The most recent Republican presidential debate was a breath of fresh air on the terrorism challenge that is front and center in American politics right now.
To begin with, it was heartening to see Jeb Bush, whose quest to secure the nomination is all but over, remind Americans that he can be a clear and insightful thinker and leader. As he lambasted Donald Trump for the latter's stupid and bigoted proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, Bush pointed out a few indubitable truths, most importantly concerning the Kurds.
"We need to arm directly the Kurds," Bush said. "The Kurds are the greatest fighting force and our strongest allies." more >>
Evangelical leader the Rev. Franklin Graham has praised President Barack Obama for his recent comments on persecuted Christians at the hands of the Islamic State terror group.
"President Barack Obama said this week that he is praying for Christians being persecuted this Christmas by ISIS. I'm glad his administration is beginning to acknowledge the plight of Christians being persecuted and killed around the world by Islam," Graham wrote in a Facebook message on Sunday.
As many as 200 Islamic rebels killed at least nine people from Christian villages in the southern Philippines in attacks on Christmas Day, officials have said.
The Associated Press reported that clashes between government forces and Islamic rebels took place in three different provinces across the country on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Regional military spokeswoman Capt. Joan Petinglay revealed that the dead include nine Christian villagers shot down by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter insurgents, while military forces killed at least five of the rebels. more >>
Islamic extremist group Boko Haram reportedly killed 16 people, including children, in an attack last week in a Nigerian village, continuing their long history of massacres on Christmas Day.
Nigerian national newspaper THISDAY reported that terrorists raided the Kimba village in the Biu local government area, located in southern Borno State, which the rebels still control.
The militants invaded the village Friday evening, setting houses and shops on fire, and kidnapping six other people. more >>
Florida senator Marco Rubio and Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention have jointly written an article in The Washington Post, urging Christians and U.S. officials to observe this Christmas season with a sense of burden for the persecuted Christians "in the land of Jesus's birth."
Due to the scourge of radical Islam in the Middle East, "some churches that have existed since the Book of Acts are on the brink of ruin," Rubio, a Republican presidential candidate, and Moore, who heads the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of SBC, write, referring to violence by the Islamic State and other jihadist groups, which seek religious cleansing of the Christian minority.
"Their tactics are to bomb churches or convert them to mosques, to violently drive Christians and other minorities from their homes, force conversions to Islam, or require compliance with Islamic apostasy and blasphemy codes," explain Rubio and Moore, adding that some repressive governments are also persecuting Christians in the Middle East and around the world. more >>
The United Nations Children's Fund has said that as many as 1 million children have been forced out of school due to the Boko Haram terrorist group.
"Across Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, over 2,000 schools remain closed due to the conflict — some of them for more than a year — and hundreds have been attacked, looted or set on fire," UNICEF reported on Tuesday. "In far north Cameroon, only one out of the 135 schools closed in 2014 has re-opened this year."
The militant group has been waging a war in Nigeria for almost six years now, carrying out mass suicide bombings, shooting attacks, and raids on entire towns and villages, killing over 20,000 people. The Islamic extremists have focused heavily on Christians, trying to drive them out of the country, but have been attacking moderate Muslims and all who stand in their way. more >>