The United Nations Children's Fund has warned that the crises connected to the various wars around the world continue to escalate and hit children the hardest, with close to 50 million of them uprooted from their homes by violence and persecution.
"Indelible images of individual children — Aylan Kurdi's small body washed up on a beach after drowning at sea or Omran Daqneesh's stunned and bloody face as he sat in an ambulance after his home was destroyed — have shocked the world," United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement on Wednesday.
"But each picture, each girl or boy, represents many millions of children in danger — and this demands that our compassion for the individual children we see be matched with action for all children." more >>
A New York City pastor has spent about $4,000 of his own money to supply much-needed weapons to a Christian militia fighting against the Islamic State terrorist organization in Iraq.
William Devlin, a pastor at Infinity Bible Church in the Bronx who often travels the world to help Christians and others persecuted in the most dangerous places on Earth, has supplied the Nineveh Plain Protection Units with an assortment of rocket-propelled grenade launchers, grenades and AK-47 assault rifles to help level the playing field in the militia's fight against IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL).
As the NPU is largely made up of Assyrian Christians trying to defend and reclaim their homelands from IS, the militia often finds itself outmatched by the brutal terrorist group, which has obtained quality American-made weapons through military victories against U.S.-backed rebel groups in Syria and the Iraqi Army. more >>
President Barack Obama's administration admitted on Tuesday that it paid as much as $1.7 billion to Iran earlier this year, but has continued denying the charge that at least part of that money was used to ransom hostages held by the Islamic Republic.
A Treasury spokeswoman told the Associated Press that an initial payment of $400 million was sent to Iran on January 17, while the remaining $1.3 billion was delivered over two more installments on Jan. 22 and Feb. 5.
Several Republicans, such as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., have accused the White House of using that initial $400 million to secure the release of four American prisoners that had been held hostage by Iran, including pastor Saeed Abedini, who had been imprisoned for his Christian faith. more >>
A Christian man executed by the Iranian regime said in a video before his death that he is not afraid of losing his life, and suggested that Iran's leaders who kill hundreds of people every year should fear God's judgment.
Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini has been sharing accounts and videos about Ali Asadi, one of the Christians who was recently executed by the Iranian regime, and noted that the prisoner asked God to forgive all other prisoners before his execution.
Abedini, who spent three and a half years in Iranian prison before being released in January, said one of the videos was recorded in Rajaeeshahr prison, where he spent more than two years. more >>
The family of a Pakistani man who was killed while trying to rescue his Christian daughter from a forced Islamic marriage has been given hope for justice after the men who killed him were charged over the murder by state authorities.
The British Pakistani Christian Association reported the news on Sunday, noting that both Muhammed and Zahid Iqbal have been arrested in connection with Tanveer Masih's murder, though a police search is still underway for fugitive Tahir Iqbal.
Masih was shot dead on May 31 by two assailants on a motorcycle, reportedly after he was invited by one of the cousins of the men who took his daughter to discuss her return home. Fourteen-year-old Mehwish was kidnapped by Zahid Iqbal in Shadab Colony in Faisalabad after she went there to work as a domestic servant, but was raped and forced into an Islamic marriage. more >>
A California-based human rights activist and lawyer, who has been helping minorities and women across the Middle East for over a decade, recently testified at the United Nations, narrating incidents such as parents in Syria being sent a video of their kidnapped daughters being raped and tortured by Islamic State, and the dismembered body parts of their daughters in bags. U.S. media chose not to report on it.
Jacqueline Isaac, vice president of the humanitarian group Roads of Success, began her testimony by saying that she is not speaking as a lawyer or an activist, but as a "fellow human being."
"I stand with the beautiful, brave, resilient survivors that I spent extensive time with in Iraq – those that saw their parents killed before them and then taken by ISIS and categorized like merchandise based on whether they thought they were beautiful or not, their age, and whether they were virgins. Like merchandise," Isaac said at the U.N. on April 28, according to CNS News. more >>