Almost 70 percent of homes left vacant in Baghdad by Christians who fled the city after the U.S. invasion in 2003 have been seized illegally and an investigation by the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq suggests that government officials might be behind the seizures.
Mohammed al–Rubai, a member of Baghdad's municipal council, brought the matter up during a recent interview with the Al–ada Iraqi TV station.
"Almost 70 percent of Baghdad's Christian homes have been illegally seized. These houses belonged to Christians who fled from Baghdad, seeking refuge from violent attacks targeting them and their homes. The title deed documents have been falsified and the new title deeds have been lodged with the real estate registry," said al–Rubai. more >>
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, whose government has persecuted Christians under a strict interpretation of Shariah law, has fled South Africa over fears that he might be arrested after the International Criminal Court charged him with war crimes.
BBC News reported on Monday that Bashir, who was in Johannesburg for an African Union summit, has fled the country as the Pretoria High Court was deciding whether he should be handed over to the ICC.
The court has charged him with committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in the ongoing war in Darfur in Sudan, which has led to over 300,000 deaths since 2003. more >>
As the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision looms this month, Liberty Counsel Chairman Matt Staver and subpoenaed Houston pastor Steven Riggle asserted Sunday that Christians and churches across the country need to unite, stand their ground and defy "unjust" laws that restrict religious freedoms.
While speaking on the opening night of the four-day Future Conference hosted at the Skyline Church in San Diego, which is headed by pastor Jim Garlow, Staver told the audience in a video speech that the pending Supreme Court ruling could lead to the constitutionalization of same-sex marriage and would also be an "unprecedented threat" to American history and religious freedoms.
Staver, whose Liberty Institute advocates for numerous Christians persecuted by the government for upholding their faith, further explained that if same-sex marriage is ruled constitutional, it will not be something that Christians will simply be able to ignore. more >>
A Christian man has shared his story of how he was imprisoned, tortured, and starved for his faith in an Eritrean prison, shedding light on some of the abuses the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights has recently accused the government of carrying out.
"They take you outside in the hot sun with nothing to make you suffer and leave you out in the cold at night. ... I was praying and God told me, 'Don't be afraid. It will pass. Stand in your faith,'" the man, identified as 'Yohan,' told International Christian Concern.
The persecution watchdog group added that Yohan had been "tied up like an animal" and forced to eat "trash mixed with dirty rain water," while bound outside and exposed to torrential rains, a burning desert sun at day and bitter cold nights. more >>
On the first anniversary of the Islamic State's capture of Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, the terrorist group released a 29-minute propaganda documentary showing never-before-seen footage of the group's takeover and also explained how the group established bureaucratic governmental services to serve the city's residents.
According to AFP, the propaganda film shows footage of ISIS forces strolling into the city without being contested by U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces, who are shown fleeing the city. The video also shows ISIS fighters freeing prisoners and being welcomed into the city by its residents.
"It was unthinkable that the advance would be so much greater than was planned," the video's narrator stated, according to a SITE Intelligence Group translation. " more >>
Three monks and six students have taken refuge in the ancient monastery of Mar Mattai in northern Iraq, just 12 miles from the Islamic State-occupied Mosul City, not willing to flee, and expressing "their faith that this is a secure place."
Erbil's Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda said a small unit of the Kurdish military is protecting the nine Christians but that's not why they believe they are safe in the shrine, also known as St. Matthew's Monastery.
"There is a kind of feeling that they cannot express but they at least feel relaxed in a way that even if, God forbid, something would happen, they are in safe hands," Warda told Catholic News Agency. more >>