The United Nations has declared the highest level of humanitarian emergency in Iraq and has accused Islamic State militants of carrying out "barbaric" acts of sexual violence against women and teenage boys and girls belonging to Iraqi minorities.
U.N. special representative Nickolay Mladenov said that the declaration by the UN of a "Level 3 Emergency" in Iraq would "facilitate mobilization of additional resources in goods, funds and assets to ensure a more effective response to the humanitarian needs of populations affected by forced displacements," BBC News reported on Thursday.
The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, has taken over significant territory in Iraq and Syria, capturing major cities, carrying out violent attacks on minorities, including Christians, and forcing close to 1.2 million people to flee their homes. more >>
U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini is reportedly receiving death threats from ISIS jihadists at the Iranian prison where he is being held.
The militants have said that they will kill him because of his Christian faith, the American Center for Law and Justice reported in a press release. Abedini, who is being held at Rajai Shahr prison, spoke of the death threats with family members earlier this week.
While the ISIS militants are apparently being held in a separate section of the prison ward, they have managed on several occasions to make their way to the pastor's section on their way back from the prison yard, forcing Abedini to hide. more >>
The persecution of Christians in Iraq is undoubtedly a devastating humanitarian crisis and as more lives are lost at the hands of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, concerned believers are asking 'how can I help?'
An estimated 200,000 Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq have been affected by the advancement of ISIS and many have been forced to flee their homes to avoid genocide.
As of Friday, dozens of members of the ancient Yazidi sect had been killed by ISIS militants due to their ancient beliefs. They have been denounced by the advancing militant group as "devil-worshippers," and since July 17 approximately 50,000 Yazidis have sought refuge in the barren mountain range after fighters demanded that they leave, convert to Islam or die. more >>
Egypt's most influential Muslim cleric has recently denounced the terrorist group commonly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, considered the North African nation's highest religious authority, said on the state news agency MENA that ISIS "poses a danger to Islam and Muslims."
Israel has strongly spoken out against the appointment of Canadian international lawyer William Schabas to head the U.N. Human Rights Council's inquiry into the Gaza conflict, accusing the lawyer of setting himself against the Jewish state and suggesting that the commission has already indicated it will have an anti-Israel bias.
"This commission's anti-Israeli conclusions have already been written, all it needs is a signature," Israel foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, according to AFP.
"For this commission the important thing is not human rights but the rights of terrorist organizations like Hamas." more >>
A priest from Nineveh has claimed that Christianity "is finished in Iraq," amid the ongoing conflict and thousands of Christians fleeing persecution from members of ISIS.
"Today the story of Christianity is finished in Iraq," Father Nawar told the Catholic News Agency. "It's a very difficult life … very, very difficult. [Families] are dying because of the temperatures, dying because they can't eat, dying because of fear, and also because of war, of bombs."
Father Nawar is originally from Nineveh, considered the Christian capital of Iraq, but ISIS forces took over the city and told Christians that they either had to convert to Islam or face death by the sword. The residents then fled to Kurdish areas in the country, where they were welcomed and able to take refuge. However, there were so many refugees there with very little resources. more >>