Accusations that a World Vision employee in Gaza funneled millions of dollars to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas makes no sense, according to a non-governmental organization staffer who spoke to The Christian Post on condition of anonymity.
"I don't want to say that everything went right, that [Halabi] is clean, I can't possibly claim that," the source, who is based in Israel and familiar with the inner workings of humanitarian aid groups in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, said. He added that it's hard to believe the World Vision employee in Gaza steered 60 percent of World Vision's budgetary resources to Hamas given the extensive accounting practices NGOs must abide by to operate in the region.
On any given day, nonprofit organizations as large as World Vision are closely monitoring their financials and could easily see if that much money was being misappropriated, the source claims. more >>
Austrian police in Vienna have arrested nine Iraqi asylum seekers and refugees over the alleged gang-rape of a 28-year-old German woman that happened on New Year's Day, reports have said.
A police spokesman said that the nine men are between the ages of 21 to 47, and all have either applied for or been granted asylum in Austria.
The men deny the alleged crime, Reuters reported, in which they are accused of gang-raping a German woman who was visiting a friend in Vienna in the apartment where two of the suspects were staying. more >>
Iraqi Christians who were forced to flee their homes two years ago and are now living in refugee camps say they are determined to stay and help rebuild the country despite the risk of being killed by Islamic State militants, according to a new report.
The international nonprofit ministry Open Doors, which has supported persecuted Christians for more than 50 years, announced last week that it spent eight months consulting with church leaders in Iraq and Syria to release a report called "Hope for the Middle East" in collaboration with Middle East Concern and the University of East London.
The report, which will be launched in the British Parliament on Oct. 12, documents "the contributions that Christians have made to the region and looked at healthcare, business, culture and welfare across the centuries," and will include recommendations for how the British government can effectively speak and act on behalf of the church in the Middle East. more >>
A secular foundation is demanding that the Department of Defense investigate several Christian military chaplains, saying they violated federal rules by praying publicly while in uniform at a July event promoting religious freedom, though religious freedom advocates say the charges have "no legal basis."
In a July 25 letter addressed to acting Defense Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, Military Religious Freedom Foundation president Mikey Weinstein contended that Maj. General Dondi Costin, who gave the benediction at the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty's "Torchbearer Award" ceremony in Washington D.C. on July 12, "blatantly violated both Air Force and DOD regulations prohibiting the endorsement of a non-federal entity." Having seen pictures posted online, MRFF also complained about the appearance of Army chaplain Maj. John Scott, who gave the event's opening invocation, and Air Force Deputy Chief of Chaplains Brigadier General Steven A. Schiack, both of whom were also wearing military garb.
In an interview Wednesday with The Christian Post, Chaplain Alliance executive director Ron Crews said that "there is no legal basis for Mr. Weinstein's complaint. A military chaplain has every right to appear in uniform at an event to honor a member of Congress, not to mention a member of the House Armed Services Committee". more >>
ISTANBUL — Anti-American sentiment among Turks is on the rise and can only be calmed by the United States extraditing the Muslim cleric Ankara accuses of orchestrating last month's failed coup, Turkey's justice minister said on Tuesday.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan blames Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in rural Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers for the July 15 coup, in which more than 240 people were killed and nearly 2,200 wounded.
Turkey has launched a series of mass purges of suspected Gulen supporters in its armed forces, other state institutions, universities, schools and the media since the abortive coup, prompting Western concerns for the stability of a key NATO ally. more >>
International Christian humanitarian organization World Vision said Monday that allegations from Israel's Shin Bet internal security agency that the organization's Gaza Strip director, Mohammed El Halabi, siphoned about $7.2 million a year to the Islamic militant group Hamas over a period of five years does not add up.
World Vision Germany spokeswoman Silvia Holten told The Associated Press that the organization's budget in Gaza over the last decade was $22.5 million which amounts to an annual average of $2.25 million. Shin Bet also alleged that the $7.2 million figure is roughly 60 percent of World Vision's total Gaza budget.
"There is a huge gap in these numbers the Israeli government is telling and what we know," Holten told the AP. She added that an investigation into the organization's Gaza operation is underway and Germany and Australia have suspended donations to their work there. more >>