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A New York City pastor and Texas-based Yazidi activist who flew to Iraq the week before Christmas to assess the humanitarian needs of displaced Yazidis persecuted by the Islamic State have called the present situation of more than 300,000 refugees "genocidal" and "insane."
William Devlin and Murad Ismael connected via phone with a radio show in New York City live from Iraq just days before Christmas to describe the living conditions of distraught Yazidis staying at several refugee camps in Dohak in Kurdistan, in northern Iraq. more >>
AirAsia has confirmed that debris from Flight QZ8501 has been discovered in the Karimata Strait, south west of Pangkalan Bun in the Borneo province of Central Kalimantan. At least 40 bodies from the 162 passenger list have already been recovered, leaving grieving family members devastated.
"The warship Bung Tomo has retrieved 40 bodies and the number is growing. They are very busy now," an Indonesia navy spokesman said, according to Fox News.
AirAsia confirmed that the debris and the bodies, found six miles from the flight's last point of contact, are from the missing aircraft. more >>
With help from a Dominican-Pakistani priest, an American couple has bought a new home for three Pakistani children whose Christian parents were burned alive by an angry mob of Muslims in the Punjab Province after being accused of blasphemy in November.
Moved by the orphans' unfortunate situation and the barbaric death of the children's parents, Jill and Scott Kelley of Tampa, Florida, have paid for a new home for the three children of Shama Bibi and Shahzad Masih, The New York Post reports.
After being accused of ripping pages out of the Koran, Bibi and Masih were tortured, had their legs broken and were thrown into a brick kiln by a mob of about 500 to 600 Muslims in the town of Kot Radha Kishan on Nov. 4. more >>
A Christian organization that runs a restorative shelter program in the U.S. for women recovering from domestic human trafficking has pointed out ahead of National Human Trafficking Prevention month in January that anyone can be pulled into sex trafficking — its shelter has girls with master's degrees, and those that come from affluent families. The Samaritan Women organization urges churches to offer hands-on engagement and respond not with judgment, but with compassion toward victims.
The Samaritan Women is one if the organizations that appears in the newly released documentary "In Plain Sight," which seeks to raise awareness for National Human Trafficking Prevention month in January. more >>
AirAsia Flight QZ8501, which went missing on Sunday carrying 162 people on board from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore, is likely at the "bottom of the sea," according to search-and-rescue officials.
"Based on the co-ordinates given to us and evaluation that the estimated crash position is in the sea, the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea," Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia's search and rescue agency, said at a news conference in Jakarta.
Although hundreds of thousands of refugees are displaced from their homes in Iraq and their futures remain uncertain due to the siege of the Islamic State, The Vicar of Baghdad wrote in an online Christmas statement that Christian refugees in Iraq have not been deterred from exhibiting joy in the only thing they have left: the unconditional of Jesus.
Writing from his new temporary home in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, the Rev. Canon Andrew White, the only Anglican pastor in Iraq, said that even though ISIS has left these displaced Christian refugees with no homes, no clothes and, in some cases, no families, their faith remains strong in the "refugee child," Jesus.
"All you have got left is the love of that refugee child. That to us in the Middle East is all that matters this Christmas," White explained. more >>