The Islamic State terror group has captured the Syrian town of Maheen in the central Homs Province, reports have said, and is now advancing toward the nearby town of Sadad, which is home to nearly 15,000 Syriac Orthodox Christians.
BBC News reported that the terror group, which has captured significant territory across Syria and Iraq, has been focusing on expanding from its mainly northern and eastern strongholds toward Homs in central Syria in recent months.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the fall of Maheen started with two suicide blasts on Saturday, with government forces eventually being driven out of the city. The watchdog group said that at least 50 government soldiers were killed or wounded in the fighting. more >>
A number of the fathers of the over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by terror group Boko Haram from Chibok, Nigeria, have spoken out about the continued dangers their families face on a daily basis, and shared their pain of not knowing what has happened to their daughters.
Kristin Wright, director of advocacy for relief group Open Doors USA, told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Wednesday that she was able to meet with 10 of the Chibok fathers during a recent trip to Nigeria. She revealed that despite the grim situation their families find themselves in, the fathers are refusing to give up hope that one day their daughters will return to them.
"One of the fathers, when asked, 'Where do you think your daughter might be?' he said, 'She is the hands of God.' It was a sentiment that was echoed by all of the parents that I met with. They are not going to think about any other reality," Wright told CP. more >>
Grand Ayatollah Ahmad al-Baghdadi, the leading Shiite cleric of Iraq, has claimed in an interview that "real Islam" consists of forcefully converting people into the faith, abducting Christian women, and destroying churches. The cleric's comments stand in contrast to other Islamic leaders, who have condemned terroristic actions.
Al-Baghdadi reportedly made the comments during a televised interview, Frontpage Mag said, in which the cleric claimed that Muslims are obligated to go on the offensive and conquer people of other faiths, when circumstances permit.
"If they are people of the book [Jews and Christians] we demand of them the jizya — and if they refuse, then we fight them. That is if he is Christian. He has three choices: either convert to Islam, or, if he refuses and wishes to remain Christian, then pay the jizya," the cleric reportedly said in the interview. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist group has allegedly beheaded and crucified a man who was helping innocent people escape from the brutality and heinousness of the group's controlled areas in Syria.
The man's beheading and crucifiction was first reported by Heavy.com (graphic images) last weekend when IS supporters posted a series of photos to social media showing the man's mutilated body being strung on a wooden structure in an IS-controlled area of Aleppo.
The first photo shows a militant delivering the already beheaded body to the public square in what appears to be a minivan. The next photos show a crowd of onlookers gathered to see the beheaded man, who had his arms tied to the wooden structure, crucifixion style. more >>
Beloved missionary Roberta Edwards, 55, who was gunned down in a brazen attack in Haiti on Saturday, told elders at the Estes Church of Christ in Henderson, Tennessee, who supported her work there that she had grown "tired" and "scared" just two months ago but never said what was driving her fear.
Edwards was administrator and "mom" at SonLight Children's Home in Port au Prince, where dozens of children received foster care over the years. She also directed a nutrition center that feeds 160 children two meals a day, five days a week, in addition to providing funds for these children to attend school.
Harold Pirtle, a church elder who traveled from Tennessee to comfort the children at the now motherless home in the Croix-des-Bouquets suburb of Port-au-Prince, told The Associated Press that Edwards said she was tired and scared but she never mentioned any specific threats. 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 >>