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

Cuba’s new leader ‘not a reformer’

Cuba’s new leader ‘not a reformer’
Raúl Castro, who replaced his brother Fidel as Cuba’s president in 2006, stepped down from the post this week, ending a decades-long rule by his family. His successor, Miguel Díaz-Canel – who up until now was the country’s first vice-president – takes on an historic leadership role by becoming the . . . Read More

China: ‘For Christians, the “grey” area is shrinking’

China's Christians wonder what is next. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
China’s Christians may not be surprised by recent tighter government control of religious affairs, including a ban on online Bible sales. But they are unsure what comes next. Following this month’s announcement that Bibles could no longer be made available online, large websites like Taobao, Jingdong, Weidian, Dangdang and Amazon . . . Read More

Thousands of churches closed in Rwanda, as Cameroon considers following suit

Pentecostal churches, like this one in Ethopia's capital Addis Baba, are mushrooming in sub-Sahara Africa. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Rwanda has closed thousands churches in the country since February for alleged “noise pollution” and failing to comply with building regulations. Now Cameroon – another majority-Christian country – is considering following suit. The call to shut down some of Cameroon’s Pentecostal churches follows reports of gross misconduct by a number . . . Read More

Indian Christians charged with ‘hurting religious sentiments’ by handing out Easter tracts

Indian Christians charged with ‘hurting religious sentiments’ by handing out Easter tracts
Four Christians, including the wife of a church leader, have been charged with “hurting religious sentiments” after they handed out Christian tracts during an Easter procession in India’s southern Telangana state. Rayapuri Jyothi, 38, Meena Kumari, 52, Mahima Kumari, 35 and Bagadam Sudhakar, 45, were taken into custody by police . . . Read More

Iraq’s young people must lead its rebuilding, says archbishop

Army truck with Iraqi flag on its way in the direction of Mosul. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The rebuilding of Iraq should be guided by its young people, says an archbishop who took in 700 students from Mosul University after the occupation of the city by Islamic State in June 2014. Bishop Yousif Thoma Mirkis of Kirkuk, 170km southeast of Mosul, recently visited the university and reunited . . . Read More

Kazakh ‘sting operation’ to catch out Christian backfires

Kazakh ‘sting operation’ to catch out Christian backfires
A Kazakhstan court has acquitted a Christian women accused of “missionary activity” after she was caught in an “apparent sting operation”, reports regional news agency Forum 18. Police officers arrested Dilobarkhon Sultanova in January after she helped Elmira Inibekova download a Bible app to her mobile phone. The two women . . . 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