International efforts led by Egyptian authorities to secure a ceasefire in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, an Islamic terror group that rules Gaza, initially failed after the militant group refused to stop launching the barrage of rockets into southern Israeli territory. By early July 17, however, reports of a tentative agreement being worked out between the warring parties surfaced, suggesting that tensions might eventually begin easing, perhaps as soon as this week. Still, even after a “temporary” agreement was reached, Israeli authorities said efforts by Hamas militants to attack were continuing.
In its ongoing assault against faith, China's regime has sentenced a Christian pastor to twelve years in prison for supposedly disturbing "public order."
Since militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group (ISIS) seized control of the northern city of Mosul earlier this month, life for Christians in the city has predictably worsened. Salama Al-Khafaji, a member of the UN High Commission for Human Rights in Iraq and a former member of the U.S.-backed Iraqi Governing Council, told the Arabic-language Alsumaria News that the ISIS occupation regime “is imposing on Christians a minimum payment of $250, with [the] amount varying depending on the type of work/profession performed by Christian citizens.”
The communist regime ruling over mainland China is stepping up its war against Christians, their churches, and, especially, the cross. In recent weeks, dozens of houses of worship in the province of Zhejiang have received official notices that crosses must come down. Despite resistance by local persecuted Christians, other churches have been entirely demolished as the regime furiously cracks down on what it calls “illegal” religious activities. Hundreds of church buildings have been torn down this year across China as leaders are arrested. And human rights organizations fear the worst is yet to come.
President Obama privately told congressional leaders he didn't need permission from them to send approximately 300 additional soldier/advisors to help the Iraqi government battle ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) rebels before announcing the decision in a June 19 press conference.