The largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States released a statement Tuesday demanding that President Barack Obama push Israel and Hamas towards negotiating a ceasefire immediately.
"The situation is escalating beyond control. The bloodshed and wielding of power in the contested land is unconscionable," reads the statement from the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of the General Assembly."Just as the United States has moved swiftly to provide $47 million in humanitarian assistance to Gaza, America also must lead the way in insisting on a ceasefire and enabling negotiations."
The statement also said that the PCUSA leaders "urge President Obama to use all the diplomatic weight afforded the highest office of this nation to end this conflict, and support all steps toward lasting peace in the Middle East." more >>
The Patriarch Emeritus of the Latin Catholic Church in Jerusalem has said that the violent conflict between Israel and militant group Hamas in Gaza is a "useless massacre" that will not bring peace, and insisted that Israel must recognize the sovereignty of the Palestinian territory if the cycle of violence is ever to end.
"What is happening in Gaza is not a war, but rather a massacre," Michel Sabbah, Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem of the Latins, told Fides News Agency on Tuesday. "A useless massacre, which will not advance even one step Israel towards peace and security. On the contrary, with all these human sacrifices, the hearts of Israelis and Palestinians are full of new hatred."
He added: "The only way out of the spiral of violence and destruction is to address the underlying issue, which is the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. There will be peace and security only when Israel will recognize the freedom and sovereignty of the Palestinian state." more >>
As militant group ISIS continued its attacks in Iraq, killing 31 people on Tuesday in a suicide blast in Baghdad, the country's bishops have pleaded for the government to stop the "catastrophe" and protect Christians who are being driven out in masses.
The appeal came from Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako and all the Chaldean, Syrian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic and Armenian Bishops in northern Iraq, Fides News Agency reported, and called on the government to provide "financial support to displaced people who have lost everything."
Thousands of Christians have been fleeing northern Iraq and are "near extinction" according to several persecution watchdog groups. Christians in the city of Mosul, which was captured by ISIS in June, were given an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a tax, or die. more >>
An ancient Palestinian church has become a sanctuary for dozens of Muslims fleeing violence in the Gaza strip.
The Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius, whose origins date back to the 12th-century, is currently home to roughly 1,000 Palestinians hoping to get out of harm's way as Israeli forces continue to strike the region
According to Reuters, the church has been attacked by IDF aircraft and shortly after the initial Palestinian families trickled in, "Israeli aircraft bombed a nearby field, spraying shrapnel on the church and damaging graves." more >>
Eleven parents of the over 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria have died, according to reports.
"One father of two of the girls kidnapped just went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters, until life left him," said community leader Pogu Bitrus, adding that at least four of the parents have died due to trauma from the mass abduction in April, according to The Associated Press.
Chibok and other villages in the region have been besieged by militants, with Nigeria's army unable to control the situation. Seven fathers of the kidnapped girls were among 51 bodies carried over from the nearby village of Kautakari this month. more >>
A pro-Israel conference held in Washington, D.C. on Monday was repeatedly interrupted by heckling activists who dressed as Bibles and held signs that read "who would Jesus bomb?"
Members of the anti-war activist group Code Pink used Twitter to announce their intention to heckle the Christians United for Israel Washington Summit event, held at the convention center in Washington D.C, on Monday. The activist group encouraged fellow protesters to wear a "Bible" costume and tout signs that questioned "who would Jesus bomb?"
During Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer's speech on Monday evening, members of Code Pink reportedly began to heckle the diplomat, interrupting his speech to shout their support for Palestinians and the Gaza Strip, and to characterize Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a "war criminal." more >>