NEW YORK — President Barack Obama addressed the "poisonous theology" of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that "affects too many of our young people," in a far-reaching address during the Opening Session of the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Monday. He also took issue with atrocities carried out by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom he called a "dictator."
Obama stated that the Islamic State, also called ISIS, "depends on perpetual war to survive" but also "gains adherence because of a poisonous ideology."
So "our job is to reject extremism that affects too many of our young people," the president added. He specifically called on Muslims to reject teachings that promote violence, and on non-Muslims to "reject ignorance that equates Islam with terrorism." more >>
Major sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, has left at least 24 people dead and over 100 wounded over the weekend.
"The events of [Saturday] and [Sunday] are very serious. We count many crimes against property and persons," Security Minister Dominique Said Paguindji said in an interview, according to Foreign Policy. "We will deal with this situation diplomatically to avoid civilian casualties that would add to the death toll."
The Telegraph reported that the violence broke out after a Muslim taxi driver was found murdered wth his body dumped near an airport. The local Muslim population blamed Christian militiamen known as the Anti-Balaka for kidnapping the driver, and decided to attack the nearby Christian neighborhood of Miskine with automatic weapons, machetes and grenades, leading to a major clash. more >>
The Islamic State terror group has executed almost 11,000 people across Iraq and Syria since its establishment of a self-proclaimed caliphate in June 2014, human rights groups have said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 3,207 people have been put to death by the Islamic militants in Syria, while another 7,700 have been killed in Iraq.
The number does not include the ever-growing list of casualties from the various wars IS is waging against the Syrian and Iraqi central governments, the U.S. and its broad team of allies, and against rival rebel groups in the region. more >>
With the recent news that Russian forces are joining the fight against the Islamic State terror group in Syria, but will be fighting on President Bashar al-Assad's side, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter noted that America will still be attempting to pursue both the fall of Assad and the fall of the Islamic terrorists.
"The United States believes that these two interests must be pursued in parallel," Carter said during a press event, Defense News reported on Thursday.
"To pursue the defeat of ISIL without, at the same time, pursuing a political transition, is to fuel the very kind of extremism that underlies ISIL, and if that's the Russian view, that's a logical contradiction," Carter added. more >>
The head of a Christian humanitarian organization reports that the Islamic State terrorist organization in has turned captured church buildings into torture chambers that are being used to coerce Iraqi Christians into renouncing Christ and converting to IS' brand of radical Islam.
Christian Freedom International, a Virginia-based aid organization that provides necessities to Christians living in nations that are the most hostile toward Christianity, has released a new video that reveals alarming statistics showing the number of Christians throughout the world who are being persecuted or killed for their faith.
The video, released ahead of the organization's day of prayer on Nov. 8, explains that there are over 200 million followers of Christ who face some form of persecution in 105 of the world's 196 countries. more >>
WASHINGTON — At a Religious Freedom Project summit Friday at the Catholic University of America, a Chinese evangelist told of how she was was forced to make Christmas tree lights and endured starvation, electrocution and beatings in Chinese prisons and "re-education" labor camps due to her refusal to renounce Christ.
Speaking at the conference organized by Baylor University, the largest Baptist university in the world, Chinese evangelist Sarah Liu, and Syrian Christian ministry leaders, Joseph and Hannah Sleman, gave their testimonies to the torture and persecution faced by Christians unwilling to compromise in two of the most hostile regions toward Christianity this world has to offer.
Liu, a born-again Christian who was baptized in 1991 in the dead of a winter night due to fear of a government crackdown, told of how she and ministry partners traveled through China's Hubei province, going village to village, to spread the word of Christ. more >>