Bishop John McAreavey, chair of the council for Justice & Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishop's Conference, told the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade that Christian persecution is at an "unprecedented" high, pointing to statistics that show 11 Christians are killed every hour of the day.
Citing a Pew Research survery, McAreavey told the committee that Christian persecution is being gravely underestimated, as "Christianity is now the world's most oppressed religious group, with persecution against them reported in 110 countries."
He continued: "Many of these countries have significant trade links with Ireland. Persecution is increasing in China. In North Korea a quarter of the country's Christians live in forced labour camps. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the Maldives all feature in the 10 worst places to be Christian. more >>
A detailed Islamic State "secret agent" training manual has been distributed on the Internet and is designed to provide prospective ISIS supporters in Western nations with ways to disguise themselves and their motives when trying to plan and carrying out "lone wolf" attacks and espionage missions.
The 71-page e-book, which was originally published in March and has recently resurfaced on the Internet, includes wide-ranging suggestions for the group's radicalized sympathizers in the West who are looking to make significant contributions to the terror group's jihad, Radio Free Europe reported.
The ebook, which contains 11 chapters, advises extremists in the west not to show any signs that they're devout Muslims so that they do not raise suspicion from national and local law enforcement agencies. more >>
The Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assiut has condemned the death sentence handed down by the Egyptian court to former President Mohamed Morsi, despite the oppression and incitement of deadly crimes committed against Christians during his rule. Anba Kyrillos William said that the church does not compromise on defending life, which he called an "inviolable right."
"The Church respects the independence of the judiciary, but believes that life is an inviolable right, and remains opposed to the death penalty. The fact is that this type of sentence is still contemplated in the Egyptian legal order," William told Fides News Agency.
An escaped Yazidi teen recently revealed that while she was held by the Islamic State terrorist group, she was sold as a sex slave to a well-known Australian ISIS executioner for the equivalent of $34, reports indicate.
In witness testimony given to Iraqi lawyers, a 19-year-old Yazidi girl, who has been given the pseudonym "Kaleela," said she was in the midst of fleeing from her northern Iraqi village last August when she was taken hostage, like many other girls were, by ISIS.
She recalled being initially kept by the militants inside a three-story home in the group's Iraqi stronghold of Mosul before she was drugged and shipped off to Syria, where she was sold in ISIS' sex slave market. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist organization released a new audio message on Wednesday purporting to come from the mouth of the group's caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who asserted that Islam is not the religion of peace, but rather the religion of violence.
If it is in fact Baghdadi speaking in the message, which was posted by the group's al-Furqan media outlet and shared by several ISIS-affiliated websites, it would mark the first time that the public has heard from Baghdadi in months, after it was reported that he was immobilized by a spinal injury resulting from shrapnel wounds from an airstrike.
The last audio message Baghdadi released was in November, which was just days after he was wounded in another airstrike. BBC reports that analysts believe that the voice in Wednesday's audio message, entitled "March Forth Whether Light or Heavy," sounds like Baghdadi's but it's still hard to verify. more >>
WASHINGTON — As hundreds of thousands of Christians and religious minorities are living homeless in Iraq due to the rise of the Islamic State, a pastor from New York City says it is a "total embarrassment" that most American Christians are not willing to travel to the Kurdish region of Iraq to care for the persecuted.
The Rev. William Devlin, who pastors the Infinity Bible Church in South Bronx, has traveled to over 11 different countries where the persecution of Christians is rampant and in December he went to Kurdish Iraq for 11 days to provide humanitarian assistance to those displaced from their homes by ISIS.
Devlin, who's also a registered nurse with a specialty in war trauma, told The Christian Post on Wednesday that he plans to go back to Iraq in July and hopes to recruit and even pay for other pastors to go with him. more >>