The Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Mosul, Mgr Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, has described how extensive the destruction of the Islamic State terror group's efforts against Christians are in Iraq and Syria.
"They take everything from us. They take our churches, they take our monasteries, they take our houses, our land, our money, our life, our dignity, our history," Sharaf told the European Centre for Law & Justice, an affiliate of the American branch, ACLJ.
The church leader said that IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) repeatedly destroys or converts to mosques early-century Christian churches essential to the history of the faith, and called for Western citizens to push their governments to help. more >>
The fight to protect Christians and other religious minorities from genocide at the hands of the Islamic State terror group has intensified, with the United Nations being called to take immediate action, the American Center for Law and Justice has confirmed.
In a letter thanking U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for declaring the massacre against Christians in Iraq and Syria a genocide, the ACLJ called on the U.S. to take several steps and advance the case at the U.N., by:
"1) pressing the United Nations to declare that the ongoing atrocities committed by the Islamic State and associate groups constitute genocide; 2) communicating with all appropriate offices of the United Nations to that end; and 3) doing everything in your power to mobilize the international community to take swift and decisive action." more >>
As United States lawmakers weigh legislation that would commit U.S. support to Christian militias in Iraq and Syria, the Primate of the Chaldean Church warns that arming Christian militias fighting against the Islamic State is a "bad idea."
The National Defense Authorization Act that was already passed by the House and is caught up in the Senate would commit the U.S. government to provide defense articles, services and training to tribal and local security forces who are "committed to protecting highly vulnerable ethnic and religious minority communities, such as Yezidis, Christian, Assyrian and Turkmen."
Although there have been reports highlighting the efforts of Christian militias dedicated to protecting their homelands, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako told Fides News Agency that there are really no actual Christian militias and asserted that the U.S. should not arm any so-called Christian militias. more >>
Up to 120 people have died in large-scale suicide bombings in two Syrian towns on the Mediterranean coast, human rights agencies have said, with the Islamic State terror group taking responsibility for the slaughter.
BBC News reported that the attacks occurred in the port city of Tartous and in Jableh, a town to the north, which are two of President Bashar al-Assad's strongholds. While state media have said that at least 78 people have been killed so far, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported from sources on the ground that there are at least 73 people dead in Jableh, and another 48 in Tartous.
Sana, the state news agency, said that the majority of the victims in Jableh are women and children. more >>
The first of the over 200 Christian schoolgirls from Chibok, Nigeria, kidnapped by terror group Boko Haram nearly two years ago, has been found with a baby and reunited with her family, igniting hope for the parents of the other girls as well.
International Christian Concern reported on Wednesday that the girl, identified as 19-year-old Amina Ali Nkeki, was found with a 4-month-old baby at the edge of the Sambisa Forest, one of Boko Haram's hideouts, which government officials have pinpointed as the likely location where the other girls are held too.
Nearly half of IS-controlled territory in Iraq and Syria has been recaptured by allied forces, according to a Pentagon spokesman.
"The number right now in Iraq is about 45 percent of the territory they once held has been recovered. … The number in Syria is anywhere between 16 to 20 percent," said Peter Cook, press secretary for the Department of Defense, during a press briefing on Monday.
The percentages of territory lost is based off the amount of territory IS held in 2014, according to USA Today. more >>