A feud over land in a city south of Cairo, Egypt between two Coptic families has resulted in five deaths and nine injuries after gunfire broke out Wednesday, local authorities are reporting.
The conflict took place Wednesday in the city of Malawi in the province of Minya, south of Cairo, when two quarreling families reportedly opened gunfire on each other over a dispute regarding land. A local police official speaking on the condition of anonymity told the Associated Press that three of the nine who were injured in the feud are in critical condition. Land disputes in the North African country's rural areas have long been an issue, but they have escalated since the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak and the subsequent instability of the government and security forces.
Copts make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 90 million population, the majority being Muslim. Recent attacks on Copts in the country by factions of Islamic extremists have resulted in community leaders calling on the government to take a proactive role in protecting religious minorities. more >>
An increase in violent activity, including bombings in Northern Iraq, is forcing Christians to flee the region in panic, even though the area is considered one of the safest in the country until recent developments.
The growing number of attacks in the region include a Sept. 22 suicide bomb that went off at the home of Christian politician Emad Youhanna in Rafigayn, which injured 19 people including three of Youhanna's children, World Watch Monitor reported. Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for a number of other recent attacks, while Christians in surrounding villages have complained about harassment from police.
"It remains urgent to pray for the future of Christianity in this country," watchdog group Open Doors USA said. "If the present trend continues, there might be no Christian left in the whole of Iraq by 2020." The group added that although a number of Christians are still choosing to stay, their concern over safety is growing, and they may be left with little choice but to leave. more >>
A Christian mother living in Damascus with her husband and two young daughters has shared of the fear her family live through every day in the war-torn city, including stories of rape and church attacks, as well as how her faith is compelling her to stay despite the dangers.
"The schools have started again, so we get back to the uncertainty. We are getting up very early to pray and fast whenever our daughters are not at home," the woman, identified as Hanna, shared in a testimony obtained by Open Doors USA, a persecution watchdog group.
"Every day when I walk to the school I work at I hold my breath; every minute something can happen. Many streets are closed and when you walk the streets you see the traces of the battle: little fires all over the streets. Also in our house you see the traces of the war: we already noticed a bullet hole in our guest room, but recently I also discovered one in the room of my girls." more >>
A Christian pastor ignored the threat of possible violence to feed 200 poor, disabled Muslims and their relatives to celebrate their holiday of Eid in Kaduna, Nigeria, according to Voice of America.
The pastor, who worked with clerics to provide food to the city's most destitude, was part of a larger team of Muslims and Christians not only to observing the holiday together but also working to end the religious violence that has ravaged the country for years by serving alongside one another.
"We want peace in northern Nigeria, in Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and the world entirely," Pastor Yohanna Buru told Voice of America. more >>
Four decades ago this month, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) launched an oil embargo against the United States in retaliation for our steadfast support of Israel in her hour of need. As the Jewish State fought off the Soviet-backed Egyptian and Syrian armies in what would become known as the Yom Kippur War, the OPEC cartel's actions sent the price of oil soaring and our economy into a recession.
Sadly, 40 years later, we have not learned the appropriate lesson from that experience: We must disconnect our oil-dependent transportation sector from OPEC and the associated national oil companies that together manipulate the global oil market to harm America. Americans are vulnerable to OPEC's manipulation in large measure because oil is the dominant fuel of the American economic engine, and because it holds a monopoly position in our transportation sector, accounting for 93 percent of its fuel base. Therefore, even as oil prices skyrocket, American motorists and businesses have no choice but to spend more.
In the years since the embargo officially ended, OPEC and national oil companies have leveraged this structural vulnerability to their benefit. They have done so by sticking to an anti-competitive playbook that enriches their coffers and weakens our economy. more >>
WASHINGTON – Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has declared that he will work tirelessly to free Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor jailed in Iran for his Christian faith.
In a speech Friday morning before a large crowd at the Values Voters Summit, Paul exclaimed that Americans, including himself and the federal government, should do their utmost to see that Abedini is freed.
"In Iran, American pastor Saeed Abedini is detained indefinitely, facing physical and psychological torture. They ask him to renounce his faith," said Paul. "I've introduced a resolution to the Senate that says and calls for and says we should do everything within our power, within our voice, from the White House, from the State Department, from our government to release Saeed Abedini." more >>