As I write this a combination of Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Sunni tribal fighters, assisted by U.S. and ally airstrikes, mount a siege around the ISIS-controlled city of Fallujah. Inside, thousands of ISIS fighters, who took residence in Fallujah's neighborhoods almost 2.5 years ago, wait: their snipers ready, their land mines buried, their barricades defying the attack.
Suspended between all this are 50,000 souls trapped within the city walls. Men, women, and children — who alone number around 20,000 — face the cruelest days of their lives, as ISIS fighters will stop at nothing to keep control of the city.
If they flee, they'll get shot. If they stay, they'll be used as human shields — even the women and children. Recently, images leaked out of Fallujah of children with blond hair and bright eyes. They are either Christians or Yazidis and they will escape or they will die a brutal death. more >>
Two Christian United States military veterans are in the middle a 47-day, cross-country bicycle tour to raise awareness for post traumatic stress disorder and aim to raise $1 million to support a growing, God-centered ministry that helps combat veterans overcome their struggles by helping them accept God's will for their lives.
As estimates show that at least 22 U.S. military veterans die from suicide every day, U.S. Marine veteran Michael Priddy and U.S. Army veteran David Allison embarked on a 2,700-mile No Man Rides Alone bicycle tour on April 28 with the goal of connecting other military veterans with the spiritual help that they need to overcome their struggles with PTSD.
The two men launched their voyage in Squaw Valley, California, and will ride from town-to-town until they reach the Marine base in Quantico, Virginia. more >>
President Barack Obama has named a transgender woman to the President's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
The White House announced earlier this month that Barbara Satin, the assistant faith work director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, was named as a member of the President's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which advises the president on how to improve partnerships to serve Americans in need.
Satin, a member of the United Church of Christ, is the first openly transgender member of the United Church of Christ's executive council. more >>
UPDATE: MAY 19, 5 p.m. ET: Debris found near the Greek island of Karpathos thought to be wreckage from flight MS804 did not come from the plane, the head of the Greek air safety authority said late Thursday.
Plane wreckage has not yet been found in the Mediterranean Sea, Athanasios Binis, the head of the Greek air safety authority, told Agence France-Presse. more >>
The United States Supreme Court sent several challenges to the Human and Human Services Department's contraception mandate back to the lower courts, vacating the earlier rulings.
Plaintiffs, including the Little Sisters of the Poor, East Texas Baptist University, and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington will have their lawsuits decided at the lower court level.
In a Per Curiam decision released Monday morning, the highest court in the land reasoned that the lower court decisions were to be vacated in light of a new possible resolution between the two parties. more >>
The Kenyan government has announced its plan to close its refugee camps, which are home to 600,000 refugees, mostly from conflict-torn Somalia. A U.S.-based Christian group working in Kenya warns that the decision could lead to thousands of deaths "if the world doesn't respond immediately."
"It was with great surprise and concern that we learned of Kenya's decision to close its refugee camps, and in turn, to provide an unsure future to over 600,000 refugees, many of which are from war torn countries, like Somalia," said Vernon Brewer, founding president of the Virginia-based World Help group, said in a statement.
Kenya's Interior Ministry has said the refugees living in camps in Dadaab in the east of the country and Kakuma in the northwest will be repatriated to their countries of origin or to third-party countries for resettlement between November and next May. more >>