A new video released by the Islamic State terrorist group purports to show children carrying out the mass execution of 25 men accused of being soldiers for the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
In the nearly 10-minute video, which was shot in a Roman amphitheater in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, the Syrian soldiers are dressed in green camouflage and paraded in a single-file line onto the amphitheatre stage, in front of a large audience, as an arabic jihadi hymn plays in the background.
The soldiers are forced to their knees while the ISIS executioners, who appear to be in their preteen to teenage years, stand behind each soldier holding handguns to the back of their heads. more >>
The visible aftermath of the terror wrought by groups like ISIS and Boko Haram is devastatingly obvious: dead bodies in the streets; men, women and children left homeless, their bodies bleeding and broken; and makeshift refugee communities popping up across the more stable areas of the Middle East.
While the visible aftermath is appalling, the invisible aftermath — the trauma that wrecks the mind and spirit of so many survivors — is no less horrific.
Hussam, a Syrian refugee, is living with the trauma caused by being a first-hand witness to terror. During an attack by ISIS on his largely Christian neighborhood, Hussam stood just 20 yards away as a mortar was dropped on a bus filled with children. When he ran to help, he saw that seven children and the driver had been killed. Never had Hussam been so close to the tragic outcomes of war. more >>
A Sudanese court has ruled that there is enough evidence to move forward with the trial of two imprisoned South Sudanese Presbyterian pastors facing "trumped-up" espionage charges, which are punishable by death. The pastors' attorney will have only two weeks to prove their innocence without access to his clients.
In the sixth hearing in the case against pastors Yat Michael and Peter Reith in Khartoum, a judge ruled Thursday that there is sufficient evidence to "charge" the pastors with seven different crimes including criminal conspiracy, espionage, promoting hatred amongst the sects, blasphemy, undermining the constitutional system, obtaining official documents and disturbing the peace — two of which could be punishable by death.
According to the American Center for Law and Justice, the judge's Thursday ruling now means that the pressure is on the pastors' attorney, Mohaned Mustafa, to now prove the innocence of his two clients rather than their guilt having to be proven. more >>
Two Christian women from a Pakistani village in the Sheikhupura district of Punjab province have reportedly been tortured by Muslim villagers, after which their faces were painted black and they were paraded around the town on donkeys.
The Pakistani Christian Post reported that the women, identified as Rukhsana and Rehana, were accused of committing blasphemy, which activists have said is a common way for the Muslim majority to oppress Christian and other minorities.
The two Christians apparently got into an argument with a Muslim woman who wanted to buy from their home a flex used as a carpet for a low price, to which the Christians refused. The Muslim woman then accused the Christians of committing blasphemy by pointing out that the carpet has images of Holy Books and Quran verses on it, which prompted a Muslim mob to beat the Christians and drag them out of their home. more >>
Sudanese authorities arrested 12 young Christian women in Khartoum and forced them to strip out of their clothes after they left a church service wearing what was deemed "immoral dress," a Christian persecution watchdog organization has reported.
According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, the 12 women were leaving a service at the El Izba Baptist Church in Khartoum last Thursday wearing trousers and skirts when they were detained by the local public order police.
The women were taken to the police station and forced to remove their clothing to allow the police officers to inspect the clothing to verify the clothing's indecency. more >>
At least 4,000 Assyrian Christian families are believed to be among the 120,000 people who in recent days have fled the Syrian city of Hassakeh. ISIS forces are entering the city and looking to carry out a mass ethno-religious slaughter, humanitarian groups said, warning that the world still has not provided an adequate response.
"Although we appreciated the efforts of the Republic of France for calling an emergency session of the Security Council last March to discuss the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Assyrian Christians, Yezidis and other ethno-religious minorities of Iraq and Syria, no action has yet been taken to halt this ongoing slaughter. It is as if the world community thinks that the situation will resolve itself if it's ignored," said David William Lazar, Chairman of the American Mesopotamian Organization.
Fides News Agency reported earlier this week that the 4,000 Christian families who have fled Hassakeh belong to various churches, including Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syrian Catholics and Syrian Orthodox, and have been seeking refuge in the nearby urban area of Qamishli. more >>