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 >>
American Christian Keith Broomfield was killed last week while fighting ISIS alongside the Kurds in Syria, and his pastor says he would smile at Muslims who were hostile toward his faith and make a cross over his heart.
Pastor Gary Moritz of Twin City Baptist Church in Massachusetts, where Broomfield, 36, used to attend, told The Christian Post on Friday that Broomfield "wanted to serve the Lord" and traveled to Turkey and Syria in order to help the Kurds.
"The Kurds have been calling him the first Christian martyr to fight against ISIS," said Moritz. more >>
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom elected on Thursday as Chairman Robert P. George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. George said that the defending religious freedom around the world is a key element for global security.
"I am honored to again serve as chair of USCIRF and work alongside my fellow commissioners in support of religious freedom and belief abroad," said George, who previously served as USCIRF chairman in 2013 and USCIRF vice–chairman in 2014.
"World events underscore the importance of this fundamental freedom. Religious liberty is an essential human right and a key element in the quest for regional and global security. It deserves a seat at the table with economic and security concerns as the U.S. and other nations conduct their affairs." more >>
Pakistani Prison officials have confirmed that a Catholic death row inmate, who was tortured into confessing to three murders over 23 years ago when he was just 15 years old, was executed on Wednesday.
Aftab Bahadur, who was convicted of the 1992 killings of Sabiha Bari and her two sons, was hanged at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, but not before he had one last chance to proclaim his innocence.
"Aftab Bahadur was hanged at District Jail Lahore on Wednesday at 4.30 a.m.," an unnamed prison official told Reuters. "Before the hanging, he was crying and saying he was innocent." more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham has said that Shariah law should be banned in the U.S., pointing to the various human rights abuses committed by terror group ISIS in its implementation of the Islamic law. Graham noted that the law has lead to persecution of Christians and other minorities, the oppression of women, and the torture and killing of gay people.
"This is a vivid reminder of why Shariah law should be banned in the U.S. and all countries that cherish freedom and liberty. Some western governments are actually considering allowing Sharia law in certain Muslim communities in their countries — can you believe it?" Graham continued. more >>