In once-secular Turkey, Christians have become targets of Muslim persecution. Here's what you need to know.
For nearly the last hundred years, Turkey, straddling Europe and Asia, has walked a precipitous path. Turning its back on the brutal Ottoman Empire of its past, the nation of 80 million people had attempted to combine its dominant Muslim culture with a more Western-oriented secularism — allowing a measure of political and religious freedom not common in most other Muslim-majority states.
Well, it seems as if Turkey is now on its way to falling into an intolerant form of Islam — if it hasn't already. How do I know this? By listening to the country's beleaguered Christian minority, which has dwindled from 22 percent of the population to a microscopic 0.2 percent just over the last century. more >>
Many are familiar with "The Vicar of Baghdad," Canon Andrew White, the head of one of the most prominent relief charities helping thousands of Christians displaced by ISIS, but many don't know that much of the work White gets credit for is actually carried out by a Muslim woman.
Meet Dr. Sarah Ahmed, an Iraqi dentist who for the past few years has devoted her time to traveling all over Iraq to bring clothes, medicine, food, hygiene supplies and just about any other need imaginable to the Christians, Yazidis, Muslims, Shebeks and others who have been thrown from their homes, tortured and raped at the hands of the Islamic State.
"She is there protecting all of the Iraqi Christians. You never hear anything about it in the news but you hear about the work I am doing. The work that I am doing is being done by a Muslim caring for the Christians," White, the former chaplain of St. George's Church in Baghdad, asserted last December during a lunch visit in Washington. "We think and hear about Islamic terrorism all the time. What about Islamic people working for the protection of Christians?" more >>
New estimates suggest that over 1,400 yazidi children are being held by the Islamic State and are being trained to be jihadi fighters or trained to carry out suicide attacks.
The Directorate of Yezidi Abductees Affairs in Duhok, a city in northern Iraq, announced on Wednesday that there are believed to be 3,770 yazidis still held captive by IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL), regional news outlets are reporting.
Hussein Kuru, who heads abductees affairs office and traces abducted Yazidis in the Duhok province, said at a press conference that as many as 2,640 abducted yazidis of both sexes have been freed from IS by the Kurdish Regional Government and its peshmerga forces. more >>
The Islamic State is trying to change up the leadership of Nigerian-based Boko Haram and has appointed a new leader who is vowing to bomb churches and kill all Christians.
IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) announced Wednesday in its al-Nabaa newspaper that Abu Musab al-Barnawi is the new leader of its Nigerian-affiliated outfit, calling him the "Wali" (governor) of its West African Province.
In an interview published by the IS news source that was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, al-Barnawi vowed to kill less Muslims and more Christians. more >>
Famous atheist author Richard Dawkins has decried the "horrific scenes" of radical Islamists praying before raping young women, as found in The Girl Who Beat ISIS, the ghost-written memoir of Farida Khalaf, the pseudonym of a 19-year-old Yazidi and former Islamic State terror group sex slave.
Dawkins wrote a review of Khalaf's book on his website, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, describing the teenager as an "almost superhumanly brave and heroic young woman."
The Girl Who Beat ISIS provides a first-hand account of Khalaf's struggles in IS slave markets, where she is sold, beaten, and raped by numerous IS fighters. more >>
Amid recent allegations that the Obama administration made a $400 million cash payment to the Iranian government for the release of American hostages, Pastor Saeed Abedini, one of the prisoners released on the same day of the payment, is speaking out.
The pastor, who spent three years in an Iranian prison and was released in January earlier this year, told Fox Business Network this week that on the day of his release he and other prisoners were taken to the Tehran airport where a plane was waiting for them. They waited several hours, however, until a second plane arrived. It is widely speculated that the second plane contained a ransom payment.
Abedini said their plane did not depart until 10 a.m. the next day when they flew in that same plane to the U.S. more >>