WASHINGTON — Although Iraqi refugees who fled their homes to escape ISIS are now homeless and living in tents, containers and other makeshift housing arrangements in the Kurdish north, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali said Wednesday that the morale of displaced refugees is much higher than the media is portraying.
Nazir-Ali, who is the former Anglican Bishop of Rochester, an author and current president of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue, explained during a discussion at the Heritage Foundation that the non-discriminatory involvement that the Christian church community has put forth in supporting Iraqi refugees of all faiths has led those displaced by the barbaric Islamic State to be uncharacteristically hopeful.
Along with an ecumenical delegation of bishops, Nazir-Ali recently visited with refugees in northern Iraq as a guest of the Chaldean Catholic Church and was astounded to find that the refugees, who have lost just about everything due to ISIS, were in much higher spirits than he was led to believe before his visit. more >>
A former heroin addict who now dresses as Jesus Christ and goes by the name "Philly Jesus" has started an online fundraiser to accrue $70,000 for his ministry.
On a GoFundMe page created Thursday, the resident of Philadelphia whose real name is Michael Grant has requested money to help finance his ministries.
"iF you BELiEVE that the LORD is in this Ministry that i have launched. ... iF you Believe that you will be helped by it ...and Believe OTHERS will be helped by it ... i want to ask you to OPEN your Heart and ask The HOLY SPiRiT of Christ Jesus (Yeshua) ... if u should sow financially into this Ministry i have launched," reads the page's description. more >>
Pope Francis has said that leaving migrants to die in the Mediterranean sea, such as the fate of thousands in the past few years, is similar to the "scourge" of abortion and euthanasia. The pontiff spoke out at a meeting of the Italian Science and Life Association, where he warned against several "attacks against life."
"The scourge of abortion is an attack on life. Leaving our brothers on the boats in the Sicilian channel is an attack on life. Death at work is an attack on life because it does not respect the minimal security conditions," Francis said, according to an article on LifeNews on Monday.
"The love of Christ urges us to become servants of the small ones and the elderly, of every man and every woman, through which the primordial right to life is recognized and protected." more >>
The United Nations Population Funds has hit back against accusations that it's pushing abortions on Nigerian rape victims who are pregnant, stating that it always abides by the government's laws, and promotes voluntary family planning instead.
"The U.N. is made of governments. It is not an NGO. All UNFPA work is at the request of governments, in line with their national priorities and plans. Its programmes are designed and implemented by and with the government of Nigeria and respect the nation's sovereignty and laws," Azza Karam, senior adviser at UNFPA, told the World Evangelical Alliance in an email conversation shared with The Christian Post.
"If governments allow abortions by their own laws, they agreed internationally at Population Conferences that their health systems are to make them safe and accessible. UNFPA does not promote abortion as a method of family planning in any of the more than 150 countries where it works, including Nigeria. It promotes voluntary family planning, so women can exercise their human right to determine freely the number and spacing of their children. This helps reduce unintended pregnancies and recourse to abortion," Karam argued. more >>
According to a Kurdish activist who works closely with Iraqis displaced by the Islamic State, ISIS militants allegedly forced a 17-year-old Yazidi girl to recite parts of the Quran while she was being raped. And when she refused, she was punished by having boiling water poured on her.
Twenty-three-year-old Delal Sindy, who is from Sweden, has been working as a humanitarian worker in the Kurdish-protected northern Iraq since October 2014. In a Monday Facebook post that has been shared over 13,000 times, Sindy shared the tragic story of one recently escaped Yazidi refugee girl she met named Suzan, who is now 17, and pregnant after being subjected to ISIS' brutal sexual slavery.
According to Sindy's post, Suzan, her 10-year-old sister and mother were originally taken captive by ISIS and transported to a hotel in Mosul called "The Galaxy," which is essentially a sex slave market filled with half-naked women and girls. The last day Suzan and her sister saw their mother was the day they were sold out of the hotel and shipped to Raqqa, Syria. more >>
After the key Iraqi city of Ramadi recently fell to the Islamic State, an influential New York Times best-selling author wrote a blog post describing the heart wrenching experiences that a group of Iraqi mothers went through to escape ISIS, and in doing so, has helped raise over $500,000 in three days that will assist displaced Iraqi children and families.
Ann Voskamp, who published her best-selling book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are in 2011, travelled to Iraq in March and talked with displaced mothers who are now living out of shipping containers since ISIS has taken over their land.
Voskamp, a 41-year-old Christian, learned about the awful experiences and tough choices those mothers had to make in order to flee from their communities to dodge the wrath of ISIS. more >>