‘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

Egypt: Families of beheaded Copts finally reunited with remains of loved ones

Egypt: Families of beheaded Copts finally reunited with remains of loved ones
After a three-year wait and a number of broken promises, the Egyptian Coptic families of 20 men beheaded by IS in Libya in 2015 have finally received their loved ones’ remains. The leader of the Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II, accompanied by several bishops, priests and deacons, welcomed the 20 . . . Read More

Egypt’s disappearing Coptic women and girls

Egypt’s disappearing Coptic women and girls
At least seven Coptic Christian women and girls disappeared in Egypt last month, in what is becoming a recurring phenomenon. In each case, the family of the woman says she was abducted by a Muslim who wished to convert her to Islam and marry her. All of the disappearances have been . . . Read More

‘Giving freedom to women is something remarkable’ – Egypt’s Protestant head

‘Giving freedom to women is something remarkable’ – Egypt’s Protestant head
“Changes related to women are the most critical changes in any culture and any country,” says Rev. Dr Andrea Zaki, head of Egypt’s fast-growing Protestant community. “You can easily give men freedom, but giving freedom to women is something remarkable.” Zaki welcomes what he calls the “major and radical” reforms . . . Read More

Egypt: Protestant leader rejects community reconciliation system

Thousands attend Kasr El Dobara Evanglical Church in Cairo each week. There are thought to be as many as 2m Evangelicals in Egypt
The head of Egypt’s Protestant Church has said he urges clergy not to take part in “reconciliation sessions” that aim to resolve community conflicts without the involvement of the police and legal system. Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki said he “strongly” opposed the scheme because it renders the law “absent”. The reconciliation . . . Read More

Egypt’s elections and the man dividing the country’s Copts

Egypt’s elections and the man dividing the country’s Copts
Walking around Cairo you would be forgiven for thinking that President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was the only candidate running in the elections later this month. His is the only grandiose face bearing down on passers-by, while billboards of his rival, Mousa Mostafa Mousa, are nowhere to be seen. Egypt’s 26-28 March presidential elections have . . . Read More