Persecution watchdog group Open Doors warned that the exodus of Christians in Iraq and Syria fleeing terror group ISIS reached "biblical proportions" this year, and called for Christian unity during the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church on Sunday.
A number of Christian leaders and commentators spoke during the webcast, raising awareness and encouraging prayer for believers around the world who have faced persecution this year.
Mike Gore of Open Doors Australia highlighted what he called the "unprecedented focus" in 2014 on the persecuted church, and recalled a number of the most prominent stories that made headline news. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist group has recently established a new media wing devoted to using social media to distribute advice on how women can contribute to the group's jihad by using nursing and cooking skills to be exemplary, supportive wives who know how to keep their jihadists happy.
ISIS' new media group, The Zora Foundation, has released in the last two weeks various propaganda centered around how women can contribute to its war by being "good wives of jihad," The Independent reported.
The Zora Foundation, which carries the slogan of "preparing for the honor of jihad," has been posting various tweets and videos in Arabic showing ways in which women can contribute to the jihad — cooking, cleaning, first aid and even helping ISIS' propaganda campaign — once they're married to a jihadist. more >>
ISIS militants have captured two gas fields and attacked a major air force base near the city of Homs in Syria, posting photos of dead soldiers on social media on Monday.
While ISIS has been focusing most of its efforts in recent weeks on the border town of Kobane in the north, the Islamic militants have also been pushing south and seeking to establish a hold over the central parts of Syria.
An Iraqi tribal leader revealed that at least 322 members of a single Sunni tribe have been killed at the hands of terror group ISIS in the western Anbar province. The tribe's senior leader has blamed the government for abandoning the people to the jihadists.
"The government abandoned us and gave us to ISIS on a platter," Sheikh Naeem Al Gaoud of the Albu Nimr tribe told BBC News on Sunday. "We asked them many times for weapons but they gave us only promises."
Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights confirmed that 322 people in total have been killed, following news that ISIS militants shot dead 50 men and women from the tribe on Friday night into Saturday morning. Another 65 people are said to have been kidnapped. more >>
A U.N. report has warned that as many as 15,000 jihadists from close to 80 different countries are flooding into Iraq and Syria to fight for ISIS and other terror groups in the mission to establish an Islamic caliphate over the region.
The report, obtained by The Guardian, did not list all countries involved, but said that some of them had previously not been involved in global terrorism.
"Numbers since 2010 are now many times the size of the cumulative numbers of foreign terrorist fighters between 1990 and 2010 — and are growing," the report says. more >>
Sweden has become the first major European Union member to officially recognize the state of Palestine. The controversial move has been strongly criticized by Israel, which recalled its ambassador in protest.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "is looking for a way not to return to the negotiating table, and Sweden just gave him a perfect excuse," an Israeli Foreign Ministry source told The Times of Israel.
The source added that Sweden's recognition of Palestine could destabilize fragile relations in the Middle East, where a long term ceasefire between Israel and militant group Hamas from earlier this year is still holding. more >>