as "innocent victims" and true sons of Egypt. He declared a week of national mourning, dispatched envoys to appeal to the United Nations and ordered air force bombers to "deliver swift justice in retribution." more >>
Friday night I received an email from the founder of a self-described Christian event planning organization, who wrote, "Over the last 48 hours we have focused our creativity and resources on supporting an appropriate response to the 21 Egyptian Christian martyrs." He goes on to explain that his team created a website, asked thousands of churches to have a "Moment of Silence" on Sunday, February 22, and is encouraging people to pray every morning during Lent at 7:03 a.m. for "solidarity."
This email highlights two enormous problems associated with self-described American Christians. First, either they are entirely ignorant or blatantly hypocritical or both, when it comes to which "crisis" to pray about, why, and when.
Why ask now for prayer—because 21 Christians were killed on a video? more >>
The father of Christian aid worker Kayla Mueller has accused the Obama administration of putting its policy of refusing to pay ransoms ahead of saving American lives. Carl Mueller revealed that ISIS had asked for a ransom for his daughter, but the money was never paid.
"We understand the policy about not paying ransom," Muller told NBC's "Today" show. "But on the other hand, any parents out there would understand that you would want anything and everything done to bring your child home. And we tried. And we asked. But they put policy in front of American citizens' lives."
U.S. officials confirmed the death of 26-year-old Kayla Mueller last week at the hands of ISIS. The terror group had claimed that the aid worker, who was captured in Syria in 2013, died during a Jordanian airstrike, though the U.S. hasn't established the cause of her death. more >>
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has said that he's ashamed of America, President Barack Obama, and himself, for failing to seriously help the people of Ukraine who are caught in a war against pro-Russian separatists.
"I'm ashamed of my country, I'm ashamed of my president and I'm ashamed of myself that I haven't done more to help these people," McCain said in an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation."
The latest attempt at a peace agreement in eastern Ukraine has fallen apart after heavy fighting continued last week, and the eastern town of Debaltseve was captured by pro-Russian rebels. A ceasefire agreement had earlier this month been reached by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko and major European leaders, but the conflict, which has led to the deaths of over 5,600 people, continues. more >>
A week after former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said he wasn't sure whether President Obama loves his country, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, said he doesn't know whether Obama is a Christian after The Washington Post asked him the "gotcha" question about which religion President Obama adheres to.
"I don't know. I've actually never talked about it or I haven't read about that. I've never asked him that," Walker, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, told The Washington Post, when asked what he thinks of Obama's faith.
"You've asked me to make statements about people that I haven't had a conversation with about that. How [could] I say if I know either of you are a Christian?" he added. more >>
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani issued a statement somewhat apologizing for his remarks about President Barack Obama's lack of love for America, saying that he never meant to question the president's "motives or the content of his heart."
"My blunt language suggesting that the president doesn't love American notwithstanding, I didn't intend to question President Obama's motives or the content of his heart. My intended focus really was the effect his words and his actions have on the morale of the country, and how that effect may damage his performance," Giuliani wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Sunday.
Giuliani came under fire for saying that Obama did not have love for America or its citizens during a speech at a dinner in Manhattan last Wednesday. He said that he received death threats over his remarks, but CNN was not able to confirm that allegation. more >>