A doctor helping Syrian refugees in Lebanon has reported a "shocking" number of severe birth defects in newborn babies, while the devastating civil war enters its fourth year with no end in sight.
"In my short time in Lebanon, I've seen more cases of severe birth defects than during my entire career as a pediatric resident," Dr. Nancy Snyderman, chief medical editor for NBC News, wrote in a report on Wednesday.
"Many babies born have major malformations of the brain and nervous system: from minor cases of spina bifida where parts of the brain or spinal cord are outside of the body to anencephalic babies born without the majority of their brain." more >>
A four day Evangelical conference out of Bethlehem focusing on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict kicked off on Monday, even as several Christian leaders spoke out against the event and suggested that it was a veiled attempt to dampen the Church's support for Israel.
The Bethlehem Bible College (BBC), an institution founded by Palestinian Christians in 1979 with the intent to train Arab Israeli and Palestinian pastors, has sponsored Christ at the Checkpoint (CC) bi-annually since its inaugural event in 2010, and according to its mission, seeks to challenge "evangelicals to take responsibility in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through Jesus' teaching on the Kingdom of God."
Several of the 10 points of the conference manifesto state that "racial ethnicity alone does not guarantee the benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant," "all forms of violence must be refuted unequivocally," that the "the Church in the land of the Holy One, has born witness to Christ since the days of Pentecost," and "must be empowered to continue to be light and salt in the region, if there is to be hope in the midst of conflict." more >>
Christians are being urged by persecution watchdog group Open Doors to pray for the 33 people who are facing the death penalty in North Korea reportedly for their connection with a South Korean missionary.
"We need to bathe the country of North Korea in prayer," said Open Doors USA President/CEO David Curry in a statement Monday. "North Korea has been the No. 1 persecutor of Christians on the Open Doors World Watch List for 12 years in a row. And for good reasons. Usually when persecution increases in a country, the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ is rapidly spreading. Join me in prayer today."
South Korean papers reported last week that Kim Jong Un has ordered the deaths of 33 people found to have received money for building 500 underground churches from South Korean missionary Kim Jung Wook. Engaging in secret religious activities is a crime punishable by arrest and even public execution in the Pacific nation. more >>
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) delivered a foreign policy focused speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday, arguing that America's economic strength is related to her ability to exert influence globally.
"Only one nation on earth is capable of rallying the free people of this world to stand up to totalitarianism," Rubio argued before the nation's premier gathering of conservatives.
This would not be the first time that Rubio spoke about foreign policy concerns. While Rubio could have given a speech that all those in the conservative movement could rally behind, such as economic opportunity, he chose instead to focus on an issue that currently divides the conservative movement. more >>
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton clarified on Wednesday her earlier remarks in which she compared Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to invade the Ukraine territory of Crimea with Nazi Germany leader Adolf Hitler's reasoning to invade other countries in the 1930s.
"I just want everybody to have a little historic perspective. I'm not making a comparison certainly, but I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before," Clinton said at the University of California at Los Angeles. She stressed that she was not placing the two men in the same category but highlighted that Putin's reason to enter Ukraine to protect Russian minorities was "reminiscent of claims that were made back in the 1930s when Germany under the Nazis kept talking about how they had to protect German minorities" in Poland and Czechoslovakia, as reported by the LA Times.
Her previous comments were made Tuesday at an event at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach. There, she stated, "Now if this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the 30s. All the Germans that were ... the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they're not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that's what's gotten everybody so nervous." more >>
The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic denounced the Security Council, which includes the U.S., for failing to take action and allowing the ongoing slaughter in the Syria civil war to continue.
"States that exert influence on the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic must act to ensure that these parties comply with the rules of international humanitarian law," human rights investigators said in a report released Wednesday. "The Security Council bears responsibility for allowing the warring parties to violate these rules with impunity."
The U.N. Security Council, which has the responsibility to maintain international peace and security, is composed of five permanent members – the U.S., the U.K., China, France, and Russia – as well as 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year periods. more >>