WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to add a religious freedom amendment to the Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which could be the first time that Congress asked presidents to take religious liberties into consideration when negotiating international trade agreements.
The Senate voted 92-0 Monday evening to approve the amendment to the TPA bill that was proposed by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., which would make it an overall negotiating objective of the United States to "take into account" religious freedom violations before entering possible trade deals with other countries.
"It is a great encouragement to see the [Senate's] overwhelming support for religious liberty issues worldwide," the 47-year-old Lankford told The Christian Post Tuesday morning. "This is the core value, the first freedom that we talk about all the time but it is also a core value that I believe, and apparently my colleagues also believe, that when we talk to other nations and deal with nations where religious liberty is not common and we get into a trade conversation, we should bring up the issue of religious liberty." more >>
An escaped Yazidi teen recently revealed that while she was held by the Islamic State terrorist group, she was sold as a sex slave to a well-known Australian ISIS executioner for the equivalent of $34, reports indicate.
In witness testimony given to Iraqi lawyers, a 19-year-old Yazidi girl, who has been given the pseudonym "Kaleela," said she was in the midst of fleeing from her northern Iraqi village last August when she was taken hostage, like many other girls were, by ISIS.
She recalled being initially kept by the militants inside a three-story home in the group's Iraqi stronghold of Mosul before she was drugged and shipped off to Syria, where she was sold in ISIS' sex slave market. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist organization released a new audio message on Wednesday purporting to come from the mouth of the group's caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who asserted that Islam is not the religion of peace, but rather the religion of violence.
If it is in fact Baghdadi speaking in the message, which was posted by the group's al-Furqan media outlet and shared by several ISIS-affiliated websites, it would mark the first time that the public has heard from Baghdadi in months, after it was reported that he was immobilized by a spinal injury resulting from shrapnel wounds from an airstrike.
The last audio message Baghdadi released was in November, which was just days after he was wounded in another airstrike. BBC reports that analysts believe that the voice in Wednesday's audio message, entitled "March Forth Whether Light or Heavy," sounds like Baghdadi's but it's still hard to verify. more >>
As conditions in the Middle East and Africa are causing thousands of people to seek ways to migrate into Europe, terrorist organizations like the Islamic State are profiting handsomely off of people that are trying to flee from the chaos these groups have helped cause, a recent report has found.
According to a report released Tuesday by The Global Initiative, terrorist groups including ISIS are benefiting from the lucrative human trafficking trade that illegally smuggles boatloads of people from the Libyan coast across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe.
The report estimates that the human trafficking trade generates between $255 million and $323 million each year. more >>
WASHINGTON — As hundreds of thousands of Christians and religious minorities are living homeless in Iraq due to the rise of the Islamic State, a pastor from New York City says it is a "total embarrassment" that most American Christians are not willing to travel to the Kurdish region of Iraq to care for the persecuted.
The Rev. William Devlin, who pastors the Infinity Bible Church in South Bronx, has traveled to over 11 different countries where the persecution of Christians is rampant and in December he went to Kurdish Iraq for 11 days to provide humanitarian assistance to those displaced from their homes by ISIS.
Devlin, who's also a registered nurse with a specialty in war trauma, told The Christian Post on Wednesday that he plans to go back to Iraq in July and hopes to recruit and even pay for other pastors to go with him. more >>
Two 13-year-old boys trained to fight for ISIS have reportedly been captured by al-Qaeda's branch in Syria, with one of them revealing that he was forced to fight his cousin for his life. ISIS is believed to have taken over 600 children in the Deir el Zor region in Syria, where the boys are from.
"Muslims are killing Muslims. My cousin is on the other side, so it was either I kill my cousin or he kills me," one of the boys says in a video released by Jabhat al Nusra's media wing on Wednesday.
The video shows the boys standing before an al-Qaeda flag, being questioned about their experiences fighting for ISIS. more >>