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 >>
Pope Francis condemned the ongoing persecution of Christians by radical Islamic groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram Monday during mass at the Vatican, and said even though these groups believe they are serving God with their actions, they do not truly know Him.
The mass included a reading from John 16:2-3 where Jesus says: "the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or Me."
Francis followed the reading with his homily where he said there are some who "kill Christians in the name of God because they think they are infidels." The pontiff encouraged listeners to take heart by telling them how Jesus prophesied that His followers would be persecuted as He was and would suffer through tribulations. more >>
WASHINGTON – An Iraqi nun who has been displaced by the Islamic State terrorist organization told members of Congress on Wednesday that Christians in Iraq have lost everything, including their own dignity and history, as ISIS continues its quest to completely erase evidence of Christianity's existence in the region.
Sister Diana Momeka, who was at the center of a recent State Department visa controversy, testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and said that although it has been nearly a year since ISIS took over most of the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq, Christian Iraqi citizens are still in dire need of assistance in liberating their lands.
Momeka, who works with the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, fled from Qaraqosh to the Kurdish-protected north last summer upon ISIS' rapid takeover of the Mosul region. more >>
Chinese authorities in Zhejiang province have removed hundreds of crosses from atop Protestant and Catholic churches and believers expect the rooftop crosses to be removed from all houses of worship because the government sees the rapid growth of Christianity in the country as a threat.
"The authorities have attached great importance to this religious symbol," said Zheng Leguo, a pastor from the province who now lives in the U.S., in a CBS News report. "This means no more prominent manifestation of Christianity in the public square."
The province is now proposing an official ban on any further placement of crosses atop sanctuaries. But that has not stopped Zhejiang officials from toppling crosses from more than 400 churches since early 2014. The government has justified the action by claiming the crosses were a violation of the Communist regime's building codes. more >>