The al Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia is claiming responsibility for the Christmas day attack on the African Union base in Mogadishu that killed at least three peacekeepers and a civilian contractor last Thursday.
At least eight al Shabaab gunmen infiltrated the base and carried out the attack, which was initiated while the AU base was hosting a Christmas party. The al-Qaeda-linked extremist group's military operations spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters that the barrage was specifically designated to be carried out while Christmas was being celebrated on the base.
"We targeted the enemies at a time they were celebrating Christmas," Musab said. more >>
A disabled North Korean defector has established a rescue ministry that is currently helping defectors who are being abused in China find undetectable paths into the democratic haven of South Korea.
Ji Seong-ho, who founded the organization Now, Action, Unity, Human Rights (NAUH) in April of 2010, told The Christians Post in a Monday phone interview that his group consists mostly of prayer-sharing Christians who have already helped 76 North Korean defectors living as unrecognized refugees in China make their way through Underground Railroad-like excursions, spanning across several countries, so that they can ultimately resettle with the liberty offered in South Korea.
Ji, who claims to have once been tortured by North Korean police, said that defectors in China are still treated horribly even after successfully fleeing from the numerous atrocious human rights abuses carried out by the North Korean government. Many of the defected women, according to Ji, are sexually trafficked and abused in China, while defected men in China are forced to work for no wages. Defectors have no human rights in China, he stated. more >>
Islamic State militants recently executed at least 100 of their own foreign fighters in the group's Syrian stronghold of Raqqa after the fighters were caught trying to abandon the group's Syrian base, a source close to the conflict said.
The Financial Times reports that an unnamed anti-ISIS activist, who also opposes the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, has confirmed that ISIS executed the foreign fighters because they attempted to desert from the jihad after ISIS released a new set of rules designed to prevent fighters from deserting.
Although many fighters from all over the world are persuaded to join the Islamic State's jihad because ISIS recruiters tell them that they will help implement the correct brand of Islam, many foreign fighters, once they actually get involved in the conflict, become disillusioned by the horrible atrocities that are actually being committed by the group and want to flee from the conflict. more >>
Although hundreds of thousands of refugees are displaced from their homes in Iraq and their futures remain uncertain due to the siege of the Islamic State, The Vicar of Baghdad wrote in an online Christmas statement that Christian refugees in Iraq have not been deterred from exhibiting joy in the only thing they have left: the unconditional of Jesus.
Writing from his new temporary home in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, the Rev. Canon Andrew White, the only Anglican pastor in Iraq, said that even though ISIS has left these displaced Christian refugees with no homes, no clothes and, in some cases, no families, their faith remains strong in the "refugee child," Jesus.
"All you have got left is the love of that refugee child. That to us in the Middle East is all that matters this Christmas," White explained. more >>
Some voices in the Cuban-American community have expressed displeasure with Pope Francis due to his involvement in getting the United States to lift its embargo of the Republic of Cuba.
Pope Francis, the first Latin American pontiff in the Catholic Church's history, was a strong proponent of the United States lifting its restrictions on the Caribbean island nation.
In response to his connection to the U.S. normalizing relations with Cuba, some have vetted their frustration at the pope. more >>
A spokesman for ISIS has claimed in an interview that it's only a matter of time before the jihadists expand and conquer Europe. He also defended the terror group's practices of mass enslavement and beheadings, and said that it plans to carry out "the largest religious cleansing campaign" in history, which will include the killing of hundreds of millions of people.
"No, we will conquer Europe one day. It is not a question of if we will conquer Europe, just a matter of when that will happen. But it is certain. ... For us, there is no such thing as borders. There are only front lines," the spokesman, identified only as a German ISIS fighter, told journalist Juergen Todenhoefer in an article for CNN.
"Our expansion will be perpetual. ... And the Europeans need to know that when we come, it will not be in a nice way. It will be with our weapons. And those who do not convert to Islam or pay the Islamic tax will be killed." more >>