Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
The New York Times: The arrest on Saturday of a Queens college student on charges of conspiring with the Islamic State is just the most recent example of the group’s global strategy, which began about one year ago and has resulted in attacks or arrests in more than a dozen countries.
Aleteia: With the fall of Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria, there have been questions about whether the Obama Administration’s approach to fighting the Islamic State group is working. Are airstrikes against militants enough, or will we eventually see American “boots on the ground?”
The New York Times: Islamic State fighters used a sandstorm to help seize a critical military advantage in the early hours of the terrorist group’s attack on the provincial Iraqi capital of Ramadi last week, helping to set in motion an assault that forced Iraqi security forces to flee, current and former American officials said Monday.
The New York Times: The Islamic State has revenue and assets that are more than enough to cover its current expenses despite expectations that airstrikes and falling oil prices would hurt the group’s finances, according to analysts at RAND Corporation, a nonprofit that researches public policy.
Catholic Culture (Catholic World News): Christians in Iraq are “on the edge of a terrible catastrophe,” an Iraqi nun said in May 13 testimony before the foreign-affairs committee of the US House of Representatives.
The Blaze: On May 13 the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hear testimony about how Islamic State is purging religious minorities.
Aleteia: In this exclusive interview, Aleteia asks Rabir Sinjari about the rescue of young girls held captive by ISIS in Iraq.
Aleteia: The Iraqi Interior Ministry has announced the creation of a joint task force to start military operations aimed at freeing Mosul and Nineveh province, currently in the hands of the Islamic State group, according to Fides news agency.
Christianity Today: ISIS has become one of the world’s best-funded terrorist groups, earning most of its profits by selling seized oil. But details keep emerging of the estimated No. 2 source of its billion-dollar revenue stream: looting biblical-era artifacts.
CBN: Its terror has spread from Syria and Iraq to Libya and other parts of Africa. The radical ideology that drives ISIS to kidnap, murder and behead people in Iraq and Syria is gaining influence around the world, including America.
CNN: It has all the key points you’d expect on a birth certificate — baby’s weight, length and date of birth confirmed with an official insignia. The difference here is the governing authority’s stamp: The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Aleteia: With the spread of the so-called Islamic State group throughout Syria and Iraq over the past year, things have seemed bleak for the future of Christianity in the region.
The Week: Media coverage of Christian persecution in the Middle East was once all but non-existent. (A representative headline on this website last year declared, “The world’s most ancient Christian communities are being destroyed — and no one cares.”) And while awareness of this troubling topic hasn’t quite reached Biblical proportions yet, it’s certainly increasing. CBS’s 60 Minutes devoted severalsegments to the matter, National Geographic gave it a large spread in their magazine, and most recently, Newsweek devoted their cover story to “the new exodus” of Christians from the Middle East.
The Washington Post: More than 100,000 Iraqi Christians, already a tiny minority, are fleeing the Islamic State. They are torn between staying in a war zone or abandoning their 2,000-year-old cultural roots.
CBS News: The leader of one of Christianity’s oldest communities reluctantly says that waging war against ISIS – killing their fighters – is the only way to stop the radical Islamists from destroying Christianity in Iraq. Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil speaks to Lara Logan for her report on the plight of thousands of Christians forced to flee ancestral homes from ISIS. Her story will be broadcast on 60 Minutes Sunday, March 22 AT 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Al Arabiya: A United Nations investigation has concluded that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) may have committed genocide against the Yazidi minority in Iraq, urging the International Criminal Court to prosecute the militant group.
Christian Today: The Islamic State (IS) shared photos of the destruction of Christian relics on Twitter on Monday, increasing calls for the terrorist group to be stopped.
Foreign Policy: Last August, President Barack Obama signed off on legislation creating a special envoy charged with aiding the ancient Christian communities and other beleaguered religious minorities being targeted by the Islamic State.
BBC News: Islamic State (IS) militants have begun bulldozing the ruins of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, Iraqi government officials say.
Assyrian International News Agency: On Monday, February 23 ISIS attacked 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur river in the Hassaka province in northeast Syria (AINA 2015-02-23). At least 9 Assyrians fighters were killed defending their villages. Up to 373 Assyrians were captured. 3000 Assyrians fled from their villages and are now in shelters in Hasaka and Qamishli.
Reuters: Thousands of Iraqi soldiers and Shi’ite militiamen sought to seal off Islamic State fighters in Tikrit and nearby towns on Tuesday, the second day of Iraq’s biggest offensive yet against a stronghold of the Sunni militants.
ISIS’ apocalyptic endgame: They want to defeat Christian crusaders — Americans — in a massive battle in a town in northern Syria
NY Daily News: This week, Americans were bombarded with unnerving images of ISIS at home and abroad. In Brooklyn, three men were arrested for allegedly plotting to help the radical Islamist terrorists. In England, newspapers at long last identified”Jihadi John,” the masked figure seen on numerous decapitation videos, and published photos of him.
Persecuted Church: The continuing presence of courageous men and women religious in Iraq is an important sign of hope amid the suffering of the Christian population there, according to a report by two Dominican leaders who recently visited the country, reports Vatican Radio.
Time Magazine: More formidable than its al-Qaeda precursors in the view of many experts, the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is more than a network of terrorist cells or even a militia: it’s almost a nation.
Reuters: Kurdish militia pressed an offensive against Islamic State in northeast Syria on Wednesday, cutting one of its supply lines from Iraq, as fears mounted for dozens of Christians abducted by the hardline group.
Patheos: I do not wish a single person’s death but IS must be destroyed and sadly there are men and women who have freely chosen to link themselves to this evil organization. They have committed crimes in their person for which payment must be made. In the light of eternity they need grace, but in the temporal realm they must receive justice. The church and churchmen can forgive and what we forgive on earth is forgiven in Heaven.
Bas News: A member of Mosul Provincial council says that Islamic State militants have pulled out of the strategic town of Tel Afar, east of Mosul in northern Iraq – but locals say the IS action is suspicious.
Al Shorfa: The independent commission recorded 3,981,597 violations and crimes against Iraqis at the hands of ISIL from the time the group took over Mosul in June 2014 until early this year, according to commission member Fadhel al-Gharrawi.
Christian Concern: An Iraqi archbishop has warned a gathering of UK peers and MPs that Christians in the region face being wiped off the map without direct military action on the ground.
Aleteia: Fighters of the Islamic State group launched a major assault Tuesday night southwest of Irbil in the Kurdish region of Iraq, CNN reported, quoting Kurdish officials.
Reuters: Saint Michael, the archangel of battle, is tattooed across the back of a U.S. army veteran who recently returned to Iraq and joined a Christian militia fighting Islamic State in what he sees as a biblical war between good and evil.
Ecumenical News: Bishops of the Chaldean Church have agreed to unite and face the rising threat of persecution of Middle East Christians, vowing that the church hierarchy will continue to care for families tormented by violent extremists.
Christian News Network: Supporters of the terrorist group ISIS are flocking to Iraq and Syria at record rates with an estimated 20,000 foreign fighters joining the barbarian organization worldwide, reports state.
Fox News: President Obama is expected to formally ask Congress to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State terror group in the coming days, even as lawmakers said crafting and passing such a measure would be a challenge.
The New York Times (Reuters): Islamic State militants are selling abducted Iraqi children at markets as sex slaves, and killing other youth, including by crucifixion or burying them alive, a United Nations watchdog said on Wednesday.
The Tablet: Reports are emerging that Islamic State (IS) fighters have opened a market for selling household goods and materials confiscated from Christian homes and churches.
New Statesman: The stark cliffs of the Zagros Mountains on the Iran-Iraq border, and the dusty hills and plains that lie between those mountains and the city of Mosul, might seem an unlikely location for paradise. Yet Christians living here in past centuries believed that a local river called the Great Zab had once flowed from Adam and Eve’s garden. Patriarchs of the Christian Assyrian Church of the East living on its banks once signed off their letters with the salutation, “From my cell by the river of Eden”.
AL Monitor: Mosul, a Sunni-majority city, has been completely isolated from its surroundings for more than a month now; IS cut the Internet and mobile phone networks and the city’s residents became prisoners of the extremist organization that unreasonably imposes its brutal laws.
Juicy Ecumenism: My previous trips to Kurdistan, Iraq had always been prompted by a distinct reason, usually to enhance
MercatorNet: The Middle East is losing its ancient Christian heritage. When Iraq was invaded in 2003, 1.5 million Christians were living there. Now the figure is 400,000 and falling. The savagery of the Islamic State has accelerated the Christian exodus.
New York Mag: Shannon Maureen Conley, a 19-year-old nurse’s aide from Colorado who wanted to join the terrorist group ISIS, appeared in a hijab and civilian clothes for her sentencing hearing Friday. Judge Raymond Moore handed down a four-year sentence but announced from the bench that she needs psychiatric help.
Reuters: An Iraqi governor, parliamentarian and two tribal chiefs on Monday accused Shi’ite militias of executing more than 70 unarmed civilians who had fled fighting with Islamic State militants.
USA Today: Boko Haram, with its chilling brutality, radical Islamic ideology and unstoppable seizure of Nigerian territory is quickly emerging as the Islamic State of Africa.
Reuters: “Under Islamic State’s tender document, a trench two meters in depth and two meters in width needs to be dug around Mosul,” said a source in the city close to the tendering process.
The Christian Post: The Islamic State terrorist organization in Iraq has executed 13 teenage boys solely because they were found watching a soccer match, an act that has apparently been deemed punishable by death under ISIS’ sharia law.
Christianity Today: Fleeing violence, nearly 1.3 million Syrians and Iraqis are now living in Jordan. How local and global leaders are meeting their needs.
Acton: Jeff Gardner was frustrated. As a photo-journalist working primarily in the Middle East, he is witness to the violence towards Christians on a daily basis, but the rest of the world seems unconcerned. Gardener realized it wasn’t that people didn’t care, but that they just didn’t know. It truly was an “out of sight, out of mind” situation. Gardener set out to fix this.
ISIS executes 150 women and girls, some pregnant, for refusing to become sex slaves and marry jihadists
The Christian Post: Terror group ISIS has reportedly killed over 150 women and girls, some of them believed to be pregnant, for refusing to become sex slaves and marry jihadists.
Fox News: Four Christian children were beheaded by ISIS militants in Iraq for refusing to denounce Jesus and convert to Islam, according to the leader of the Anglican church in Baghdad.
The Christian Post: The Assyrian Democratic Movement has announced the formation of the Nineveh Plain Protection Units, a militia largely comprised of Christian volunteers created to defend civilians from ISIS. The NPU also hopes to recapture land that was taken over by the terrorist organization.
Aleteia: Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, while appearing at the Chamber of Deputies, expressed his intention to establish a “liberation process for Nineveh” to expel ISIS groups from its stronghold in Mosul and other regions that it currently occupies.
Aleteia: For years, Christians in Iraq have had the words of that old Clash song in the back of their minds. And this year, as the Islamic State moved into the historic Assyrian Christian lands in northern Iraq, the lyrics have gone from the back to the front of the minds of many.
Aleteia: The relics of St. Thomas the Apostle were spirited away before ISIS jihadists could grab them, but ancient Christian churches and paintings in northern Iraq were ransacked, according to two speakers.
The Christian Post: A United Nations terrorism expert said on Monday that the Islamic State terrorist group has made between $35 million and $45 million off of ransom payments in the past year alone, the Associated Press reports.
Christian News Network: The Islamic terrorist group ISIS, also identifying themselves as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has beheaded an American aid worker, according to a new video released by the barbaric Muslim faction and confirmed to be authentic by the Obama administration.
Yahoo News (AP): After Islamic State seized Falluja in January it persuaded a man making covers for cars to sell suicide vests instead, one of many changes in the Iraqi city as it adapts to life under the ultra-hardline Sunni militants.
Christian exodus in Iraq and Syria reached ‘Biblical proportions,’ Open Door says on Day of Prayer for persecuted church
The Christian Post: Persecution watchdog group Open Doors warned that the exodus of Christians in Iraq and Syria fleeing terror group ISIS reached “biblical proportions” this year, and called for Christian unity during the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church on Sunday.
The Christian Post: A U.N. report has warned that as many as 15,000 jihadists from close to 80 different countries are flooding into Iraq and Syria to fight for ISIS and other terror groups in the mission to establish an Islamic caliphate over the region.
Religious Freedom Coalition: The Islamic State has just beheaded a woman who resisted being raped by an ISIS fighter. She killed the rapist and then was slaughtered for defending herself.
The Christian Post: A 25-year-old British mother is believed to have traveled to Syria, along with her 1-year-old baby son, to join Islamic State extremists in their Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, according to her family.
Religion News Service: The Assyrian Christian town of around 6,000 people sits on a hill below the seventh-century Rabban Hormizd Monastery, temporarily closed because of the security situation. Residents of Alqosh fled this summer ahead of Islamic State militants. Around 70 percent of the town’s residents have since returned. Still, a sense of unease hangs in the air.
Fox News: A Yazidi-Iraqi woman abducted by the Islamic State was able to make contact with a BBC correspondent and said that the conditions under which she was being held were deplorable.
CBN: Kurdish forces fighting to protect the critical Syrian city of Kobani from the Islamic State received additional weapons and ammunition over the weekend.
Christianity Today: Fawzi Khalil recalls what he saw on a recent visit to Dohuk, Iraq. Refugees slept on streets and under bridges, fleeing the wrath of ISIS.
Canon and Culture: What did you do on Saturday, July 19th? Catch a movie? Visit the beach? Host a barbecue? Whatever you did, half a world away beneath that same summer sun thousands of Iraqi Christians were being purged from the city of Mosul and told never to return on pain of death.
The Christian Post: Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the life of British aid worker Alan Henning in a multi-faith ceremony in Manchester on Sunday. Henning, who was beheaded by terror group ISIS earlier in October, was remembered as a “hero” who “put the needs of others before his own.”
Report: Islamic State sells Yazidi girls for $1,000, Yazidi boys forced to train to become ISIS militants
The Christian Post: A new report released Sunday provides more details on how Islamic State militants are inhumanly treating their captives of religious minority groups, more specifically the Yazidis. The report finds that militants are forcing preteens, teenagers and grown women into forced marriages and sex slavery, while forcing detained Yazidi men to convert to Islam and young Yazidi boys to train to become ISIS fighters.
CBN: Iraqi officials have sent out an urgent request for U.S. ground troops to help the Iraqi army, as well-armed ISIS terrorists moved to the Baghdad suburb of Abu Ghraib.
CBN: Islamic State terrorists continue to advance and take new ground despite U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
National Post: With ISIS an hour away, one of the only remaining Christian communities makes its ‘last stand in Iraq’
Orthodox Christian Network: With extremists flying the black flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham less than an hour down the road, the future of one of the last Christian communities in the Middle East is at grave risk of assimilation or annihilation.
The New York Times: Tracking the cultural treasures of Syria and northern Iraq has become a heartbreaking task for archaeologists and antiquity scholars.
Al Arabiya News (AP): Militants with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group publicly killed a rights lawyer in the Iraqi city of Mosul after their self-styled Islamic court ruled that she had abandoned Islam, the U.N. mission in Iraq said Thursday.
The Christian Post: Around the globe, there are signposts of progress. The shadow of World War that existed at the founding of this institution has been lifted, and the prospect of war between major powers reduced. The ranks of member states has more than tripled, and more people live under governments they elected. Hundreds of millions of human beings have been freed from the prison of poverty, with the proportion of those living in extreme poverty cut in half. And the world economy continues to strengthen after the worst financial crisis of our lives.