‘Only jihadists want to see Christians leave the Middle East’

Around 300 Christians went to Bartella during the Easter weekend of 2017, to have the very first Easter celebration in three years in their home town. A convoy of about 15 buses travelled from Erbil, crossing several Kurdish and Iraqi army checkpoints to reach the church. The people still live in Erbil and cannot go back to Bartella to live or to rebuild. But for this day many take the chance to celebrate Easter in their own church again. (Open Doors International)
“The only people that want to see all Christians leave are some of the violent jihadists,” concludes a new book. “Everyone else, including some we might term as Islamists, desires their continued presence. They recognise that it is Christians who are the leaven that permeates the whole of society.” The . . . Read More

Jerusalem Patriarch says settlers are pushing Christians out of Old City

View of the city of Jerusalem where radical settlers are said to try to weaken the Christians' presence. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The most senior Christian leader in the Holy Land has accused hardline Jewish settlers of trying to intimidate clergy in Jerusalem’s Old City and acquire church-owned property in an attempt to weaken the Christians’ presence there. In an interview with the Guardian, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, . . . Read More

First-ever peacebuilding platform for Arab Christian and Muslim leaders

First-ever peacebuilding platform for Arab Christian and Muslim leaders
More than 200 leaders from the Arab region have met to commit to peacebuilding and repairing the divisions created by extremists. The ‘Interreligious Dialogue for Peace: Promoting Peaceful Coexistence and Common Citizenship’ conference, organised by the Vienna-based International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), was the first of its kind for Christian and . . . Read More

Pence’s plans to help Middle East Christians overshadowed by political storm

US Vice President Mike Pence’s postponed trip to the Middle East goes ahead this weekend amid myriad tensions and a fast-shifting diplomatic landscape. Pence’s trip is a shortened version of the one planned for last month, which was abruptly cancelled when protests erupted at President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem . . . Read More

Qatar conference: ‘no peace in Middle East without democracy and rule of law’

Qatar conference: ‘no peace in Middle East without democracy and rule of law’
A two-day conference in Qatar earlier this week focused on the plight of Arab Christians and the threats they face through wars and conflicts in the Middle East, recognising there is “no magic wand” to deal with inter-religious and sectarian strife. Bomb attacks on Coptic churches in Egypt and forced . . . Read More

Erdogan: ‘Only Sunni Muslims should live in Mosul’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has declared that only Sunni Muslims should be allowed to live in the second largest Iraqi city of Mosul once it has been liberated from Islamic State control. Interviewed by Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the Saudi Arabia-based TV station Rotana Khalejia on 2 Oct., . . . Read More