Assessment of religious conversions as genuine or asylum-motivated dismissed as naïve

Revd Mark Miller of St Thomas' Church, Stockton, in north-east England, The Priest-in-Charge of St Thomas’s, Stockton-on-Tees, the Revd Mark Miller, has had up to 100 Persian asylum-seekers in his congregation
Attempts by Western politicians and media to judge whether Iranian migrants and asylum-seekers who ask to be baptised are either genuine or are doing so to boost their chances of being granted asylum are “naïve”, according to an academic who has carried out extensive research among Iranians who profess to . . . Read More

World Council of Churches condemns persecution of other religions

World Council of Churches condemns persecution of other religions
The general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, has condemned efforts to incite violence against people who practise other faiths as “abhorrent and ungodly”. “Freedom of religion is as much about Christian minorities in Muslim countries as it is about followers of Islam . . . Read More

Europe shows ‘almost sinister’ indifference to persecuted Christianity – bishop

Europe shows ‘almost sinister’ indifference to persecuted Christianity – bishop
A new, aggressive form of atheism has led to a devaluing of religious freedom, a Catholic bishop in Austria has claimed. The Bishop of Linz, Manfred Scheuer, said that this new atheism associates religion with oppression and a lack of liberty, which has led to a selective interpretation of human . . . Read More

Iranian Christians safe if ‘practise faith discreetly’ – European Court of Human Rights

Activists in the Swiss capital of Bern raise awareness of religious persecution of Christians around the world (2014). (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The European Court of Human Rights ruled last month that an Iranian who sought asylum in Switzerland based on religious grounds could be deported to his home country because his life was not in danger, despite various reports detailing how Iran persecutes religious minorities and converts to Christianity. Human Rights . . . Read More

Sweden opens church for 5,000 Christians who fled Middle East

Evening mass at Mar Elia Chaldean Catholic Church in the Iraqi city of Erbil, attended by many refugees from Mosul and Nineveh Plains who fled IS. (Photo: World Watch Monitor, 2014)
A new church opened last week in the Swedish town of Södertalje, 30km south of Stockholm, for the estimated 5,000-6,000 Chaldean Catholics who have resettled there after fleeing their homes in the Middle East. Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne, Germany, who participated in the inaugural service, explained to German . . . Read More

Muslim asylum seekers find shelter in Germany’s churches

A church in Germany. (Photo: Paul Frankenstein via Flickr; CC 2.0).
Refugees at risk of deportation from Germany are finding shelter in Germany’s churches, and many are becoming Christians in the process, reports The Washington Post. More than a million refugees travelled to Germany in 2015, in the midst of Europe’s so-called “migrant crisis”, because it was known for its open . . . Read More

Sweden to Iranian convert it plans to deport: ‘It’s not our problem you chose to become a Christian’

Iranian convert, Aideen Strandsson, is still waiting for an appeal hearing after her asylum request in Sweden was rejected. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
An Iranian convert to Christianity has been refused asylum in Sweden, placing her at risk of deportation and “torture and rape” in jail in her home country. Aideen Strandsson, 37, who was baptised in Sweden in 2014, said officials at the country’s Migration Board did not believe her life would . . . Read More

Half of Syria and Iraq’s Christians have left since 2011, says report

Half of Syria and Iraq’s Christians have left since 2011, says report
Three years to the day since the Islamic State group took control of the Iraqi city of Mosul, a new report estimates that – of their Christian populations – 50% have left Iraq since 2006, while 80% have emigrated from Syria since the start of its civil war in 2011. The arrival of IS was only . . . Read More