Nativity Scene in Iraq Humanitarian Aid Camp
(Photo: The Foundation For Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East)

Vicar of Baghdad: The Love of the Refugee Child Jesus Is All That's Left for the Christians in Iraq This Christmas

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.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

China Condemns Cyber Attacks, but Not North Korea

China, North Korea's lone major ally, said Monday it condemns any form of cyber attack, but agreed with the North Korean government that there's no evidence to prove Pyongyang's involvement in the hacking of Sony Pictures, which has led the company to cancel the planned release of the film, "The Interview."

yazidi, iraq

US Pastor Who Supported Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan Heads to Iraq With Yazidi Activist; Says Christians Can Pray, Give Money But Should Put Their Bodies on the Line

A New York City pastor who visited Sudanese Christian mother Meriam Ibrahim during her detention in the Muslim-majority country for blasphemy has partnered with a U.S.-based Yazidi activist to travel to Iraq to assess the humanitarian crisis of the religious minority group that has been targeted by the Islamic State. The men said they also hope to win the release of Yazidi women and girls abducted by the jihadist group and used as sex slaves.

Saeed Abedini, Rebekkah, Jacob

Pastor Saeed Abedini in 'Severe Pain' in Iranian Prison

U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has now been in an Iranian jail for his Christian faith for more than two years and has been subjected to harsh beatings, is in "severe pain," according to a relative who was able to visit him in prison.

ISIS

ISIS Militant Who Killed 70 People Claims to Be Victim, Too

An Islamic State militant, who is now imprisoned by the Kurds in Northern Iraq and claims to have killed over 70 people during his time fighting with the radical extremist group, is claiming to be another victim of Islamic State coercion.

Iraqi Kurd Fighters Take Sinjar Back From ISIS

Syria

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have announced that they've taken the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar back from Islamic State militants in a battle months after tens of thousands of minority Yazidis had to flee their homes while others remained trapped after the town's capture by the terrorists.

Pope Francis Says There's a Place for Pets in Heaven, While Conservative Catholics Preach Animals Have No Souls

Catholic blessing of the animals

Pope Francis sent ripples around the world Wednesday when he suggested that pets and other animals have a place in heaven, which is in stark contradiction to conservative Catholic teaching that animals don't have souls. Seeking to console a young boy who recently lost his dog, Pope Francis assured him during his weekly address that he would be united with his pet in heaven.