WASHINGTON – More Christians were killed in Northern Nigeria last year than in the rest of the world combined, according to the head of a human rights organization.
Ann Buwalda, executive director of the Jubilee Campaign, told The Christian Post on Thursday that an estimated 1,200 Christians were killed for their faith in Northern Nigeria.
"We documented 1,200 Nigerian Christians in the North of Nigeria who were killed, some by Boko Haram, some by Fulani herdsmen. These two types of attacks are persistent within several of the Northern Nigerian states," said Buwalda, who participated on a panel on Christian persecution in Nigeria. more >>
The United States government named on Wednesday Nigerian-based extremist group Boko Haram and its splinter faction Ansaru as foreign terrorist organizations, which is welcome news for a U.S.-based Christian Nigerian organization that has been pressuring both the Obama administration and the Nigerian government for over a year to crack down on the Islamist militants.
"AT LAST, the United States government has done the right thing, and members of the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN, with about 1,000 local churches in the U.S., are grateful to the LORD for answered prayers. We commend the U.S. President Barack Obama and the State Department for this forthright decision," reads a statement from CANAN that was shared with The Christian Post today, on the heels of the State Department's announcement.
In the spring of 2012, when I wrote The Last Israelis, I thought that the pessimistic premise of my cautionary tale on Iranian nukes was grounded in realism. I had imagined a U.S. president who passively and impotently reacted to Iran's nuclear ambitions, leaving it to tiny Israel to deal with the threat. But something far worse is happening: the Obama administration is actively making it harder for Israel to neutralize Iran's nukes, and more likely that Iran will develop a nuclear arsenal.
A few months after my apocalyptic thriller was published, The New York Times reported that "intense, secret exchanges between American and Iranian officials [dating] almost to the beginning of President Obama's term" resulted in an agreement to conduct one-on-one negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. In those secret talks, did Obama long ago concede to Iran a nuclear capability? If so, then the current Geneva negotiations merely provide the international imprimatur for what Iran and the US have already privately agreed. That might explain why France (of all countries) had to reject a Geneva deal that would have left Iran with a nuclear breakout capability.
An investigation by The Daily Beast also reveals that the "Obama administration began softening sanctions on Iran after the election of Iran's new president last June, months before the current round of nuclear talks in Geneva..." The report notes that Treasury Department notices show "that the U.S. government has all but stopped the financial blacklisting of entities and people that help Iran evade international sanctions since the election of its president, Hassan Rouhani, in June." more >>
On the wall in my office hangs a map of the Entebbe airport in Uganda. The rudimentary map has just a few notations, written in Hebrew. It's not a travel map or an outline of the vendors at the airport; it is a diagram of the facility used in what is recognized as one of the first modern anti-terrorism operations conducted by the Israelis at the Entebbe airport in 1976.
The successful raid resulted in the rescue of 102 hostages that were held for over a week when their plane was hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a part of the larger Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Three of the Israeli hostages and one commando were killed in the operation. The one commando was a unit commander Yonatan Netanyahu, brother of the current Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The map was a gift from one of the force commanders of the Entebbe raid, given to me back in the late 1980's when I had the opportunity to work with a number of Israeli anti-terrorist experts. My interaction with the Israelis taught me a lot about how people live and deal with neighbors who not only refuse to recognize their right to exist as a nation, but in many cases want to eliminate them and their people. more >>
The Republic of Cyprus has entered the maelstrom of the world's most volatile region thanks to new-found gas and oil reserves combined with an erratic Turkish foreign policy and a civil war in Syria. Even as leaders of this Mediterranean island show skill dealing with these novel threats and opportunities, they need support from a strong U.S. Navy, something not now available.
Cypriot underwater gas and oil discoveries follow directly on ones found earlier in Israeli seas, located adjacent to them and uncovered by the same American (Noble) and Israeli (Delek, Avner) companies. The current estimate of 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) as well as some oil has a value estimated at US$800 billion, a huge sum amount for a small country whose current GDP is a mere $24 billion.
The great majority of this energy will likely be exported to Turkey or Europe. A pipeline to Turkey would be cheapest and easiest but so long as Turkish troops continue to occupy 36 percent of Cyprus, this will not happen. A recent court decision permitting the Israeli government to decide what quantities of energy to export now offers other possibilities: Cyprus could swap gas with Israel that then goes to Turkey or the two allies could jointly build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Cyprus. more >>
Hundreds of attendees of the World Council of Churches' Tenth Assembly participated in a "pilgrimage of peace" taken in the 60th year since the armistice that ended the combat phase of the Korean War was signed.
An estimated 800 WCC participants joined the peace pilgrimage on Saturday, calling for the unification of the Korean Peninsula after generations of tensions between the North and South.