Austrian police have said that 71 people, including four children, have been discovered dead in an abandoned truck near the Hungarian border. Police suspect that the victims were Syrian migrants and victims of human trafficking.
BBC News reported that among the victims were 59 men and eight women, believed to have suffocated inside the truck two days ago.
The grizzly discovery was apparently made Thursday morning when police were sent to investigate the abandoned truck on the A4 motorway toward Vienna. more >>
An Iraqi Archbishop says he argues with God "every day" and is failing to understand "what He is doing" in the face of the extreme suffering of persecuted Christians in the region.
"I don't understand what he is doing when I look at what has happened in the region," Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil told The Criterion, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. "I quarrel with him every day."
Warda said that over 100,000 Christians and other minorities have sought refuge in Erbil over the past year, fleeing the Islamic State terror group. more >>
ERBIL, Iraq — Dozens of Yazidi sex slave survivors, including 9-year-old girls, were rescued this week by smugglers from their Islamic State captors following months of brutal rape and torture by their "owners" and other Jihadi soldiers who purchased them at an IS slave market.
"Their fighters pray to Allah before and after they systematically rape Yazidi women and children, including some as young as 9-years-old," said Hadi Pir, vice president of Yazda, a U.S.-based global Yazidi organization to The Christian Post.
While some Christians had the option to pay jaziya (Islamic tax paid by non-Muslims) to purchase their freedom, most other minority groups such as the Yazidis, who number about 600,000 in Iraq, were specifically targeted and separated for sex slavery. more >>
Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar from the Syrian capital of Damascus has said that nine people have died and at least 50 have been wounded in mortar attacks on two churches in his neighborhood. Nassar described the ongoing civil war as a "cruel tragedy without end."
"Part of the war in Syria is to live under indiscriminate bombing, a kind of Russian roulette which is always unpredictable," Nassar told Fides News Agency, lamenting the latest attack on Sunday.
"Of those who died," he added, "At least you will not have to see and live this cruel tragedy without end. You will not see your children, your friends and your neighbors suffer and die in the blind violence and fanatical killing unable to save them or help them without understanding why." more >>
A Nigerian pastor and president of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria has said that Boko Haram has killed as many as 8,000 members of the congregations he oversees, destroyed 70 percent of his churches, and left most of the pastors under his care without a job.
"Seventy percent of our churches have been destroyed in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states by Boko Haram; over 8,000 of our members were killed; one hundred and seventy-six of the girls kidnapped in Chibok are our members," the Rev. Samuel Dali said, according to Naij.com.
While Dali kept up hopes that the Nigerian military will be able to finally defeat the terror group, which has waged war on the government and the country's Christians since 2009, he noted that many church facilities across Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states have been destroyed in various raids. more >>
Stirred by a report of how the Islamic State uses the Quran to justify systematic sexual violence against women and young girls, Hillsong Church pastor Bobbie Houston has called on women everywhere to pray over the shocking and abhorrent situation in any way they know how.
After reading The New York Times Aug. 13 feature "ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape," Houston posted a fervent prayer request on her Instagram account, alerting potentially more than 100,000 followers to the powerful report.
The Times feature, written by Rukmini Callimachi, highlights how "the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria," using the Quran in support. The radical Sunni militant group uses the barbaric practice as a recruiting tool to grow its numbers. more >>