The persecution of Christians in Iraq is undoubtedly a devastating humanitarian crisis and as more lives are lost at the hands of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, concerned believers are asking 'how can I help?'
An estimated 200,000 Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq have been affected by the advancement of ISIS and many have been forced to flee their homes to avoid genocide.
As of Friday, dozens of members of the ancient Yazidi sect had been killed by ISIS militants due to their ancient beliefs. They have been denounced by the advancing militant group as "devil-worshippers," and since July 17 approximately 50,000 Yazidis have sought refuge in the barren mountain range after fighters demanded that they leave, convert to Islam or die. more >>
The Islamic group known as ISIS has had a serious impact on the lives of young people raised by ISIS members, as well as those infatuated with the group's ideology.
"Everywhere our camera went, there seemed to be a young man eager to extol the virtues of the newly formed caliphate," VICE Media's Medyan Dairieh reported this week from the Syrian city of Raqqa, which has fallen into ISIS hands.
"I swear to Allah we will divide America in two," the young boy said. "And we'll destroy the enemies of the religion of them all, all who fight the Islamic State. We promise car bombs and explosives," he added. more >>
Egypt's most influential Muslim cleric has recently denounced the terrorist group commonly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, considered the North African nation's highest religious authority, said on the state news agency MENA that ISIS "poses a danger to Islam and Muslims."
A priest from Nineveh has claimed that Christianity "is finished in Iraq," amid the ongoing conflict and thousands of Christians fleeing persecution from members of ISIS.
"Today the story of Christianity is finished in Iraq," Father Nawar told the Catholic News Agency. "It's a very difficult life … very, very difficult. [Families] are dying because of the temperatures, dying because they can't eat, dying because of fear, and also because of war, of bombs."
Father Nawar is originally from Nineveh, considered the Christian capital of Iraq, but ISIS forces took over the city and told Christians that they either had to convert to Islam or face death by the sword. The residents then fled to Kurdish areas in the country, where they were welcomed and able to take refuge. However, there were so many refugees there with very little resources. more >>
For the first time since the 1959 Revolution, the Republic of Cuba will allow for a church to be constructed in the Communist state.
Cuba's Communist government has approved a permit for the building of a Catholic church building in Santiago de Cuba, the island's second largest city.
The demand for a new facility came after Hurricane Sandy destroyed an older building, reported Katherine Backler of the United Kingdom publication The Tablet, a Roman Catholic weekly. more >>
The United States is sending weapons to the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan that is battling the forces of the Islamic State militants. A Christian leader in the Middle East says that although Christians there welcome the move they believe it is "too late and not enough."
"[President Barack] Obama needs to do more to slow down Islamic State and to stop [them] completely," Dr. Munir S. Kakish, chairman of the Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land, told The Christian Post in an email on Tuesday.
"Yes, they need to send more aid and stop IS both in Syria and Iraq. Stop them to the point of never again [carrying out] barbaric slayings of human beings. If they stop all those foreign groups, this means all the refugees that left can return to their homes. I feel very strongly that the West must move fast and with great power. Yet I feel it is late, but never too late to do the right thing." more >>