Several persecution watchdog groups have reacted to Sec. of State John Kerry's official recognition of the genocide being carried out against Christians and other minorities at the hands of the Islamic State terror group by calling it an important first step in providing urgently needed help and protection for decimated communities, if the U.S. follows up with real action.
Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry said the biggest hope in the recognition of the gravity of the situation facing Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims in Iraq and Syria is that it will prompt Western governments to act.
"Our hope is that this declaration of genocide will be a call to action for the United States and other Western governments to increase their aid on behalf of these persecuted populations," Curry said in a statement. more >>
A Chaldean Catholic bishop in Syria has warned that two-thirds of all Christians in the war-torn country have left since the conflict began in March 2011, which means close to a million believers have fled the country.
Antoine Audo told reporters that there were close to 1.5 million Christians in Syria in 2011, but five years later there are now only around 500,000 left.
Christians and millions of other Syrian civilians have left the country to escape the ongoing civil war, which is being waged between the government of President Bashar al-Assad, various Islamic rebel groups trying to take out his regime, and the Islamic State terror organization, which joined the battle for control in 2014. more >>
Radical Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria have killed close to 500 predominantly Christian farmers in Benue state in central Nigeria in a series of attacks over the last month, and are reportedly still hiding out among villagers, making survivors too afraid to return and bury the dead.
"In the last three weeks, Aku, Odugbeho, Aila, Okokolo and Ikobi have been utterly destroyed and over 300 people have been killed," Steven Enada, a development advocate campaigning against the killing of the Agatu people, told Morning Star News.
"We have corpses littered in the field like a war fought in the Roman Empire by Emperor Nero," he added, with survivors too afraid to return to bury the dead. more >>
The terrorist organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is recruiting children to fill the ranks of their armed forces.
In response to setbacks over the past couple months from US-led airstrikes, ISIS, also known as Daesh, IS or ISIL, has stepped up its usage of child soldiers, according to the Middle East media outlet ARA News.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin announced in a surprise move this week that he would begin pulling troops out of Syria, saying his mission in the country had been accomplished.
Putin, who has long been an ally to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, announced his decision Monday while meeting with members of his cabinet at the Kremlin.
The Russian leader indicated that he would begin pulling out the "main part" of his forces on Tuesday, saying that his country's mission in Syria had been largely successful and did not need to continue. more >>
An Iraqi priest who was tortured brutally by terrorists has said that the United States must ensure that the Middle East massacre of Christians at the hands of the Islamic State terror group is recognized as a genocide.
"From 2006 to 2014, nobody heard about my story because who am I to complain, as a priest? Who am I to complain about my life?" Father Douglas al-Bazi told The Daily Signal. "I don't like for people to feel sorry about me. But in 2014, [with] what happened with ISIS to my people, I said, that's it — we have to talk. We have to put an end to this."