Sudanese security forces have killed, raped and burned civilians alive during two military campaigns in Darfur that left thousands of people displaced from their homes, a prominent human rights organization has claimed.
A new report by Human Rights Watch accuses Sudan's Rapid Support Forces, which are under the command of Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services, of committing "widespread and systematic" crimes against civilians that include mass rape, torture and murder when the forces were ordered to carry out counterinsurgency campaigns in 2014 and 2015 in Darfur.
"The RSF led two counter-insurgency campaigns in the long-embattled region of Darfur in 2014 and 2015 in which its forces repeatedly attacked villages, burned and looted homes, beating, raping and executing villagers," the HRW report stated. more >>
WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. House of Representatives from both political parties told Christian persecution activists Thursday that the U.S. government has a moral obligation to help the Christians and other religious minorities affected by the refugee crisis in Syria and Iraq and also detailed various proposed resolutions aimed at doing so.
As thousands of Christians are risking their lives to smuggle their families into Europe in order to escape from the violence of the Islamic State and the Syrian civil war, Christian activists gathered by In Defense of Christians met with a bipartisan group of Congress members on Capitol Hill to discuss the actions being taken by the U.S. government to aid asylum seekers and other persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
Over 17 members of Congress spoke at the press conference and expressed displeasure with inaction taken by the Obama administration to provide refugees with protection and asylum. (On the same day, the White House announced plans to let 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States, a six-fold increase from current levels.) more >>
WASHINGTON — The United States and other world powers are directly responsible for the escalating refugee crisis in Syria and Iraq because of their inaction toward protecting uprooted religious communities from the torturous Islamic State terror organization, a group of human rights activists proclaimed Wednesday.
At a National Press Club panel discussion kicking off a three-day summit on the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians organized by In Defense of Christians, prominent Christian human rights activists called on the United States government to not only recognize the Islamic State's atrocities as "genocide," but also to coordinate a plan to destroy the group and protect peaceful refugees of all religions.
"My parents and I became human rights defenders precisely to ensure that nothing like the Holocaust would ever happen again," former chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Katrina Lantos Swett, said during the panel. more >>
A 16-year-old Yazidi girl who was used as a slave by Islamic State terror group leader Abu bakr al-Baghdadi has described the savage beatings and rapes she and other women, including U.S. hostage Kayla Mueller, suffered at the hands of the jihadists.
The Yazidi girl, using the name Zeinat, revealed in a CNN interview that she met Mueller when both were forced to serve al-Baghdadi at his home in Raqqa, Syria.
"He treated us so badly," Zeinat said. "He would always tell us: Forget your father and your brothers. We have killed them. And we have married off your mothers and sisters. Forget them." more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini, is fasting for 21 days until Sept. 26 to mark the date her husband was thrown in an Iranian prison three years ago. She said that she's also fasting for Christians persecuted around the world, and called on others to join her.
"I will be fasting from pleasant food (Daniel 10:3 — 'I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled'). I plan to abstain from coffee and chocolate. You are free to abstain from food, social media, TV or skip a meal or two ... the point is to spend that time in prayer," Naghmeh shared on social media about the fast that began on Sunday.
"The Scripture that the Lord has given me for this time of prayer and fasting has been Hebrews 12:1-2. That as we remember Saeed and the persecuted Church (the 'witnesses'), we would look at our own walk with God and get rid of all of the sins that are so easily ensnaring us. The Lord is showing me that as we pray for Saeed and the persecuted Church and remember the witnesses, revival can be brought into our own life and in our country." more >>
The U.S. government has demanded that China release Christian lawyer Zhang Kai, along with other pastors and churchgoers who've been imprisoned by the Communist regime since last month, according to reports. Zhang was arrested two weeks ago for advising Christian churches not to remove crosses from their roofs as ordered by the Chinese government.
This latest round of attacks against Christians has been called "outrageous" by U.S. religious freedoms ambassador rabbi David Saperstein, who was in the country to meet with Zhang. Saperstein said Zhang's detention was shocking, especially because the government had encouraged his visit to temper reports of religious intolerance and harassment.