ERBIL, Iraq — Dozens of Yazidi sex slave survivors, including 9-year-old girls, were rescued this week by smugglers from their Islamic State captors following months of brutal rape and torture by their "owners" and other Jihadi soldiers who purchased them at an IS slave market.
"Their fighters pray to Allah before and after they systematically rape Yazidi women and children, including some as young as 9-years-old," said Hadi Pir, vice president of Yazda, a U.S.-based global Yazidi organization to The Christian Post.
While some Christians had the option to pay jaziya (Islamic tax paid by non-Muslims) to purchase their freedom, most other minority groups such as the Yazidis, who number about 600,000 in Iraq, were specifically targeted and separated for sex slavery. more >>
Pope Francis has called on world powers to take action and help migrants who are fleeing violence and seeking refuge in Europe and the U.K. The pontiff made his call to action as part of a speech in which he condemned governments that refuse to accept the refugees into their countries and provide them with assistance and shelter, saying their actions are nothing short of a "crime."
Francis spoke out about the refugee crisis to members of the Eucharistic Youth Movement on the island of Lampedusa in southern Italy earlier this month, after 200 dead bodies were found near a capsized boat close by, as reported by the Gazzetta del Sud.
The pope also called on residents to remember the mostly Muslim Rohingya refugees as "brothers" from Myanmar and Bangladesh who have been refused entry in to Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia as well as the 170,000 that reached Italy by ship last year, as recorded by the International Organization for Migration data. more >>
An organization dedicated to stopping sexual exploitation has denounced Amnesty International's recent decision to support the decriminalization of prostitution.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has called Amnesty's recently approved resolution "irresponsible" and contrary to the global organization's fundamental human rights goals.
Dawn Hawkins, executive director of NCOSE, said a in statement that Amnesty "has failed to remain true to its mission of 'preventing and ending grave abuses.'" more >>
Hundreds of kidnapped Arab Christians have been ransomed, tortured, beheaded and killed over the past year, including a priest who was chopped into pieces, in attempts to raise funds for radical Islamic terror groups and to strike fear into the hearts of Christians across the Middle East and throughout the world.
"Christians have become a form [of] currency in this tragedy," John Newton told The Christian Post. Newton is spokesman for Catholic relief agency Aid to the Church in Need. "I know of one priest who was kidnapped for two months ... they asked for a ransom of $120,000, which the family managed to raise and deliver. ... But hours later, the priest was killed and his body cut up, with pieces of him sent in a box to the family."
The process of trying to free kidnapped priests poses a difficult challenge. In many cases, Christian organizations are left in the dark with little information on who the kidnappers are or where the victims are being held. more >>
BEIRUT — A small relief center tucked away in Lebanon's capital offers hope and humanitarian relief for Syrian refugees seeking shelter, safety and food.
"Our mission is to empower these children to live life to the fullest by providing them with an education, food and medical assistance. We believe that when we nurture a child with love and faith, it enables them to make the right choices and transform the world," explains pastor Said Deeb, general director of the Spring of Life Center.
A former businessman, Deeb left the corporate world after becoming a Christian in the 1990s. He soon turned his focus to humanitarian work among refugees in a country torn apart by decades of war and sectarian violence. more >>
The Korean office for Voice of the Martyrs announced at a press conference earlier this week that the Christian missionary organization will be sending Bibles into the southern part of North Korea.
"In North Korea, even children are aware of the risks of possessing a Bible. Even socks, clothes or food are dangerous. People who pick up a Bible know their choice is very risky, they could probably end up being executed," said the Rev. Eric Foley, CEO of VOM Korea to NK News, explaining the dangers of owning a Bible in the Communist state.
VOM will be sending the Bibles, translated into a North Korean dialect, via balloons, a means by which the group has used in the past. more >>