Assyrian Christians fleeing ISIS from Syria who've made it to Beirut, Lebanon, have said that their children were forced to watch beheadings and other atrocities carried out by the Islamic militants. Over 220 Assyrians remain in captivity, with ISIS demanding millions in ransoms, but there's no one who has the ability to pay.
"Our children saw many beheadings," said Jack Zayya, an Assyrian Christian refugee, according to World Crunch. "We were obligated to watch public executions. What kind of world is that for kids to grow up in? They were always scared."
Zayya said that ISIS has destroyed his livelihood back at his hometown of Al-Hasakah in Syria, and has told Christians they must pay taxes to the jihadists or be killed. more >>
An annual conference focused on gathering Christians together to advance justice for the less fortunate is scheduled to take place in Chicago next month.
Known as the Justice Conference and sponsored by World Relief, the event will be held June 5-6 at the Auditorium Theatre and will feature notable speakers discussing issues pertaining to human rights and Christian ethics.
Those expected to attend and give remarks include Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church of Atlanta, Georgia; Cornel West, social activist, author, and professor; Stephan Bauman, president and CEO of World Relief; and the Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. more >>
Eighty-one-year-old cancer patient Clarence Blackmon was so hungry and helpless that he called 911 for assistance, and thanks to the generosity of one 911 operator and local police, his cupboards are now overflowing and he's asked that people stop donating to him and instead donate to the Salvation Army.
When Blackmon returned home to Fayetteville, North Carolina, after spending months in the hospital battling cancer, he saw that he had no food and realized he needed help, so he called 911; the operator, Marilyn Hinson, heard his cry for help and took action.
WASHINGTON — As hundreds of thousands of Christians and religious minorities are living homeless in Iraq due to the rise of the Islamic State, a pastor from New York City says it is a "total embarrassment" that most American Christians are not willing to travel to the Kurdish region of Iraq to care for the persecuted.
The Rev. William Devlin, who pastors the Infinity Bible Church in South Bronx, has traveled to over 11 different countries where the persecution of Christians is rampant and in December he went to Kurdish Iraq for 11 days to provide humanitarian assistance to those displaced from their homes by ISIS.
Devlin, who's also a registered nurse with a specialty in war trauma, told The Christian Post on Wednesday that he plans to go back to Iraq in July and hopes to recruit and even pay for other pastors to go with him. more >>
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama spoke Tuesday about the importance of faith and family during a panel discussion for the Catholic-Evangelical Summit on Overcoming Poverty at Georgetown University.
"Faith-based groups across the country and around the world understand the centrality and the importance of [poverty] in a intimate way — in part because these faith-based organizations are interacting with folks who are struggling and know how good these people are, and know their stories, and it's not just theological, but it's very concrete. They're embedded in communities and they're making a difference in all kinds of ways," Obama said.
The panel was moderated by The Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne and also included Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, and Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam. more >>
Cuban President Raul Castro has suggested that a meeting with Pope Francis has inspired him to "resume praying" and return to the Roman Catholic faith.
"I will resume praying and turn to the Church again if the Pope continues in this vein," Castro said after a 50-minute private audience with Francis at the Vatican on Sunday.
Following the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s, a great deal of Catholic activity was suppressed in the country, with the government viewing the Vatican as part of the world capitalist system it opposed. more >>