Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- U.N. Estimates Syria Death Toll Approaching 93,000
- Somalia: Christian Woman Imprisoned and Tortured
- Gender-Based Violence 'Wielded Mercilessly' in Muslim Countries
U.N. Estimates Syria Death Toll Approaching 93,000
The United Nations says nearly 93,000 people have now been killed in the civil war in Syria -- and that's just the confirmed death toll, CBN News reports. "The constant flow of killings continues at shockingly high levels, with more than 5,000 killings documented every month since last July, including a total of just under 27,000 new killings since Dec. 1," said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights. But Pillay says the real number of fatalities is likely much higher, as the official toll only spans from March 2011 through April 2013. "This extremely high rate of killings, month after month, reflects the drastically deteriorating pattern of the conflict over the past year," she said. "Civilians are bearing the brunt of widespread, violent and often indiscriminate attacks."
Somalia: Christian Woman Imprisoned and Tortured
A Christian woman in Somalia was imprisoned recently for participating in underground Christian work, Voice of the Martyrs reports. "Fatima" had helped with underground work for 10 years before being arrested on Monday, May 27. She has reportedly faced questioning and severe torture, and Somali authorities have said she will be kept in prison for three months. Fatima has not been allowed to use her cell phone, and her exact location is unknown.
Gender-Based Violence 'Wielded Mercilessly' in Muslim Countries
The conclusion of a new report by the U.S. Hudson Institute researcher Lela Gilbert is clear and unequivocal: gender-based violence plays a key strategic role in the plans of those who wish to eradicate Christians and Christian belief from Muslim lands, Open Doors USA reports. "Gender-Based Violence as an expression of Christian Persecution in Muslim Lands," written for the World Watch List, describes how a profound lack of equality between men and women in Muslim countries means that all women in these societies are structurally vulnerable to systematic violence and discrimination in their daily lives. A parallel review of statistics on Christian persecution in these lands is made in order to infer a picture of the plight of Christian women in Muslim lands. The resulting image is striking: the combined status of being both Christian and female significantly increases the likelihood of experiencing aggression and repression in society and at home. Gilbert focuses on Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt in her disclosure of the appalling legal and social situation for women living in sharia law-based societies.
Publication date: June 14, 2013