Ethiopians walk past a poster of US President Barack Obama in Addis Ababa on 27 July.

Obama visit puts Ethiopia's record in spotlight

Published: July 28, 2015 by World Watch Monitor

Ethiopians walk past a poster of US President Barack Obama in Addis Ababa on 27 July. U.S. President Barak Obama is visiting Ethiopia on 27 and 28 July, providing an opportunity for America to prod its ally on its human-rights record, which gets low marks from world capitals. With ...

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Catching Our Eye

Recommended reading, Pt. II

The UK-based Guardian has published four brief sketches of Christians living under pressure in Egypt, Pakistan, China and Israel, respectively. Their individual stories should not seem surprising to any regular reader of World Watch Monitor, but taken together they add to the narrative of rising levels of antagonism toward Christians because of their faith. Striking, too, is the fundamental optimism of each of the men -- each of the four subjects is male. "You get used to it," Xu Yonghai is quoted as saying. "It won't stop me pratising Christianity."

Recommended reading

Eliza Griswold has penned a compelling dispatch to the New York Times Magazine that reads, in one sitting, like World Watch Monitor's past year of coverage of Iraq's Christians. The 26 July article provides a concise summary of the complex and often contradictory political currents that complicate attempts to preserve a Christian presence in the Middle East.

Griswold also relates further detail about the story of Christine Abada, the now-4-year-old girl snatched from the arms of her mother, Ayda, nearly a year ago by militants of the so-called Islamic State as they took over the town of Qaraqosh. According to snips of information emerging from underground sources, the author says Christine is being raised by a Muslim family.

Nun says no to exam dress code

A strict dress code for India's national medical-school entrance exam proved too strict for some religious hopefuls, including a nun who elected to skip the test rather than remove her veil and cross.

In an attempt to minimize opportunities for cheating on the test, India's Central Board of Secondary Education had imposed rules forbidding clothing such as full sleeves, watches, dark glasses, scarves, hair bands and even shoes at the 30 test sites nationwide. The Daily Pioneer reported that candidates were shedding jewellery at test sites, and that one woman with cloth-covered buttons was turned away. She returned with an acceptable blouse.

The Supreme Court turned away a petition by an Islamic organization seeking permission for Muslim women to wear hijabs to the exam. And at a test center in Kanjiramkulam, a nun identified as Sister Seba was ordered to remove her veil and cross. She refused after her request to take the exam in a separate room was denied.

“Therefore I am giving up my dream of pursuing the medical profession,” the Pioneer quoted Sister Seba as saying. “Indeed, I am very sad as I had prepared well for the examination and was confident of cracking it.”

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