Last week former congressman Frank Wolf released an important new human-rights report on Iraq's religious minorities, aptly entitled "Edge of Extinction." Detailing some of the Islamic terrorists' cruelest practices, particularly with respect to women and children, this documentation should serve as the opening salvo in the long-neglected battle of ideas over Islamic extremism.
Mr. Wolf, who stepped down from his congressional seat last month, just returned from Iraq with the new Christian human-rights group, the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, where he is a distinguished senior fellow. In Kurdistan, less than two miles from the front line, he and his team interviewed Christians and Yazidis persecuted by the Islamic State, banished from their homes, and now huddled with hundreds of thousands like them in abject misery in Iraq's northernmost province.
One Christian woman, whose family could not flee the city of Qaraqosh when the Islamic State invaded on August 6 because her husband is blind, told Wolf, "We could hear 'Allah akbar!' in the streets. 'Christians, go away or we will kill you.' After that they came to our house. 'Convert or we will kill you.'" The next thing she knew, the jihadists had snatched her three-year-old daughter from her lap, and took the baby away. more >>
The measles outbreak that began in Disneyland last December has infected more than 100 people in 14 states, most recently victimizing five infants at a Chicago area daycare. Last year, there were 644 cases of measles reported, by far the largest number in a decade and a half. The resurgence of a contagious and potentially deadly disease has reignited the nationwide debate over mandatory childhood vaccinations.
Worldwide, there are still hundreds of thousands of measles-related deaths each year. A decade before children began receiving the measles vaccine (given as the MMR—measles, mumps, rubella—vaccine series since 1971) in the United States; 3-4 million Americans would become infected annually. About 30 percent would experience potentially life-threatening complications. The vaccine program led to a 99 percent reduction in infections, and the disease was declared virtually eradicated in 2000.
Most authorities have blamed the outbreak on the growing number of parents who opt out of childhood vaccinations, often due to fear of complications or the preservatives used in their preparation. (Ironically, many vaccine opponents blame the outbreak on the vaccines themselves.) Opponents of uncontrolled immigration have pointed to the high rates contagious diseases among individuals crossing the southern border illegally. A press release from the CDC from May 2014 confirmed that last year's cases most likely came from abroad, explaining, "Nearly all of the measles cases this year have been associated with international travel by unvaccinated people." more >>
U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama's recent condemnation of medieval Christian history to exonerate modern Islam is a reminder of how woefully ignorant (or intentionally deceptive) a good many people in the West are concerning the true history of Christian Europe and Islam.
The problem is that those Islamwho condemn things like the Crusades—including "mainstream" academics, journalists, moviemakers, and politicians—do so without mention of historical context. Worse, they imply "we" already know the context: evil popes and greedy knights exploiting Christianity to seize Muslim lands and wealth. Or as Karen Armstrong put it, "the idea that Islam imposed itself by the sword is a Western fiction, fabricated during the time of the Crusades when, in fact, it was Western Christians who were fighting brutal holy wars against Islam."
The true story of Christendom and Islam is the antithesis of such claims. Consider some facts for a moment: more >>
"The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel."
With these two compelling sentences – as recorded in the Gospel of Mark – Jesus inaugurates his ministry and sums up what his mission is about: to break the shackles of sin that enslave humanity, to put us on the path of liberation from all oppression, and to teach us how to unconditionally love one another.
But what does it mean to repent? more >>
In the name of anti-discrimination, the City Council of Charlotte, North Carolina is poised to discriminate against people of conservative moral values, also imposing the struggles of a tiny minority on every man, woman, and child who lives or works in Charlotte or might happen to visit the city.
It's wake up time, Charlotte! It's not too late to make a change.
According to an in-depth review by a team of lawyers with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a new bill, which the City Council will vote on after a public meeting on Monday, February 23rd, "does not contain adequate safeguards for constitutionally protected speech and free exercise of religion." more >>
Pope Francis has come out and officially condemned the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians by terrorist organization ISIS on Tuesday.
"Be they Catholics, Orthodox, Copts, or Lutherans, it does not matter. They are Christians, their blood is the same, their blood confesses [their faith in] Christ," Francis said in a statement. "Today I read about the execution of those 21 or 22 Coptic Christians," he added. "Their only words were, 'Jesus, help me!' They were executed for nothing more than the fact that they were Christian. The blood of our Christian sisters and brothers is testimony that cries out."
ISIS released the video of the beheadings on Sunday, showing the 21 Christians who had been kidnapped in December and January. Egypt responded by bombing the group's camps in Libya and promised to eliminate ISIS' presence in the Middle East. more >>