"My father has a great imprint on me, my children, my grandkids, and I think on the world at large." -- Her Excellency Zenani Mandela-Diamini
The imprint left upon the world by Nelson Mandela is the idea that everyone, regardless of their race, color, religion or nationality, wants to be free.
Everyone desires to have the freedom to pursue their best life now. more >>
After 65 years in exile, Palestinian Christians are asking the Israeli government to finally keep their promise, and allow them to return to the home of their ancestors.
Forced from Biram in 1948 by Israeli forces during the creation of the state of Israel, Maronite Christians were guaranteed a return to their village in a 1951 Supreme Court case. But the Israeli government has never made good on this promise, despite pleas from the Biram diaspora.
Now, descendents of the community have sought to make their case to the government through an encampment in the national park where the town is located. more >>
Egyptian Coptic Christians in Dalga have been forced to pay a "submission" tax to the Islamists that have ruled their city since early July. The tax is being forced upon any non-Muslim who refuses to convert to Islam.
This fee, known as a "jizya" tax, has historic roots in political Islam. American author and translator Raymond Ibrahim, who has Coptic lineage, has said that the jizya was what "conquered non-Muslims historically had to pay to their Islamic overlords 'with willing submission and while feeling themselves subdued' to safeguard their existence."
If non-Muslims converted to Islam, they were no longer taxed. more >>
Islamists have taken over a southern Egyptian city, vandalizing its Christian institutions and terrorizing its Coptic population.
Since Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was overthrown on July 3, Islamists have ruled Dalga, a city of 120,000 people, 20,000 of whom are Christians. Immediately after Morsi was forced to step down, attackers plundered Christian institutions, stealing ancient churches icons and electrical equipment and burning the buildings after they had finished.
Our allies among the Syrian rebels have issued a memorandum to the State Department on strategies for the day after Assad falls. David Ignatius reports in his column today that the Free Syrian Army (SFA) has outlined a "Damascus plan" for "handling the power vacuum in case of a sudden Assad collapse." This plan is grossly flawed.
Not the least problem, as Ignatius points out, is that the plan relies on the United States - presumably using American troops - to take out not just Assad's stockpiles of chemical weapons but also the command and control for them. President Obama and his chief congressional supporters have ruled out American boots on the ground in Syria. Right? (See Andrew McCarthy's important observation regarding this pledge.)
Another crucial point in the rebels' strategic memorandum involves revenge killings. This is a major concern, as the Syrian conflict is at its core a civil war within Islam. The regime identifies with the minority Alawite sect that is allied with Hezbollah militias supported by Shiite theocratic Iran, while the rebels, largely Sunnis, are bolstered by al-Qaeda terrorists and other Sunni jihadist fighters and supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other Sunni regimes. Christians, who account for 10 percent (or more, when Iraqi refugees are counted) of the population and who have not taken up arms in this conflict are viewed by the two sides as aligned with the regime. They are the most vulnerable, since they have no militias or army to protect them. more >>
An Al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebel group has attacked the small, historically Christian village of Maaloula on Wednesday.
Early Wednesday morning, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a government checkpoint entrance to the village. The fighter was believed to be a member of the Jabhat al-Nusra group, said Rami Abdul-Rahman, the director of the Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights.
After the blast, Syrian rebels fought government forces, seizing the checkpoint and taking over a mountain top hotel. From there, they fired shells into the village below, damaging Christian churches with their blasts. The temple of the Holy Prophet Elijah was also damaged in a related fire. more >>