Bomb scare intimidates another church in Turkey

Trabzon church in a 2007 photo (World Watch Monitor)
Turkish police were called to Trabzon’s Santa Maria Catholic Church on Sunday morning (4 February) to examine a smouldering device spotted in the garden by alarmed church staff. After discovering a partially burned homemade pipe bomb, which had failed to explode, local authorities promptly checked the church’s security camera footage. . . . Read More

Andrew Brunson, still in prison after one year, thanks people for praying for him

Andrew Brunson in a photo provided by his family.
American pastor Andrew Brunson has served one year as a prisoner in Turkey. Charges against him are unclear and recently Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed publicly that Brunson is being held as a political hostage. Brunson is one of an estimated 50,000 “suspected” public servants, academics, journalists and rights . . . Read More

Turkey charges US pastor as ‘spy’; conviction would mean life in prison

Andrew Brunson in a photo provided by his family.
Almost a year after arresting him, Turkey piled on new charges of “spying” and “insurgency” against American pastor Andrew Brunson on 24 August, demanding four consecutive life sentences in prison against the 23-year resident of Turkey. Jailed since his surprise detention without charges last October, Brunson was eventually accused of . . . Read More

IS guilty of genocide, says US Secretary of State

rex tillerson flickr
The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stressed that the actions of the Islamic State (IS) group against Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims constitute genocide, and also criticised America’s ally, Saudi Arabia, for religious freedom violations. Tillerson made his “genocide” comments in the preface to the State Department’s annual . . . Read More

Political stalemate holds US pastor ‘hostage’ in Turkish jail

Political stalemate holds US pastor ‘hostage’ in Turkish jail
Comments this week from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan increased speculation that Turkey has been holding jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson hostage since last October in order to extract political concessions from the United States. Addressing the parliamentary assembly of his ruling Justice and Development Party on 30 May, Erdoğan . . . Read More

Turkey unprepared for Trump’s counter-demand

Turkey unprepared for Trump’s counter-demand
Turkey was unprepared in mid-May when a new bilateral issue emerged with the United States during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s meeting with his US counterpart Donald Trump in Washington DC, Al-Monitor reports. There were already two obvious agenda items between the two presidents: Turkey’s outspoken objection to Washington’s decision . . . Read More

US Commission urges Trump administration to prioritise international religious freedom

US Commission urges Trump administration to prioritise international religious freedom
An influential US government commission that monitors religious freedom around the world is urging President Donald Trump and his new administration to take concrete steps to make advocacy of universal religious rights a priority in American foreign policy. “Our foreign policy should not simply be about US self-interest – you know, . . . Read More