ISIS takes more Christian hostages; seals its doomed fate

ISIS, having seriously misread the effect of their last bloody theatrical, have taken nearly 100 Christian hostages from several Syrian villages.Islamic State militants have abducted at least 90 people from Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria, a monitoring group that tracks violence in Syria said on Tuesday.The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants carried out dawn raids on rural villages inhabited by the ancient Christian minority west of … [Read more...]

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James Foley, Martyrdom and the Subversive Freedom of Prayer UPDATED

A great deal has been written about the late James Foley, his beheading at the hands of a barbarous Islamic State: the moving response from this band of Syrians, the Jesuit education which, along with the example of his family kept him grounded in his faith; his own words on the power of prayer, written in previous captivity.The story is tragic and infuriating -- every bit as nation-stirring as the similar murder of Daniel Pearl, all those years ago, when bloody "war on terror" was still in … [Read more...]

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Freedom of Religion Under Assault

I have to stop blogging and start writing two columns and an introduction to a book, but I wanted to just encourage you to be aware of two important stories, and perhaps take the time to make a phone call or send an email:Julie at Happy Catholic writes: ...Margaret at ten thousand places rightly points out that this is a much bigger issue. Which is, of course, what Keith Rothfus points out in his letter.And, I forgot that today is the deadline.Today is the last day to voice your concerns … [Read more...]

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Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, Martyr? UPDATED

Contrary to some of the hyped-up rhetoric I see in my email, and in the comboxes of those covering the lastest dustup between a prominent priest (who frankly seems to need a rest) and his bishop (who has asked him to take some time for recollection and prayer), ecclesial oversight and accountability to the bishop to which you've vowed obedience is not martrydom.But if we needed an example that genuine martrydom is still happening, we might pay attention to this story which is getting much less … [Read more...]

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