‘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

Coptic bishop found dead, his head ‘smashed’

Coptic bishop found dead, his head ‘smashed’
A Coptic bishop has been found dead inside a desert monastery in Egypt’s Beheira governorate, with the circumstances of his death still unknown*, reports AP. Bishop Epiphanius, 64, was the head of St. Macarius Monastery, which is situated near the town of Wadi El Naturn, 100km northwest of Cairo, and . . . Read More

Egypt: Copt in court for ‘blasphemous’ Facebook post that led to riot

An attack on the Saint Tadros Church in Menbal village on Monday night was prevented by security guards. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A Coptic Christian whose allegedly blasphemous Facebook post caused riots in his Egyptian village earlier this month is scheduled to appear in court today (24 July) on charges of contempt of religion.* Abdo Adel, 43, from Menbal village in Minya governorate, has been in detention since his arrest on 6 July . . . Read More

Egypt: Copts celebrate first Mass in new church, seven years since closure of previous building

Copts in Kom El-Loufy celebrate the first mass in their new church. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Seven years after their previous church was closed by local authorities because of “security reasons”, the Coptic community in the Egyptian village of Kom El-Loufy, 250km south of Cairo, held a first Mass in their new church yesterday, 22 July. The 1,600 Copts from the village in Minya governorate were marking the completion of the first stage . . . Read More

Egypt: Mob attack encouraged by police promise ‘No church will be allowed here’

Egypt: Mob attack encouraged by police promise ‘No church will be allowed here’
A mob attacked a church in Minya, Egypt, on 13 July protesting against its legalisation and received a police officer’s approval, World Watch Monitor has learnt from local sources. The only church in Ezbet Sultan Pasha village, where about 20 percent of the population is Christian, was built in September . . . Read More