Harvest Ministries Pastor Greg Laurie said Sunday his study of Bible prophecy and current events shows America will fade as the world's foremost superpower in the last days, either because it will join with the antichrist or it will be diminished by the rapture.
In a November 30 sermon entitled "Israel, Iran, ISIS and Bible Prophecy," Laurie preached that Christians are now living in the "last days" before the fulfillment of various End Times prophecies laid out in the Bible book of Revelations. Current events such as Israel establishing itself as a nation, Russia alignment with Iran and the rise of Islamic extremism, he said, are setting the stage for a predicted conflict in which the world's forces turns against Israel.
One force that will be missing during that conflict, Laurie says, is the United States of America. "[As] the forces of antichrist emerge, I believe that America will fade from the scene." Putting the United States in the context of Scripture, he explained, "We are not found in the End Times scenario." more >>
Terror group ISIS has been turning churches into prisons in the Iraq city of Mosul, which used to be the site of a large Christian community before it was driven out by the jihadists.
Fides News Agency reported on Tuesday that a number of detainees were recently sent to the ancient Chaldean church of the Immaculate Conception in the eastern part of the city. Sources have shared that St. George monastery has also been turned into a place for female detention, raising fears that women might be abused.
"The jihadists of the Caliphate have occupied the churches, including those which are very ancient," said Rebwar Audish Basa, Procurator of the Order of St. Anthony sant'Ormisda of the Chaldeans. more >>
Four Iraqi Christian children, who were all beheaded by the Islamic State, refused to betray Jesus and graciously died in his name when the ISIS militants gave them one last chance to say the Islamic words of conversion, the Rev. Canon Andrew White revealed in a recent interview.
In an interview last week with the Christian Broadcast Network published on the Orthodox Christian Network, White, who is the only Anglican vicar in Iraq and is know as "The Vicar of Baghdad," detailed the plight of Christians in Iraq and recounted two instances when Islamic State's forceful conversions directly pulled the strings of his heart.
Speaking on ISIS' brutal mistreatment of religious minorities, White recounted the recent incident when ISIS militants beheaded four kids, all of whom were under the age of 15, when the kids refused to say that they would follow the Prophet Muhammad and told the ISIS fighters that they will always "love" and "follow" Jesus. more >>
Islamic militant group al-Shabaab has killed 36 non-Muslim quarry workers, mainly Christians, after separating them from Muslims at a camp in Kenya. The attack, 10 miles from the town of Mandera, was reportedly carried out in retaliation for the Kenyan army's presence and anti-terror operations in Somalia.
"The militia separated the Muslims, then ordered the non-Muslims to lie down where they shot them on the head at close range," said Hassan Duba, an elder at a nearby village, according to Reuters.
President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that he will change his top security officials following a series of such attacks in recent weeks. The al-Shabaab militants were also accused of hijacking a bus and killing 28 passengers a week ago near the same area at the border with Somalia. more >>
Islamic State militants are claiming that they have built a "dirty bomb" with radioactive uranium that was reportedly stolen from Mosul University after ISIS seized the city of Mosul in June.
Four months after 40 kilograms of uranium were reported as missing from the university, several ISIS militants have taken to social media to purport that they have used the missing uranium to build a "dirty bomb," which is a special improvised explosive device consisting of radioactive nuclear waste and conventional explosives, designed to spread hazardous radioactive material over a wide ranging area.
If the militants' claims are true, the "dirty bomb" would represent the first "weapon of mass disruption" controlled by the Islamic State. more >>
An Iranian senior military official has warned that Iran might take "direct action" against the Islamic State terrorist organization if ISIS militants attack Baghdad or any other sacred sites hosting Shiite holy shrines.
Brigadier General of the Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Baqeri told reporters on Saturday that the Islamic Republic of Iran will act to protect Iraq's capital city and other towns with Shiite holy sites from possible destruction or occupation by Sunni ISIS militants, who have already seized large swaths of territory throughout Iraq and Syria.
"Baghdad, the holy shrines and the shines of Shiite imams are surely all among the Islamic Republic's red lines," Baqeri stated. "The Islamic Republic will take direct action [if they are attacked]." more >>