The top aide to the Islamic State's head leader was killed along with two other senior ISIS militants in an airstrike in the Ninewa province, the Iraqi Defense Ministry confirmed Thursday.
While NBC News is reporting that senior security officials confirmed that a U.S. airstrike carried out the attack, Iraqi Army General Arm Babaker Zebari claims it was an Iraqi warplane that killed the member of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's inner circle, Abu Hajar al-Suri, in ISIS, also known as ISIL, stronghold of Tal Afar just west of Mosul.
Pastor Behnam Irani, an evangelical Christian leader from Iran who is already serving six years in prison, has reportedly been hit by 18 new charges, including one of "spreading corruption on Earth," which carries the death penalty.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas told BosNewsLife the group is "deeply concerned by the new charges against Pastor Irani," especially the charge of "spreading corruption on Earth."
Thomas added that the charges made against Irani and other Christian leaders are "tantamount to an indictment of Christianity itself and mark a renewed escalation in Iran's campaign against Persian Christians under the Rouhani presidency." more >>
Bodies are littered across the northern Nigerian town of Bama, captured two days ago by terror group Boko Haram, because the militants are reportedly preventing people from burying the dead.
"So many bodies litter the streets, and people are not allowed to even go and bury the dead ones. So the situation is getting worse and worse," Borno senator and lawmaker Ahmed Zanna told the BBC's Newsday program after speaking to a resident who fled the town.
Government officials had initially denied that the town had fallen, but said that close to 26,000 people have been displaced by fighting in Bama. more >>
Iraqi born pastor Jalil Dawood of the Arabic Church of Dallas, who, along with other Christian leaders will be holding a rally on Sept. 14 in support of Iraqis who are being persecuted by the Islamic State, says there are five things Americans can do today to help their brothers and sisters in Christ.
"What Americans can do today is write to their representatives and tell them the U.S. government needs to take more aggressive action toward the Islamic State, because this group is not only a threat to Iraq, it's a threat to America, eventually. And we need to deal with them now, before it's too late," Dawood told The Christian Post.
"I heard the president say last week that he doesn't have a strategy. Well, ISIS' strategy is to kill us. Their strategy is to convert us and kill us," he asserted. more >>
What role does religion play in American attitudes towards Israel? An analysis by Frank Newport, the editor-in-chief of Gallup Inc., reviews 14 annual Gallup polls from 2001 to 2014 in which respondents answer the same question, "In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?" The numbers offer insights different from what one might expect.
The study starts with two basic facts: First, looking at the whole sample of about 14,000 American adults, 59 percent answer that they have more sympathy for Israelis and 16 percent say they have more sympathy for Palestinians, a ratio of almost 4-to-1. Second, Newport finds that "Religious Americans are significantly more likely than less religious Americans to be sympathetic to the Israelis," confirming what common sense already tells us.
That said, his numbers contain several noteworthy subtleties: more >>