As the civil war in Syria has reached "unprecedented levels of horror," according to the U.N., Christians are being forced to flee their homes as avoiding the violent conflict has become less of an option.
"It's a fight to the death which by definition involves killing. No one will win but those who fought from the start will create a desert and then call it victory," Sky News said of the war raging between army forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad and rebels bent on taking down what they say is a tyrannical regime.
The war has swept the entire nation, closing down infrastructure and businesses, and forcing many to choose a side or risk being caught in the crossfire. One of the worst attacks in the country occurred less than two weeks ago, when over 100 people were found slaughtered near the Christian-populated city of Homs. Witnesses blamed forces loyal to President Assad, who allegedly killed civilians they believed were harboring or aiding rebel soldiers. more >>
Renewed fears of large-scale violence in Egypt for today's second anniversary of the uprising that helped oust long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak were realized when Egyptian security forces fired tear gas and protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails during a day-long demonstration Thursday. Christian leaders inside and outside the country are calling for prayers.
Prominent politicians, writers and society figures have been urging Egyptians to go back to the streets to demonstrate rejection of the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists, according to Open Doors USA sources inside Egypt.
A Christian leader, who regularly blogs from Egypt and remains anonymous for security reasons, says he sees "a split nation overflowing with too much frustration and anger, with hardly any positive or promising political or social development. The economy is a disaster, with our local currency's value diving deep down into the unknown." more >>
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has sparked concerns around the globe after its government claimed that its planned nuclear tests will target the U.S., which it called "the sworn enemy of the Korean people."
"Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival," read a statement from North Korea's National Defense Commission, the nation's highest government agency, as reported by ABC News and several other sources.
The U.S. has expressed fears that the Pacific nation is working toward a nuclear device that can be mounted on a long-range missile and be launched toward America. more >>
Although an incident in which dissident Eritrean soldiers seized the country's information ministry earlier this week is now being downplayed as not a coup attempt, a heightened tension between political and faith groups remains. The Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors says that at least 10 leaders of churches banned by the government have been arrested.
"The arrest of 10 church leaders in Eritrea could be the start of another wave of systematic persecution in this unpredictable, tiny country bordering the Red Sea," says Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra. "The Muslim and Christian population is almost split 50-50. But President Isaias Afewerkie has targeted independent Christians over the last decade. A government official once declared there are three enemies which need to be eradicated – HIV/AIDS, the regime in Ethiopia and independent Christians."
Over the past year, Open Doors reported that 31 Christians have died in prison camps. more >>
Islamic terrorists suspected to be from the Boko Haram group have launched another wave of attacks in Nigeria, killing at least 23 people who they deemed to have been breaking Sharia Law.
The two separate attacks occurred on Monday and Tuesday in north-east Nigeria, and targeted people selling pork, which Muslims are forbidden to eat, and a group engaged in gambling, which is also against Islamic law, BBC News reported.
Boko Haram has made it their mission to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state and drive out the nation's Christians, who make up half of the country's population, by any means necessary. In the last few years they have bombed churches, killed pastors and gunned down close to 1,400 people since 2010. more >>
Over 100 people have reportedly been massacred on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Syrian city of Homs, which has one of the largest Christian populations in the country, with witnesses linking the murders to President Bashar al-Assad's army.
"The Observatory has the names of 14 members of one family, including three children, and information on other families who were completely killed, including one of 32 people," said Rami Abdelrahman, head of British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Guardian shared. The group revealed that at least 106 people were shot, stabbed and burned to death over the two-day period.
Homs, Syria's third largest city, has often felt the brunt of the ongoing civil war between government loyalists and rebel groups who are bent on taking down what they see as an oppressive regime. more >>