The brother of Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post journalist convicted in Iran for allegedly being an America spy, has decried what he called his "cruel and inhumane" detention. Friends of the American-Iranian journalist have also spoken out about their "total shock" at his conviction.
Ali Rezaian told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his brother, who has been detained for 14 months on the charges of espionage, needs urgent help from the U.S. government to win his freedom. The journalist faces up to 20 years in prison, unless the ruling is overturned.
"I would call it unjust, I would call it cruel and inhumane, I would say Jason's lost 14 months of his life, half of his marriage, to being held without any evidence on charges that are completely trumped up," Rezaian said. more >>
One Chibok girl who managed to escape Nigerian terror group Boko Haram has revealed that many of the 200 Christian schoolgirls abducted in April 2014 are still alive. But the girls have suffered greatly under the jihadists with a number of them impregnated and carrying diseases, while those who have refused to convert to Islam have been killed.
The Saturday Vanguard reported that one of the kidnapped girls who was kept in the Sambisa forest camp managed to escape captivity, and was rescued by Fulani herdsmen. She revealed that many of the girls have been relocated to the Lake Chad region following heavy military operations on the Sambisa forest by Nigeria's government.
"All of us were forced to become Muslims but kept in camps far from each other," the girl said. "You can only see and recognize those in your camp as any of us who refused being Islamized was either beheaded or shot at point blank range." more >>
A Syrian priest who was kidnapped by the Islamic State terrorist organization in May was finally released Saturday, allowing him to conduct his first mass since his abduction the following day in the Homs province.
An unidentified church source told AFP that Father Jacques Mourad, the prior of the Mar Elian Monastery, has been released and is now taking shelter in a town about 3 miles from the city of Homs.
Although the 1,600-year-old monastery was destroyed by IS in August when the militant group took over the town of Quaryatayn and kidnapped over 230 people, including 60 Christians, Mourad was abducted months before the demolition when IS militants took over the ancient town of Palmyra in late May. more >>
A Danish photographer who was held captive for 13 months by the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria has finally spoken out about his tortuous detention, which included periods where he was not allowed to sit for days, and an instance where he was forced to dance with IS' most notorious executioner.
Daniel Rye Ottosen, a freelance photographer from Odense, Denmark, was captured by the Islamic State in 2013 and held with other European and American journalists and aid workers who were eventually featured in the group's widely publicized video beheadings that were carried out by famed black-masked executioner, Kuwaiti-born Mohammed Emwazi — also known by the nickname "Jihadi John."
Fortunately for Ottosen, he did not suffer the same fate as Americans James Foley, Peter Kassig and Steven Sotloff or Britons Alan Henning and David Haines. With the help of his sister, a fundraising campaign was established through Facebook to pay an approximate ransom of $2.28 million to the terrorist group to secure his release. more >>
Evangelist Franklin Graham has said that despite the genocide and various horrific human rights abuses being perpetrated on Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, the world appears to be largely silent and apatheitc. Graham also called on believers to pray for the end of the "horrendous evil" being done in the name of religion.
"It is genocide — and the world seems largely silent about it. Genocide perpetrated by the Islamic State against Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities of Syria and Iraq. And their methods are unimaginably cruel and heinous," Graham wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.
He recalled a number of the atrocities committed by the Islamic State terror group in the past couple of months, including the murder and crucifixions of groups of Christians, torturing children, raping women, and forced conversions to Islam. more >>
A Pakistani Christian man and his family were forced to flee from their home to escape the wrath of an enraged Muslim mob after he was accused of blasphemy during an altercation over water with a group of Muslim men.
According to the British Pakistani Christian Association, the accused Christian man, 40-year-old Aftab Gill and his family from the Wazirabad area of Punjab province, regularly collected their home's water supply from the local mosque's tap — just like many others in the community.
As the mosque's water tap is the only real clean supply available to the community, Gill, who cares for his five children, was drawing water on Aug. 14 when he was told by a Muslim man that Christians were not allowed to draw from the tap unless they accepted Islam. more >>