WASHINGTON — A Chaldean priest who oversees hundreds of Iraqi Christian refugees displaced by the Islamic State says Iraqi Christians blame the United States government for not protecting them and their ancient communities from being conquered by the barbaric terrorist group.
Father Douglas al-Bazi, who runs the Mar Elias Church and displacement center in Ainkawa, is in the U.S. this week to raise awareness about the plight facing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians who are forced to live as refugees after IS [also known as ISIS or ISIL] overtook their homes and villages in the Nineveh plains of Iraq in 2014.
Bazi, who is originally from Baghdad and was kidnapped from his church and tortured for days by Islamic militants in 2006, shared his story with a group of reporters and writers in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday and discussed the Iraqi Christian community's aggravation with the U.S. government. more >>
As many as 200 Christians have been killed in recent weeks in bombardments in the war-torn city of Aleppo, relief groups have said, with women and children accounting for half of the victims.
"Lift up in prayer the Christian community of Aleppo and all innocent civilians in the city following a sustained period of bombardment, which mainly targeted the Christian area," aid group Barnabas Fund told BosNewsLife in a statement.
The Christian area in Aleppo was hit by 1,350 rockets between April 22 and April 30, the group said, which killed some 132 people, half of them women and children. Further bombardments on May 3 resulted in the deaths of 65 others, while hundreds more were injured. more >>
The Syrian refugee crisis represents the largest migration of people since the Second World War.
Although it is certainly one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in our generation, it has resulted in increased activity for refugee relief organizations worldwide. As more countries accept refugees, relief efforts continue to expand and resources continue to wane. The crisis is not going away any time soon.
There's no silver bullet for providing relief for refugees of war and natural disasters. Each case requires its own unique set of efforts. And even with the noblest efforts, they can't perfectly satisfy the needs of everyone affected. However, it is our job as image bearers of God to step in and show His goodness. more >>
A Franciscan priest in Aleppo, Syria, says the country's war is worse now than it has ever been before, and the remaining Christians are trying to help the suffering and share God's love in the midst of an "eerie, cemetery" nightmare.
"Never, since the beginning of this terrible war, were things as bad as they are now. I have no words to describe all the suffering I see on a daily basis," Fr. Ibrahim Alsabagh told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, according to the Catholic Herald.
Aleppo has been torn apart in the ongoing civil war in Syria, besieged by the government forces of President Bashar Al Assad and the various rebel groups seeking to take out his regime. The Islamic State terror group has also been battling in the area, leaving around 50,000 Christians and other civilians surrounded by dangers from all sides. more >>
A Wisconsin school district will no longer have a lease on a public park where students gather for a weekly Bible study event known as the "Jesus Lunch."
Middleton City Council voted Tuesday evening to rescind the lease that Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District had on Fireman's Park, the location of the popular yet controversial events.
City Council's decision came at the request of Superintendent Don Johnson, who sent out a mass email Monday stating that he hoped the end of the lease equaled an end to the controversy. more >>
United States ally and NATO member Turkey is aiding and embedding the Islamic State and other terrorist groups in Syria that kill Christians by providing aerial cover and "safe haven," human rights activist and author Mindy Belz said Wednesday.
Belz, the senior editor of WORLD magazine and author of the new book, They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East, was a featured guest at the Heritage Foundation and spoke about the plight of minorities from Iraq and Syria who have been forced from their homes due to the ongoing Syrian civil conflict and the rise of IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL).
Belz traveled to the region about a year ago and talked with displaced religious minorities about their situations and experiences. more >>