A Syrian Christian mother said the country's civil war is continuing in full force, with street bombings and deaths an everyday occurrence. The mother said she is praying to God constantly, but is getting "tired of praying" and "tired of crying" in the midst of the hopelessness of the situation.
"Sometimes it seems like there is no end to all this misery. I know God is in control, but sometimes I feel so hopeless. I regularly fall on my knees and cry out to Him about why all of this is happening," the mother, identified by persecution watchdog Open Doors USA as Hanna, said.
Open Doors USA, which is providing help to Syrian refugees, noted that at least 120,000 people have lost their lives in the past three years in the war between President Bashar al-Assad and rebel forces determined to take down his government. more >>
Palestinian Christians are complaining that Israeli authorities have intentionally excluded them from Holy Week celebrations in East Jerusalem by limiting entry permits to the week's festivities.
According to a report from Radio Bethlehem, the government requires special entry permits for Palestinians hoping to join Palm Sunday celebrations, but arbitrarily distributes them. Consequently "in many cases, when families apply to get permits through their churches, Israel deliberately grants some family members permits and denies permits to others, and therefore, the whole family won't be able to attend."
Islamic terrorist organization Boko Haram reportedly kidnapped nearly 200 girls from a boarding school in northeastern Nigeria.
"They took away my daughter," said one woman from Chibok, who asked for anonymity due to the uncertain fate of the children, according to AFP.
"I don't know what to do," the mother added. "They should not allow our daughters' dreams to be shattered by these murderers." more >>
The Syrian Army has recaptured the Christian town of Maaloula, along with the nearby villages of Sarkha and Jibbeh, from rebel forces, its state media announced Monday.
State media and security officials confirmed this week that the Syrian government, with the help of Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters, has retaken Maaloula, Sarkha and Jibbeh. The three towns have been under the control of rebel fighters, including members of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, since December.
"The army has taken full control of Maaloula and restored security and stability. Terrorism has been defeated in al-Qalamun," a security official confirmed to the AFP on Monday. Al-Qalamun is the area in which Maaloula, Sarkha, Jibbeh, and other villages north of Damascus are located. more >>
Ukraine's interim government has asked the United Nations to send peacekeeping troops in an effort to confront pro-Russian separatists who have gained an increasing amount of control in the country's eastern regions in recent days.
Separatists ignored the Monday deadline set by Ukraine's government to disband and in Donetsk, rebels announced their intention to "seize control of infrastructure and the levers of state power."
A group of Donetsk separatists have already declared the region the "People's Republic of Donetsk" and, following on the lead of fellow city Slaviansk, called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to send troops into the region if the Ukraine government should confront them with military force. more >>
Seventy-one people were killed and 124 were injured in a bus bombing attack in Abuja, Nigeria, on Monday. A Roman Catholic priest stated that Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram is likely the culprit.
"The authorities have not yet confirmed that this was an attack carried out by Boko Haram, but suspicion is likely to fall on armed group Boko Haram," Fr. Patrick Tor Alumuku, director of social Communications of the Archdiocese of Abuja, told Fides News Agency.
"The bus depot where the explosion took place is normally used by a large number of commuters to get to work in the center of the capital," he noted. "The victims are therefore normal people, who belong to the working class, who were on their way to work." more >>