Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley believes the U.S. government needs to be doing more to help protect the hundreds of thousands of victims of the Islamic State's "genocide" of Christians in Iraq and Syria.
At a time when President Barack Obama's State Department is doing very little to allow the scores of persecuted Iraqi and Syrian Christians to come and live legally and safely inside the United States, the 52-year-old former Maryland governor wrote in a Friday op-ed published by Detroit Free Press that there is "no excuse" for the United States' "inaction" on the issue of protecting the endangered Middle Eastern Christian and religious minority communities.
"'Genocide' is not a word to be used lightly. But it is not hyperbole to say Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria face genocide at the hands of ISIS today," O'Malley, a practicing Catholic, wrote. "In the face of unthinkable terrorism and bloodletting on the basis of religion and ethnicity alone, the U.S. must do more to protect the Middle East's religious minorities from extremists committed to their annihilation." more >>
A fourth atheist blogger was killed in Bangladesh Friday when a gang of suspected Islamic extremists wielding machetes hacked him to death.
Niloy Neel, 40, was killed at his home in the capital city of Dhaka, becoming the fourth secular blogger to be killed in the Southeast Asian nation this year.
The Islamic State terrorist group has abducted scores of Syrian Christian families in what has been deemed the terrorist organization's biggest military advance since it conquered the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in May.
According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, IS captured the town of al-Qaryatain in the Homs district of western Syria on Thursday and took numerous Christian families hostage. The militants began their attack on the town after jihadi suicide bombers took out checkpoints at the entrance of the city.
After a night of battle with Assad regime fighters, IS took control of the town which was once a destination for many Christians and religious minorities to flee to after the militants took over the city of Aleppo. more >>
Some of the most influential Christian leaders in the Middle East convened in Syria in late July to urge world leaders to support the persecuted Christian community, crying out for help to remain in the land "watered by the sweat of our fathers."
The meeting in the Old City of Damascus was attended by the five patriarchs of the oldest Christian churches in the Arab world including the Antiochian Greek Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, and the Maronite Church. The Vatican's ambassador to Syria also attended.
"We call on everyone who claims to have an interest in our fate to help us to remain," said the Mid East church leaders in a joint statement released from Syria's capital. more >>
A member of the Church of Iran who was arrested in 2010 for being baptized in Turkey has been released early from prison, according to a Christian persecution advocacy group.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide announced Tuesday that Alireza Seyyedian, a 38-year-old former Muslim, was granted an early exit from the Evin Prison in northwest Tehran.
Seyyedin, who became a Christian in 2006, was originally arrested in 2010 after his baptism in Turkey and was let out on a $50,000 bail. more >>
WASHINGTON — Christianity is being "wiped out" of its region of birth, said Cato Institute foreign policy expert Doug Bandow Tuesday during a Family Research Council discussion on the increase in Christian persecution in the Middle East and Africa, and he offered reasons why the international community has done little to save those ancient Christian communities.
Bandow, who is also a senior fellow in international religious persecution at the Institute on Religion and Public Policy and a former special assistant to the late President Ronald Reagan, argued that as Christians continue to be martyred at the hands of radical Islamic State jihadis or continue to live in squalor as refugees in Kurdish Iraq, the United States and other nations need to be doing more to aid the affected Christians and other religious minorities.
Although the U.S.-led coalition has conducted a number of airstrikes against IS, the strikes have done little to defeat the terrorist group or prevent it from continuing to destroy the ancient Christian history that has survived in Iraq and Syria for over 2,000 years. more >>