The largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States released a statement Tuesday demanding that President Barack Obama push Israel and Hamas towards negotiating a ceasefire immediately.
"The situation is escalating beyond control. The bloodshed and wielding of power in the contested land is unconscionable," reads the statement from the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of the General Assembly."Just as the United States has moved swiftly to provide $47 million in humanitarian assistance to Gaza, America also must lead the way in insisting on a ceasefire and enabling negotiations."
The statement also said that the PCUSA leaders "urge President Obama to use all the diplomatic weight afforded the highest office of this nation to end this conflict, and support all steps toward lasting peace in the Middle East." more >>
Christian leaders in Gaza and Israel are urging a ceasefire between the militaries of Israel and Hamas, explaining the situation on the ground from their perspective but rejecting the habit of laying blame on one side for the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Dr. Munir S. Kakish, Chairman Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land, told The Christian Post in an email interview on Monday that "one piece of information often not known is that there are Christians in Palestine, Gaza and the West Bank. There have been Christian Arabs here since the time of Jesus," he pointed out.
Israel and Hamas have been engaged in a violent conflict stretching over two-weeks now, with rockets being fired from both sides. Palestinian casualties have reached over 500, with thousands more injured, after the Israel government ordered a ground invasion into Gaza, targeting terrorist tunnels and other sites it said are a direct threat to the Israeli people. more >>
Pope Francis prayed for an end to Christian persecution in the Middle East on Sunday, one day after Christians were forced to flee the village of Mosul in Iraq following threats from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a jihadist militant group.
While leading a moment of silence in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Sunday, Francis said that Christians suffering persecution in the Middle East will be the subject of his "constant prayers."
"Violence isn't overcome with violence. Violence is conquered with peace," the pope told the crowd gathered at St. Peter's Square. "Our brothers and sisters are persecuted, they are chased away." more >>
Iraq could break apart into three separate states in response to the extremist Islamic group ISIS, which declared an "Islamic state" in Iraq and Syria, a Kurdish government official predicts.
"Baghdad seems to be pushing us into that direction, and we're closer than ever," said Karim Sanjari, minister of Interior for the Kurdish region, according to Christian relief group World Compassion Terry Law Ministries.
Jason Law, vice president of Operations for World Compassion, told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Thursday that Iraq splitting up into Shia, Sunni and Kurdish states is very much a real possibility. more >>
Islamist militant group Boko Haram has killed at least 2,053 civilians in over 95 attacks during the first half of 2014, an analysis by Human Rights Watch reported on Tuesday. The militants, who also kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls in April, have waged a war on the Nigerian government and the country's Christians for close to five years.
"Boko Haram is effectively waging war on the people of northeastern Nigeria at a staggering human cost," said Corinne Dufka, West Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "Atrocities committed as part of a widespread attack on civilians are crimes against humanity, for which those responsible need to be held to account."
The watchdog group detailed a number of the attacks that have occurred in Nigeria since January, and noted that its figures are based on analysis of media reports as well as field investigations. Many of the most deadly attacks took place in Borno State, the birthplace of Boko Haram, where 1,446 people were killed. more >>
Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai has vowed to continue fighting for the safe release of the 219 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April.
While visiting Nigeria this past Saturday on her 17th birthday, Yousafzai told parents of the kidnapped schoolgirls that her one birthday wish for this year is to see the kidnapped girls freed and reunited with their parents.
"I can see those girls as my sisters … and I'm going to speak up for them until they are released," the education activist said while speaking to parents of the girls on Saturday. "I can feel … the circumstances under which you are suffering. It's quite difficult for a parent to know that their daughter is in great danger." more >>