The evangelical humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse airlifted over 60,000 gift-filled shoeboxes on Wednesday to the Kurdish-controlled region of Northern Iraq, intending to provide hope to children living as refugees after they were forced to flee their homes to escape from the wrath of the Islamic State.
Through Operation Christmas Child, a program run by evangelist Franklin Graham and his Samaritan's Purse organization, people from all over the United States, United Kingdom and Canada have combined efforts to fill up 60,000 shoeboxes with small gifts and uplifting messages, which will be flown from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to the city of Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.
With Samaritan's Purse already supporting a major refugee camp in the town by airlifting supplies in October, the Operation Christmas Child airlift is the second that Samaritan's Purse has conducted to support the refugees living in Iraq. more >>
Researchers are saying that a recent mass execution video released by the Islamic State, showing the simultaneous execution of 22 Syrian soldiers, took up to as many as six hours to film, required expensive production software, and likely needed a small production crew to produce.
In mid November, ISIS released a propaganda video entitled "Though the Unbelievers Despise It", which runs about 16 minutes and was filmed in the town of Dabiq in West Syria. Along with the mass beheadings of the Syrian soldiers, this video also purported the death of U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig by showing his severed head.
Researchers from the Terrorism research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC) and the England-based counter terrorism group the Quilliam Foundation, which analyzed the video for weeks, found that shadows and lighting in the video changed throughout and was not consistent with the videos runtime. The researchers claim that the video took approximately four to six hours to film although, to the untrained eye, the video looks to be shot without any kind of stoppage. more >>
The Islamic State released a new pamphlet teaching jihadis why it is permissible, under Islamic law, to enslave, abuse, buy, sell and have forced sexual intercourse with religious minority female and child captives.
The Research and Fatawa (Islamic law) Department of the Islamic State released a set of guidelines last week in the form of a frequently asked questions-style pamphlet, which posed serious ethical questions about the militants' sex slave practices. The questions are followed up with brief answers, using verses from the Koran and teachings of "Islamic scholars" to justify why Islamic law permits those actions. It also provides certain guidelines for the militants to follow.
According to the document, which was released on Dec. 3 and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, women of opposing religious views are viewed as a part of the al-harb (people of war). Once the women of the al-harb are captured, the pamphlet claims they are sexually permissible for fighters because of their state of "unbelief." more >>
A major report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on the CIA's advanced interrogation techniques in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. revealed that the agency used methods on detainees including nudity, cold water dousing, and abdominal hits. While the head of the intelligence panel admitted that some of the cases amounted to "torture," a rebuttal report argued that the methods "saved lives."
"Prior to mid-2004, the CIA routinely subjected detainees to nudity and dietary manipulation. The CIA also used abdominal slaps and cold water dousing on several detainees during that period," the report states.
"None of these techniques had been approved by the Department of Justice. At least 17 detainees were subjected to CIA enhanced interrogation techniques without authorization from CIA Headquarters. Additionally, multiple detainees were subjected to techniques that were applied in ways that diverged from the specific authorization, or were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques by interrogators who had not been authorized to use them." more >>
To bring awareness to the sexual exploitation of women and minors in the porn industry and illegal sex trafficking business, a coalition of national organizations joined Morality in Media Tuesday for its annual national day of prayer to bring comfort and healing to all who are impacted by these sex industries.
Hysen Sisco, a spokesperson with Morality in Media, told The Christian Post that the "National Day of Prayer to Strengthen the Fight Against Pornography and Sexual Exploitation," asks "those concerned with the pervasive influences of pornography and other forms of sexual exploitation to pray for those involved in the fight and those struggling with the damaging affects."
"Last year, we saw an overwhelming outpouring of support from thousands around the country. Many wonderful events and opportunities occurred, we feel, because of these efforts," Sisco told CP. "We hope to get the same results so we can further our mission to defend human dignity and confront sexual exploitation." more >>
WASHINGTON —The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty announced on Tuesday the launch of a new coalition uniting human rights organizations, religious groups, and pro-liberty advocacy groups to pressure state governments to put an end to capital punishment.
The coalition, which has up to 15 national partnering organizations, is named the "90 Million Strong" campaign, which signifies the 33 percent of Americans, according to Gallup polls, who say they oppose the death penalty.
With only 28 states and the District of Columbia not currently using the death penalty, and seven states carrying out the death penalty in 2014, the coalition aims to fully mobilize the "90 million" Americans to lobby state-by-state to get the other states that still actively use the death penalty to halt what they claim are "unfair" and immoral practices. more >>