Following news that Iraq's dwindling Christians have been forced out of their centuries' old homeland over the weekend, a British academic and scholar of American history demanded to know why their plight had received such scant attention and called the status quo response "worthy of contempt."
Writing for The Telegraph Monday, Tim Stanley, called the ISIS-prompted exodus from Iraq a "war crime that, strangely, no one seems to want to talk about."
The scholar summarized the Christians' plight as "an unattractive choice: convert, pay a religious tax, or be put to the sword." more >>
New York City pastor William Devlin has traveled to Khartoum in Sudan where he has met Christian mother Meriam Ibrahim and offered to help bring and take care of her and her family in the United States.
"The Devlin family has offered to bring this family back to the USA from Khartoum and have them live with us. I have been interviewed by the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C. and I have also met for three hours with the U.S. Ambassador to Sudan here in Khartoum – and his senior staff," Devlin said in an email to The Christian Post on Sunday.
"Furthermore, because of my long term friendship with the Foreign Minister of Sudan, I have met personally with him and asked him to advocate for this family – and have the Sudanese authorities release this family to me to bring them back to U.S.. I have offered to pay for their flights (the four of them) to America and to house them indefinitely in our home – and to provide for their needs." more >>
Thousands of Christians are fleeing northern Iraq and communities they have lived in for almost 2,000 years following militant group ISIS' ultimatum last week that they convert to Islam, pay a tax, or be killed for their faith.
"In my opinion this is a very grave situation. No Western leader is moving to stop such a tragedy but they offer only empty words with no actions," Dr. Munir S. Kakish, Chairman Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land, told The Christian Post in an email on Sunday. "ISIS must be stopped before it wipes out Christians from other areas." The Independent noted that ISIS, which has taken control of the city of Mosul and much of the surrounding region, gave Christians until midday on Saturday to comply. The militants have declared the establishment of an "Islamic state" on the territory of Iraq and Syria, where they have also been active.
"We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword," an ISIS statement was read out at Mosul's mosques, BBC News reported. more >>
The lawsuit brought by Christian mother Meriam Ibrahim's Islamic relatives in Sudan has been dropped, a lawyer working on the case said, which could open the way for Ibrahim and her family to soon travel to the United States.
"We are no longer proceeding with the lawsuit," Abdel Rahman Malek, the relatives' lawyer, told Reuters on Wednesday.
Malek did not provide a reason for dropping the lawsuit. more >>
The government of Sudan has reaffirmed that it is banning the construction of all new Christian churches in the Muslim-dominated country, prompting "deep concern" from a persecution watchdog group.
"We are deeply concerned by Minister Shalil Abdullah's statement reaffirming the policy to deny new church permits. This policy, and the continued practice of demolishing and confiscating church land, constitutes a violation of the right to freedom of religion or belief, guaranteed in article 6 and 38 of Sudan's Interim Constitution as well as article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Sudan is signatory," Andy Dipper, Chief Operating Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Abdullah, the Sudanese Minister for Guidance and Religious Endowments, reportedly explained that due to the country's separation from South Sudan, where many Christians have fled, the existing churches in the Republic of Sudan are sufficient for the nation's minority Christians. more >>
The Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore has called on President Barack Obama to fill the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, which has been vacant since Suzanne Johnson Cook resigned in October.
Moore specifically recommended that the President nominate outgoing Rep. Frank Wolf, R.-Va., who has already announced that he will not run for reelection this year.
"Congressman Wolf is a tireless and unparalleled advocate for persecuted religious minorities," Moore wrote in the letter. "No one has done more in fighting for human rights and the protection of religious minorities than him during his distinguished career of over thirty years in the United States House of Representatives." more >>