Two South Sudanese Presbyterian pastors who were imprisoned for over half a year in Sudan and faced the death penality for espionage and other conspiracy charges have finally made it home after they were banned from leaving the country following their release earlier this month.
Yat Michael and Peter Yein Reith arrived home in Juba on Wednesday after being arrested and imprisoned last winter and subsequently hit with various trumped-up charges of crimes against the state that could have been punishable by death.
The Islamic State terrorist group has released pictures and video purporting to show militants bulldozing a nearly 1,600-year-old Christian monastery, while a claim has been made that the jihadis have also dug up and desecrated the bones of a martyred Christian saint.
As Islamic State captured the Syrian town of al-Qaryatain in the Homs province and kidnapped over 230 Syriac Christians earlier this month in what was deemed ISIS' biggest military advance since it took over the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in May, it's believed that some of the kidnapped Christians were taken from the town's ancient Syriac Catholic Mar Elian Monastery.
This week, IS-affiliated social media accounts posted images and footage showing the destruction of the monastery, which was founded in the year 432 and was also the location where priest Jacques Mourad and a church volunteer was abducted in May. more >>
Stirred by a report of how the Islamic State uses the Quran to justify systematic sexual violence against women and young girls, Hillsong Church pastor Bobbie Houston has called on women everywhere to pray over the shocking and abhorrent situation in any way they know how.
After reading The New York Times Aug. 13 feature "ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape," Houston posted a fervent prayer request on her Instagram account, alerting potentially more than 100,000 followers to the powerful report.
The Times feature, written by Rukmini Callimachi, highlights how "the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria," using the Quran in support. The radical Sunni militant group uses the barbaric practice as a recruiting tool to grow its numbers. more >>
Sixteen fighters from the Islamic State terror group have reportedly contracted the HIV from two Moroccan sex slaves, and as a result have been ordered to carry out suicide bombings and sacrifice their lives.
"Most of those infected are foreign militants who had sexual intercourses with two Moroccan women. The women passed on the disease to the militants before their infection was revealed. We were ordered by the group's local leadership to transfer the infected militants to a quarantine center in the city," a Syrian doctor in the city of al-Mayadeen in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, told ARA News earlier this week.
After IS leadership found out that the two Moroccan women, who have since escaped to Turkey, tested positive for AIDS, they ordered more of its fighters to carry out medical tests in order to avoid further spreading the disease. more >>
The government of Slovakia has said it will take in struggling migrants from Syria and other countries under a European Union scheme to share the burden of 40,000 new arrivals to the continent, but stipulated it will only be taking Christians, and not Muslims.
"We want to help Europe with the migration issue. We could take 800 Muslims but we don't have any mosques in Slovakia so how can Muslims be integrated if they are not going to like it here?" interior ministry spokesman Ivan Metik said, arguing that the policy is not discriminatory.
"We want to really help Europe with this migration wave, but … we are only a transit country and the people don't want to stay in Slovakia," he added. more >>
A bill introduced in the Canadian Province of Quebec seeks to curtail "hate speech" and may go as so far as to suppress and target individuals critical of Islam and other protected groups.
Bill 59, which was introduced in Quebec's National Assembly in June, declares in its introduction its purpose "to prevent and combat hate speech and speech inciting violence."
Canada currently has prohibitions against hate speech in its criminal code but this legislation allows for greater investigative power and authority for the Quebec Human Rights Commission, with first offenders of "hate speech" being fined $1000 to $10,000 and repeat offenders facing fines as high as $20,000. more >>