The end of Christianity in Iraq could be "very near" according to Canon Andrew White, the vicar of the only Anglican church in Iraq, as Islamic militants continue their attacks of Christians and the central government.
"Things are so desperate, our people are disappearing," White said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 over the weekend. "We have had people massacred, their heads chopped off.
"Are we seeing the end of Christianity? We are committed come what may, we will keep going to the end, but it looks as though the end could be very near." more >>
The U.N. Security Council has demanded an "immediate and unconditional" cease-fire in Gaza on Monday morning after the Israel-Hamas conflict topped 1,000 deaths. U.S. President Barack Obama has meanwhile backed Israel's right to defend itself with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, but expressed concern with the mounting civilian deaths.
The U.N. statement called for both Israel and Hamas "to accept and fully implement the humanitarian cease-fire into the Eid period and beyond," Fox News reported, explaining that this will allow for the delivery of much needed assistance.
Israel and Hamas had reached a 12-hour humanitarian truce on Saturday that was extended to another 24 hours, following pressure from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other foreign ministers. Hamas has reportedly continued to fire rockets during that time, however, and Israel has said that it will continue to neutralize terrorist threats. more >>
World leaders are increasingly pointing to U.S. President Obama's failures in the Middle East.
Some are direct and blunt. For example, during his recent visit to Brazil, Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked by journalists about U.S. sanctions against Russia due to the Ukrainian crisis. While naturally condemning such moves, part of his response was to accuse the Obama administration of "encouraging war between neighboring states." In the same context, Putin added:
American objectives have not been realized, nor have they accomplished anything, because everything has collapsed. Afghanistan faces problems, and Iraq and Libya are falling apart. Egypt also was going to collapse had President Sisi not taken matters in hand. And all this demonstrates the failures of the Obama administration. more >>
Dear Members of the Mainstream Media,
You've been awesome! Everyone knows that we start unwinnable wars with Israel because the real victory happens when you predictably side with us each time. And you've been so supportive of our strategy that we really want to acknowledge your helpfulness. In particular, we thank you for:
-Focusing so much more on our suffering than anyone else's. Nigerians must die in far greater numbers before you take notice, so we're glad that you value our lives so much more. more >>
Members of a militant Islamic group is demanding shopkeepers to cover their store mannequins with full-face veils to abide by the strict Islamic teaching regarding the human form.
Local residents of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, have told international media outlets that members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), now called the Islamic State, have demanded local shopkeepers to cover both male and female mannequins with veils. This mandate coincides with a strict interpretation of Shariah law that forbids artwork and statues depicting the human form.
Multiple media reports indicate that a Christian in Iran was reportedly sentenced by a judge to have his lips burned with a cigarette after he failed to fast during the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan.
Although Islamic rule states that the month-long fasting period of Ramadan only applies to Muslims, the Christian man was reportedly punished publicly in the city of Kermanshah this week. Along with the Christian man's punishment, five Muslim men were reportedly flogged with 70 lashes each for failing to obey the fasting rules of Ramadan, the city's deputy Governor Ali Ashraf Karami told The Daily Mail.
One group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, has condemned the recent public punishments, arguing that they are examples of Iran's unfair justice system that often target non-Muslim citizens. more >>