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 >>
Extremist Muslim terrorist group ISIS is reportedly an army of some 10,000 militants worth more than $2 billion generated primarily through a multimillion dollar-a-day operation selling oil, hostages and other spoils from the organization's criminal activities.
The Guardian has reported that just days before ISIS took over Mosul, Iraqi forces, according to a senior intelligence officials, uncovered a trove of information on the group's structure, fighters, finances, government informants and other information on 160 flash drives.
"We were all amazed and so were the Americans," the senior intelligence official told The Guardian. "None of us had known most of this information." more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court in Early October will rule on a Muslim prisoner's lawsuit against the Arkansas Department of Correction claiming that when prison guards forced the inmate to shave his beard, they had violated his freedom of religious practice. Four Christian organizations have come to the defense of the inmate's religious liberties.
Inmate Gregory Holt, who also goes by Abdul Maalik Muhammad, is in jail on a life sentence after being convicted of burglary and domestic battery and is looking to maintain a beard of at least a half inch in length to fulfill what he believes to be a religious obligation. However, Arkansas' prison regulations only allow for inmates with dermatologic conditions to grow a beard of a quarter inch in length.
Holt filed a handwritten petition to the Supreme Court after his prior cases in Federal District Court and its ensuing appeal ruled in favor of the Arkansas DOC's claims that regulations are preventive safety measures in case inmates try to hide contraband or weapons in their beards. Holt is being represented by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which also recently successfully defended the religious freedom of the owners of Hobby Lobby before the Supreme Court, and by personal lawyers. more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, has questioned whether news coming out of the Middle East is a sign of the end times.
First published on billygraham.org last week, Franklin Graham noted the various incidents of persecution facing Christians throughout the world.
"The killing of Christians by Muslims from Indonesia to Bangladesh to Pakistan. China tearing down church buildings," wrote Graham. more >>