ERBIL, Iraq — Thousands of displaced Arab refugees, including a large number of Christians and Yazidis, are continuing to flee Iraq following the Islamic State's mass execution of around 2,000 Iraqis in the city of Nineveh — followed by a series of car bombs in Baghdad on Monday — resulting in dozens of causalities, according to Reuters.
It's been one year since the Islamic State began its reign of terror in the Sinjar and Tal Afar districts of northern Iraq's Nineveh Province, which has included a hate-fueled campaign to wipe out Christians and Yazidis as well as other religious communities.
"Islamic State has unleashed untold misery and suffering on defenseless religious and ethnic communities, while destroying treasured religious and historical sites in both Iraq and Syria," said Robert P. George, chairman of the U.S.Commission on International Religious Freedom, last week. "Muslims, Christians, Yazidis, and others are all at risk. Due to IS's reign of terror, millions of people from Iraq and Syria have been forced to flee and now are refugees or internally displaced." more >>
Sexual slavery is alive and well in the United States. In fact, there's an American interstate highway that's known, within certain circles, to be a main artery for sex trafficking.
With over 27 million people around the world forced into modern-day slavery, and many of them trapped in various forms of sexual slavery, the Southern Baptist Convention's International Missions Board President David Platt said Wednesday that only the Gospel has the power to eradicate the slavery epidemic.
Speaking at the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's national conference on The Gospel & Politics in Nashville, Tennessee, Platt, like many others, admitted he once thought the issue of slavery was a "relic of a bygone era" before his time. more >>
A-list Hollywood celebrities including Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, and Meryl Streep have joined 400 prominent figures, including a number of faith leaders, who've signed a letter rejecting a proposal by Amnesty International to advocate for the legalization of prostitution.
Fox News reported on Thursday that while Amnesty is arguing that legalizing the practice can help sex workers receive better protection from violence and the risk of HIV/AIDS in their line of work, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, which the celebrities have backed, has warned that such a move will also make life worse for the victims caught in sex trafficking.
The letter, which starts off by praising Amnesty's history of fighting for human rights and shedding light on human trafficking issues, says that should Amnesty vote next month to support "the decriminalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying, it will in effect support a system of gender apartheid, in which one category of women may gain protection from sexual violence and sexual harassment, and offered economic and educational opportunities; while another category of women, whose lives are shaped by absence of choice, are instead set apart for consumption by men and for the profit of their pimps, traffickers and brothel owners." more >>
A young Pakistani Christian mother of three has been abducted and raped by her 55-year-old Muslim landlord who forced her to convert to Islam and enter into Islamic marriage. Her family has demanded her return.
Fouzia Sadiq, a Christian woman who is believed to be in her mid-20s, was kidnapped last Thursday from a field located in the Pakistani town of Burj Mahalam in the Punjab province by a Muslim landlord named Muhammed Nazir. Nazir tricked Sadiq's father into agreeing to have his family work as bonded labourers on his land with no pay and only the provision of a run-down housing accommodation.
Although details of the abduction have not been made public, early reports state that Sadiq's family was told by Nazir's brother on the day of the abduction that their daughter would be returned. more >>
Religious and other pro-life charity organizations that aid sex trafficking victims will longer be awarded federal grants if they are unable to offer abortion counseling services due to religious convictions come this fall after the Obama administration passed a new Department of Health and Human Services grant requirement last month.
According to the Washington Examiner, a change to HHS guidelines passed in June explains that the department is now disqualifying aid organizations that do not offer "the full range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care," which also includes abortion counseling and referrals.
The report adds that groups that refuse to offer abortion counseling services to trafficking victims have the option to ensure that abortion counseling is provided through a third-party in order to remain eligible for the grant funding. more >>
Two young Yazidi women have described the unimaginable cruelty and horrific rapes they endured while under the control of their ISIS captors, one of whom reportedly beat a woman's 1-year-old child in front of her until all of his sexual demands were met.
Reehan, 19, and Barfo, 25, last names not included to protect their identities, told their stories to the British MailOnline. Raheen, married with a young son, was abducted from her home in Northwestern Iraq. She was auctioned off to a 50-year-old fighter whom she was able to fend off at first until the man started beating her 1-year-old son. She then said she was forced to give in to all of his demands to save the life of her son.
"I agreed to everything that this man wanted for the sake of my son," she declared. Reehan was subsequently locked up in the man's home for the next 10 months. She further explained that she tried to stop the repeated rapes by appealing to her captor's Islamic beliefs, but he said the sex trade among Yazidi women is permitted "according to Islam." more >>