Why Christians in Iraq won’t go back

There are more Biblical sites in Iraq than in any other nation other than Israel:  Eden (maybe), the Tigris & Euphrates rivers, Abraham’s home town of Ur, the city that Jonah evangelized Ninevah, Babylon, the place of the Hebrews’ exile.  And there have been Christians there since the days of the New Testament, with the Apostles Thomas and Thaddeus said to have evangelized the region.  The Assyrians have been Christian since the 1st century, the oldest continual Christian community in the world.

But the persecutions of Christians in Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein–by Sunnis, Shi’ites, and now by ISIL–have been so horrible that Christians are leaving.  And they say they are not coming back.  After the jump, Human Rights Watch researcher Daniel Williams gives a chilling summary of what Iraqi Christians have been going through. [Read more...]

Great Britain will decentralize its government

In response to the near secession of Scotland from the United Kingdom, the British government is promising to decentralize, giving more power to regional and local governments.  (Not just Scotland but Wales and Northern Ireland already have their own parliaments.  England hasn’t, being content to rule all of the others, but now England itself may become more like a state in the larger United Kingdom.)

The desire for weaker central governments seems to be a world-wide phenomenon and is exactly what American conservatives have been calling for.  But the British have always put on the best Tea Parties. [Read more...]

Scotland votes to stay in Great Britain

The United Kingdom remains united, as Scotland voted not to secede.  The final vote was pretty decisive, with 55% of Scots voting “no” and 45% voting “yes.” [Read more...]

Australia thwarts ISIL beheading plot

Islamic State jihadists planned to kidnap two random people off the street in Australia and then behead them, showing the video online as a way to demonstrate their worldwide reach.  But Australian authorities discovered the plot, arresting 15 people in the country’s largest counterterrorism operation.

Do you doubt that ISIL (I’m just going to start calling them that) would like to do something similar in the United States?  I predict that instead of the large-scale mass killings favored by al-Qaeda, the new ISIL-flavored terrorism will aim at smaller-scale attacks that are easier to carry out but that still have a maximum horrific impact.  Think, beheadings. [Read more...]

Are we already in World War III?

Pope Francis says that all of conflicts throughout the world constitute a Third World War.  Indeed, there was a time when two individual nations would fight it out over a dispute.  Now, even regional conflicts quickly become globalized.  So maybe the Pope is right, that World War III is upon us. [Read more...]

Scotland might secede next Thursday

The people of Scotland will vote on Thursday, September 18, on whether or not to secede from Great Britain.  When we blogged about it before in 2012, the chances for a “yes” majority seemed remote, but one poll last weekend showed the secessionists winning.  Though other polls suggest that the United Kingdom will remain united, the English–including political leaders of all parties–are in something of a panic as they realize that Scotland could very well leave.

Usually, nationalists are on the right, but the pro-Independence movement in Scotland seems dominated by the left.  And yet, as a Washington Post analysis suggests, a major consequence would be removing 41 Labour Party members from the English parliament, possibly endangering the UK’s membership in the European Union.  And no one knows what the economic repercussions would be for either country. [Read more...]


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