Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz slammed President Barack Obama's Iran deal, saying that he has neglected American hostages held in the Islamic Republic.
At a rally held on Capitol Hill on Wednesday by the conservative group Tea Party Patriots and attended by thousands, Sen. Cruz said that the deal was "catastrophic" for America and the hostages.
"[The Iran deal] abandons four American hostages in an Iranian hellhole, including Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen and Christian pastor sentenced to eight years in prison for the crime of preaching the Gospel," said Cruz. more >>
An Iraqi woman, believed to be from the Yazidi-Kurdish minority, has reportedly shot dead a senior Islamic State commander "Abu Anas," who is said to have forced her to become a sex slave and gifted her to other men.
Iraqi satellite TV network Alsumaria News did not reveal the name of the woman, but Kurdistan Democratic Party spokesman Saeed Mamouzini confirmed that Anas was killed on Saturday near Mosul in Iraq.
The IS commander is believed to have forced the woman into sex slavery, and used her as a "gift" for other militants. more >>
A Syrian priest, along with 270 Christian and Muslim hostages kidnapped by Islamic militants earlier this summer in an offensive on the city of Homs, are reportedly alive and hoping that they'll be released after negotiations.
Fides News Agency said that Father Jacques Murad, who belongs to the monastic community of Deir Mar Musa, is still alive, according to local sources, but is being held hostage with groups of Christians and Muslims taken by jihadists in August. The hostages are reported to be "stable and secure," and are waiting as local ecclesial communities are carrying out negotiations through mediators for their possible release.
"The sources contacted by Fides confirm that all the hostages are still in Quaryatayn, and specify that the news on the story of father Murad broadcast in recent days by Lebanese television network Nursat TV did not include any statement regarding the religious person kidnapped, but only reassuring considerations about his fate, expressed by another priest," the report added. more >>
Over 1,000 people have been killed by terror group Boko Haram in the first 100 days of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's reign, while close to 2.1 million have been internally displaced. Buhari had promised that he would find a way to drive out the Islamic terror group from his country, but so far the terror group's raids have continued in full force.
The International Organization for Migration revealed on Friday that displaced people have risen to 2.1 million in the northeastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe, as well as the central state of Nassarawa and Abuja.
"The increase ... can be attributed to the intensification of attacks carried out by the insurgents, as well as to improved access to previously inaccessible areas of Borno state, where the IDP population is now well over 1.6 million," IOM said. more >>
Hindu radicals in India have intensified their threats, forced conversions and persecution of Christians, saying they would cut them "into pieces" if they continue to worship Christ. Such threats have already forced at least 10 Christian families in a northwest province to flee from their homes and villages.
Church leaders told the Christian persecution watchdog Morning Star News that the 10 families fled from their homes in the Indian state of Rajasthan, which shares a border with Pakistan, because of death threats coming from Hindus seeking to turn Christians away from Christ and "reconvert" them to Hinduism.
The Hindu extremists have threatened to harm anyone who mentions Christ's name or participates in church functions. The threats have prevented Christians in the area from worshiping for over two months. more >>
Images emerging Wednesday of a drowned 3-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed ashore face-down on a Turkish beach have rocked social media with the sad reality of the risks that hundreds of thousands of refugee families are taking just to find peace and liberty away from the nation's civil war and the rise of the Islamic State.
The 3-year-old Syrian boy, who was identified as Aylan Kurdi, was just one of 12 refugees aboard an overcrowded dinghy who drowned Wednesday in their quest to reach the Greek island of Kos from the Turkish resort town of Bodrum, according to the Turkish Anadolu news agency.
Among the others who perished at sea was Aylan's 5-year-old brother, Galip, who met a similar fate as he washed up on another Turkish beach. more >>