Doug Bandow, a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, claims in a Forbes op-ed that the persecution of Christians in the Middle East can be attributed to the GOP's vocal support for Israel.
"Rubio's concern [about persecution of Christians in the Middle East] no doubt is genuine. However, the policies implemented by his party and advocated by him and his fellow GOP presidential contenders have hurt and will continue to hurt Christians around the world," writes Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.
The author argues that Rubio's "slavish political commitment" to the Israeli government "hurts Christians there," adding that "Israel welcomes Western Christians for their political support, not religious convictions." more >>
Although the Islamic State has its eyes set on becoming a global caliphate that spreads into Europe, a journalist who spent 10 days with the terrorists says there's just one country the militants are afraid of — Israel.
German reporter Jürgen Todenhӧfer, a former member of the German parliament who spent 10 days last winter in IS-controlled Iraq and Syria interviewing a number of militants and made it out alive, told the British news site Jewish News that although IS militants are not afraid of the western military power of the United States or European countries, the group's fighters fear military capabilities of Israel.
"The only country ISIS fears is Israel," Todenhӧfer explained. "They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them." more >>
Islamic State has released a new audio message, claiming it's in the voice of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, threatening Israel that the terror group hasn't forgotten about Jews and that "Palestine will be your graveyard."
"We are getting closer to you day by day," says the message, posted on social media used by Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, according to Jerusalem Post. "Do not think that we have forgotten about you."
The message adds: "God caused the Jews of the world to gather in Israel, and the war against them has become easy. It is the obligation of every Muslim to carry out Jihad." more >>
Christians in Gaza are rapidly disappearing amid the Israeli blockade of the Strip and the lack of employment opportunities.
The worshippers at the ancient Church of St. Porphyrius in Gaza believe that they may be the last Christians in Gaza because many of them have decided to leave the place, some in large groups. A few years ago, there were 3,000 Christians in the region but today there are only about 1,200, according to USA Today.
While Israel usually does not allow anyone to leave the Palestinian area, some Christians are permitted to visit Jerusalem and Bethlehem during Easter and Christmas. Some Christians are taking advantage of the Christmas season to leave Gaza and begin a new life in another place. If the situation in Gaza continues, religious groups in the area could vanish entirely within 20 years, the report details. more >>
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that Israel is the only Middle East nation protecting Christians from violence at the hands of radical Islam.
Netanyahu pointed out that Christians are being persecuted and killed by radical Islamic groups across the Middle East, most notably by the Islamic State, and are facing violence and discrimination in Muslim majority nations. The Israeli leader apparently made the remarks in a video message to the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum, Fides News Agency reported.
"You know very well that our region is in flames and Christians in Iraq, Syria and, unfortunately, under the Palestinian Authority, are suffering a lot because of radical Islam. These communities are persecuted, and unfortunately many people have lost their lives for their faith," Netanyahu added, praising the organization which enlists Christian soldiers into the Israeli army. more >>
Israeli archaeologists have found Hebrew inscriptions on a 1,500-year-old slab of marble on the shores of Lake Kinneret, near the ancient village of Kursi where Jesus Christ is believed to have performed the "Miracle of the Swine."
"This is the first indication that there was a Jewish presence, and it reinforces the belief that the town of Kursi was where Jesus performed the 'Miracle of the Swine,'" the team of researchers working at the site said, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Historians have long believed that Kursi was inhabited either by Jews or early Christians, and the discovery, supervised by Prof. Michal Artzi of Haifa University and Dr. Haim Cohen with the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, seems to confirm those ideas. more >>