The evangelical humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse airlifted over 60,000 gift-filled shoeboxes on Wednesday to the Kurdish-controlled region of Northern Iraq, intending to provide hope to children living as refugees after they were forced to flee their homes to escape from the wrath of the Islamic State.
Through Operation Christmas Child, a program run by evangelist Franklin Graham and his Samaritan's Purse organization, people from all over the United States, United Kingdom and Canada have combined efforts to fill up 60,000 shoeboxes with small gifts and uplifting messages, which will be flown from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to the city of Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.
With Samaritan's Purse already supporting a major refugee camp in the town by airlifting supplies in October, the Operation Christmas Child airlift is the second that Samaritan's Purse has conducted to support the refugees living in Iraq. more >>
Researchers are saying that a recent mass execution video released by the Islamic State, showing the simultaneous execution of 22 Syrian soldiers, took up to as many as six hours to film, required expensive production software, and likely needed a small production crew to produce.
In mid November, ISIS released a propaganda video entitled "Though the Unbelievers Despise It", which runs about 16 minutes and was filmed in the town of Dabiq in West Syria. Along with the mass beheadings of the Syrian soldiers, this video also purported the death of U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig by showing his severed head.
Researchers from the Terrorism research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC) and the England-based counter terrorism group the Quilliam Foundation, which analyzed the video for weeks, found that shadows and lighting in the video changed throughout and was not consistent with the videos runtime. The researchers claim that the video took approximately four to six hours to film although, to the untrained eye, the video looks to be shot without any kind of stoppage. more >>
Numerous religious voices have been amplifying the findings from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats' report on enhanced interrogation techniques that are denounced as torture.
The report and religious reaction rehash a debate dating back at least 8 years, when the National Religious Campaign Against Torture began its ongoing denunciation of Bush Administration post 9-11 detention policies of terror suspects. In 2007 an Evangelical Declaration Against Torture, crafted by a group led by liberal Baptist ethicist David Gushee, was endorsed by the National Association of Evangelicals.
The Islamic State released a new pamphlet teaching jihadis why it is permissible, under Islamic law, to enslave, abuse, buy, sell and have forced sexual intercourse with religious minority female and child captives.
The Research and Fatawa (Islamic law) Department of the Islamic State released a set of guidelines last week in the form of a frequently asked questions-style pamphlet, which posed serious ethical questions about the militants' sex slave practices. The questions are followed up with brief answers, using verses from the Koran and teachings of "Islamic scholars" to justify why Islamic law permits those actions. It also provides certain guidelines for the militants to follow.
According to the document, which was released on Dec. 3 and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, women of opposing religious views are viewed as a part of the al-harb (people of war). Once the women of the al-harb are captured, the pamphlet claims they are sexually permissible for fighters because of their state of "unbelief." more >>
Pastor Donnie McClurkin is calling for New York pastors, civic leaders, organizations, politicians and government officials to meet at his Perfecting Faith Church for a prayer rally in light of the recent protests coming as the result of a grand jury deciding not to indict a police officer for killing Eric Garner.
McClurkin, the senior pastor at the church and gospel singer, called for people to come together for a prayer rally at his Freeport, N.Y. church Tuesday at 7 p.m. during a time of protesting around the country.
"I believe that the church body should not be a spectator, but a participant and leader in dealing with such issues as the recent verdict announced," McClurkin said in a statement obtained by The Christian Post. "This is a time for the church to unite and raise their voices to God in prayer." more >>
Terror group ISIS has reportedly released a series of photographs on social media showing children around 10 years of age in soldier uniforms being trained to use assault rifles and kill people. The jihadist group has been using child soldiers in its battle for territories in Iraq and Syria.
The Daily Mail published a number of the photos, where several of the children are seen using weapons such as AK47s. The photos apparently were taken at a training school near the Syrian capital of Damascus, which ISIS has set its sights on.
The children are also seen performing military drills, and marching before ISIS' black flag. more >>