Kayla Mueller was a 26-year-old American who worked to help Syrian refugees. She was captured by ISIS, held hostage for 18 months, and then killed. (ISIS claimed she was the victim of an allied airstrike, but military officials deny that this was possible.) At any rate, Kayla was a Christian. Now letters have been released that testify to her faith, even as an ISIS prisoner. [Read more…]
ISIS now has a presence in Libya, and the group has beheaded 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt, a dramatic modern-day example of Christians dying for their faith reminiscent of early church martyrdom.
Also, a Danish discussion of the free speech controversy–including one of the Danish cartoonists whose life was threatened a few years ago for his depictions of the Muslim prophet, but including also voices more sympathetic to the jihadists–was shot up by a terrorist, killing two and wounding five. [Read more…]
Open Doors has released statistics about the persecution of Christians in 2014: how many Christians were killed because of their faith (double what it was last year, and triple what it was the year before that); the number of attacks on churches; and the different ways Christians are being persecuted (including “cultural marginalization”). It also lists the top reasons (#1: militant Islam; #2: dictator paranoia; #3: organized corruption). Also of interest is a ranking of the countries according to their intolerance of Christianity. [Read more…]
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…]
The Nazis painted a yellow Star of David on the homes of Jews to mark them for persecution. Today the Islamic State in Iraq is painting an Arabic “n”–for Nazarene–on the homes of Christians for the same reason. In a show of solidarity, Christians all across the world are adapting that letter, using it as a social media avatar or a logo. Here is a popular version:
But read what Russell Moore says on this subject, after the jump, how all Christians, being in Christ, share His earthly home and are all Nazarenes. [Read more…]
The Sudanese woman who had been sentenced to death for refusing to recant her Christianity was released last week after another detention. She made her way to Italy with her family, where she had an audience with the Pope. She is reportedly headed to the United States. [Read more…]