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Top five international stories of the week

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Every Friday, we will bring to you the top five international stories of the week, with a particular emphasis on religious liberty, justice issues, and geopolitical issues that impact liberty and justice.

Donald Trump calls for ban of all Muslims seeking to enter the U.S. This story has spread throughout the world and has drawn sharp criticism from nearly all corners, but distressingly, these comments have been discussed by some as a serious policy proposal. ERLC President Russell Moore sharply criticized these comments in the Washington Post. A poll released Thursday shows that Trump’s own supporters oppose a Muslim ban 2-to-1.

Christians and policy leaders continue to call on the U.S. government to declare that the Islamic State has perpetrated genocide against Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities. The Obama Administration has not yet taken any action toward a genocide declaration, although there were reports that the Obama Administration was planning to exclude Christians from a genocide declaration. The ERLC has urged Secretary Kerry make such a declaration. This week, Kristen Powers provides a comprehensive analysis of the issue in USA Today.

FBI reveals that San Bernardino shooters may have been radicalized “for some time, as early as 2013. The FBI has been scrambling to develop a clear picture of the contacts and networks the shooters had interacted with over the last several years. There were also reports that the Pakistani security apparatus had threatened reporters with arrest if they did not drop investigations into Tashfeen Malik’s background.

Saudi-hosted negotiations between Syrian rebel groups fall apart. There was cautious optimism this week as leaders from “moderate” rebel groups came together to broker a united front. These talks fell into disarray when one of the key rebel groups walked out of the meeting.

Tensions continue to mount between Russia and Turkey. Tension has been high between Russia and Turkey since Turkish fighters downed a Russian plane after a 17-second incursion into Turkish airspace. Russia has asked for a closed-door meeting at the UN Security Council to discuss the situation. Also this week, a Russian sailor apparently brandished a shoulder-mounted missile launcher at a Turkish jet while sailing through Turkish waters.

Have suggestions for a top 5 article this week or think there’s an issue we should be covering? Email me at [email protected]

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