When Pope Francis arrives in the U.S. this week, there are many who hope he will again speak the word that global leaders have been reluctant to speak: Genocide.
In remarks made last June while in Bolivia, the Holy Father proclaimed, "Today we are dismayed to see how the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus … a form of genocide is taking place, and it must end."
It is hard to ignore the horrifying images of the humanitarian crisis gripping northern Iraq and Syria in recent years: families struggling atop Mount Sinjar in a desperate attempt to flee ISIS death squads … ethnic minorities gunned down en mass for refusing to abandon their faith … the wholesale destruction of historical monuments and holy places. more >>
With thousands of migrants arriving on European shores each day, Rev. Canon Andrew White, also known as "the Vicar of Baghdad," is criticizing European governments for focusing their attentions on migrants within their own borders instead of helping poor Iraqi and Syrian refugees stuck in the Middle East.
In a statement reported by Breitbart London, White, who was the only Anglican vicar in Iraq before he fled the country in 2014 after receiving death threats from the Islamic State, said it's wrong for European leaders to focus resources on migrants coming from all over the world while Iraqi refugees who are running for their lives from IS are being ignored.
He insisted that more resources should be used to help Iraqi refugees who have fled into Middle Eastern nations like Lebanon and Jordan. more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini, has met with over 100 Parliamentarians from nearly 50 countries to urge them to sign a letter calling for her husband's release. This week marks Abedini's third anniversary in prison, as well as the 70th session of the General Assembly of the U.N. in New York, which Iran's President Hassan Rouhani will attend.
"We are alarmed by ongoing reports of violations of this fundamental freedom for religious minorities, including Christians and the Bahá'ís. We respectfully ask you to ensure that all individuals in Iran, be they Muslim, Christian, Bahá'í, Atheist, Zoroastrian, Jew or from another faith, can fully enjoy freedom of religion or belief without fear of violence or discrimination," states the letter, which was signed by 67 Parliamentarians following Abedini's speech.
"We are particularly concerned about Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been jailed for nearly three years. We understand he has been held in intolerable conditions for merely peacefully exercising his faith in private homes. We specifically request the release of Mr. Abedini, as well as other Christians," it continues. more >>
The Obama administration maintains that its principal strategic response to the conflict in Syria is humanitarian, not military, and focused on human rights. In Syria as well as Iraq, the consequences of this policy have been shockingly deficient.
The West is only now beginning to wake up to its catastrophic results, as Europe struggles with a mass migration of a magnitude the continent has not experienced since the 1940s.
In April, Assad began intensifying the barrel bombing of Aleppo and Damascus's Sunni neighborhoods while streamlining the passport process. In June, the U.N. was forced, unconscionably, to slash Syrian refugee food rations for lack of funding. Whether it was then, or when human traffickers began operating rickety craft from the port of Izmir, Turkey — leading to some 3,000 drownings — at every juncture, the administration failed to lead a serious effort to mitigate the suffering. This explosion has been building for years. The administration slumbered instead of coordinating an effective allied effort to head off a dangerous and chaotic westward surge of hundreds of thousands, potentially tens of millions, of oppressed and poor migrants, with some terrorists among them. more >>
A devoted Christian from the village of Huey in Savannakhet province, Laos, has died after his release from prison, where authorities denied him vital diabetes medication and watched him visibly deteriorate without helping. Human rights groups have said that the man, Tiang Kwentianthong, was arrested nine months ago after he was caught praying for a sick woman.
"Mr. Tiang Kwentianthong, a Christian believer of Huey village in Atsaphangthong district of Savannakhet province ... died on Sept. 17 from his diabetic condition that had become very severe," Human Rights Watcher for Lao Religious Freedom said in a statement, as reported by BosNewsLife.
The 61-year-old Tiang, who needed but was denied his diabetes medication on a regular basis, "continued to suffer severe diabetes. During his imprisonment ... he requested permission to be treated for his worsening diabetic condition but the prison officials denied his request," the group added. more >>
A mob of radicals in the capital city of Pakistan torched the home of a Christian family and attempted to burn them alive by locking them inside before setting it on fire, a Christian aid group is reporting.
Earlier this month, a large group of radicals in Islamabad arrived at the home of 38-year-old Christian Boota Masih and began banging on the door, shouting for him to come outside.
Masih told the British Pakistani Christian Association that when he answered the door, the mob's leader demanded that he and his family either give up their home, leaving all of their belongings behind, or suffer the consequences. more >>