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

Palestinian father who lost daughter: ‘Don’t be pro-Palestinian or pro-Israel, be pro-justice’

George Saadeh is headmaster of a school where children are taught to "have respect for those who think differently than you". (Photo: Open Doors International)
A Palestinian Christian father whose 12-year-old daughter was killed by Israeli soldiers has spoken about the ongoing conflict and his decision to forgive the soldiers who shot her, just over 15 years ago. Violence erupted once again at the weekend along the Israeli border with Gaza, leaving at least 16 . . . Read More

Israel: Christianity’s ‘holiest site’ re-opens after tax dispute

View of the city of Jerusalem where radical settlers are said to try to weaken the Christians' presence. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The doors to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem were re-opened this morning (28 February) after plans to tax church property in Jerusalem were suspended. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced yesterday (27 February) that a team would be formed to “formulate a solution” with the churches’ representatives, . . . Read More

Jerusalem church leaders object to municipal tax levy

Land in Jerusalem is at centre of tensions between municipality and churches. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The Jerusalem municipality has announced that churches in the city need to start paying municipal taxes, but church leaders have objected, saying they already “invest billions”. In a statement released yesterday (14 February), the Patriarchs and Church Heads of Jerusalem said charging them taxes “is contrary to the historic position . . . Read More

Pope Francis addresses plight of Christians in Turkish visit

Pope Francis addresses plight of Christians in Turkish visit
Turkey’s tiny Christian population was grateful for Pope Francis’s Nov. 28-30 visit to their country, during which he called for an end to all forms of violent fundamentalism in the war-torn Middle East. In a Nov. 30 joint statement with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual head of the Eastern Orthodox . . . Read More

Documents indicate Turkey connection to bishops’ kidnappers

Documents indicate Turkey connection to bishops’ kidnappers
When police arrested Magomed Abdurrahmanov in Turkey about a year ago, word spread quickly that the suspected kidnapper of two prominent Syrian bishops had been caught. The Turkish government, however, said the man they had arrested, and his companions, were nothing to worry about. Officials said they were foreigners with . . . Read More

Promised legal reforms disappoint Turkey’s religious minorities

Promised legal reforms disappoint Turkey’s religious minorities
An empty classroom in the Greek Orthodox Halki Seminary near Istanbul, closed by the Turkish government since 1971.World Watch Monitor   The Turkish government’s long-awaited “democratisation package” of reform laws announced this week has met with considerable disappointment among Turkey’s minority religious communities. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed on . . . Read More