At least 64 people are dead and 87 others injured following a major car bomb explosion at a crowded market in Baghdad, with the Islamic State terror group claiming responsibility for one of the worst attacks on the Iraqi capital in years.
The Associated Press noted that IS, which has captured cities across Iraq and Syria, targeted Shiite Muslims, which it considers heretics. Iraqi police said many of the victims were women and children.
The car bombing took place at the outdoor market in the eastern Sadr City district, with close to 2.5 million people living in or near the slum. more >>
As many as 200 Christians have been killed in recent weeks in bombardments in the war-torn city of Aleppo, relief groups have said, with women and children accounting for half of the victims.
"Lift up in prayer the Christian community of Aleppo and all innocent civilians in the city following a sustained period of bombardment, which mainly targeted the Christian area," aid group Barnabas Fund told BosNewsLife in a statement.
The Christian area in Aleppo was hit by 1,350 rockets between April 22 and April 30, the group said, which killed some 132 people, half of them women and children. Further bombardments on May 3 resulted in the deaths of 65 others, while hundreds more were injured. more >>
While American involvement in church may be on the decline these days, what remains of great interest to many is the End Times and what the Bible has to say about it.
Items like "Blood Moons," the Rapture, and predictions over specific dates for the end have captivated countless people in the United States and the world at large. Yet what do people mean when they talk about the Rapture or Millennialism? What do theologians have to say about the Tribulation, the Second Coming, and the final Judgment?
Billy Hallowell, faith editor with The Blaze, recently released a book detailing the diverse theological opinions on the End Times, titled The Armageddon Code: One Journalist's Quest for End-Times Answers. more >>
A Franciscan priest in Aleppo, Syria, says the country's war is worse now than it has ever been before, and the remaining Christians are trying to help the suffering and share God's love in the midst of an "eerie, cemetery" nightmare.
"Never, since the beginning of this terrible war, were things as bad as they are now. I have no words to describe all the suffering I see on a daily basis," Fr. Ibrahim Alsabagh told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, according to the Catholic Herald.
Aleppo has been torn apart in the ongoing civil war in Syria, besieged by the government forces of President Bashar Al Assad and the various rebel groups seeking to take out his regime. The Islamic State terror group has also been battling in the area, leaving around 50,000 Christians and other civilians surrounded by dangers from all sides. more >>
Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the Indian priest kidnapped two months ago from a nursing home in Yemen where 16 people were killed, is still alive at the hands of Islamic State radicals, according to rumors, but his fate remains uncertain.
"The last words, which are quite reassuring, I received indirectly about 10 days ago. I was told that Father Tom is alive, and that his return to freedom could be imminent. But since then nothing has happened. We hope and pray for him," Bishop Paul Hinder OFM Cap, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, told Agenzia Fides in an update on Tuesday.
The priest was initially feared to have been crucified by the extremists on Good Friday, but subsequent information from the Catholic Church denied the rumor, instead suggesting that he was still alive and that negotiations are being carried out with IS for his release. more >>
MIAMI BEACH — Both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump use overly-simplistic rhetoric about Islamic extremism that is harmful, Imam Abdullah Antepli argued at Faith Angle Forum.
"There are two very unhelpful, extremely reductionist, simplistic forces dominating this conversation about Muslim terrorism [from which] I ... invite us to distance ourselves," Antepli began his remarks to 20 journalists plus other attendees at the March 14 Faith Angle Forum.
Those two positions, at opposite extremes, argue either that 1) Islam is a religion of peace and Islamic extremism has nothing to do with Islam (Obama's position), or 2) Islamic extremists represent the truest form of Islam (Trump's position). more >>