The upper house of the British Parliament shot down an amendment this week that would have forced the government to decide whether or not the Islamic State's persecution of Christians and other religious minorities is a "genocide."
According to the Catholic Herald and the Catholic News Service, the House of Lords voted down an amendment that would have required a High Court judge to determine if IS (also known ISIS or ISIL) is committing a genocide in the Middle East.
The proposal, which was an amendment to immigration legislation introduced by Lord David Alton, was shot down by a vote of 148 to 111. more >>
A new ad by the Church of England depicting a former drug user playing the role of Jesus in a re-enactment of the Passion Play before Easter is looking to send a message that faith and hope triumph over struggle.
"From bereavement to addiction, from homelessness to imprisonment, Easter is a reminder that suffering doesn't have the last word and that love is more powerful than the grave. Each of the stories is a testimony to the fact that love wins," said the Rev. Arun Arora, director of communications for the CofE.
"As the Church across the globe celebrates Easter day we wanted to make a film that highlighted the stories of individuals who have come through suffering to the Easter joy of faith in Jesus." more >>
Four Wycliffe Associates workers have been killed in an attack by radicals in the organization's office in the Middle East.
Wycliffe explained in a statement that the attackers, who are yet to be identified, shot and destroyed all the equipment in the Bible translation office, but the hard drives containing the translation work for eight language projects was saved.
Two of the Wycliffe workers were apparently killed by gunshots, while two others laid on top of the lead translator and died while "deflecting bludgeoning blows from the radicals' spent weapons," and managed to save his life. more >>
Hours after Sec. of State John Kerry declared that the Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced a bill to prioritize Christian and religious minorities in the United States' Syrian refugee resettlement program.
The Religious Persecution Relief Act, which was introduced by Cotton Thursday, is legislation that would require the U.S. government to designate 10,000 refugee resettlement slots every year for the next five years for Syrian religious minorities.
Additionally, the bill will fast-track the U.S.'s review process for religious minorities who do not register with the United Nations because of fear of persecution inside of refugee camps. This will allow for those persecuted individuals to circumvent the U.N. process by allowing them to apply for resettlement directly at U.S.-funded refugee support centers in northern Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. more >>
Anglican leader and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who has spoken out strongly for the need to help refugees fleeing war and violence, says it's wrong to label people fearful of the mass migration of refugees as "racist."
"There is a tendency to say 'those people are racist,' which is just outrageous, absolutely outrageous," Welby told The House magazine during an interview at the House of Lords.
"Fear is a valid emotion at a time of such colossal crisis. This is one of the greatest movements of people in human history. Just enormous. And to be anxious about that is very reasonable," he added. more >>
WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of displaced Iraqi Christians who fled from their ancient homelands over a year-and-a-half ago to escape the the barbarity of the Islamic State feel as though their plight has been forgotten by the rest of the world, a prominent Chaldean priest explained Wednesday.
Father Douglas al-Bazi, who left his home in Baghdad for the protection of the Kurdish North in 2013, now runs the Mar Elia Church in Ainkawa. As over 125,000 people fled from the Mosul area to Kurdistan following the rise of IS in the summer of 2014, Bazi's church currently shelters over 112 displaced Iraqi families, as it and 16 other churches in the area are being used as refugee centers.
Although refugee families living in the Mar Elia center have just a 10-by-15-foot iron container to call a temporary home and are struggling to find jobs and educational opportunities, the 43-year-old priest said in an interview with The Christian Post that he foresees Iraqi Christians living in refugee centers long after IS is defeated because of the lack of trust that they will be protected in their homelands. more >>