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

British PM Theresa May hears about plight of Christians in Middle East

British PM Theresa May hears about plight of Christians in Middle East
The British Prime Minister Theresa May was briefed on the plight of Christians and minorities in the Middle East in a meeting yesterday (13 December) with an Iraqi priest who has been looking after refugees who fled IS violence. Father Daniel Alkory highlighted the plight of Christians and minorities in . . . Read More

Over 800,000 call on UN to protect Christians in Middle East

Noeh (bottom) with his parents, Hathem and Almas, and siblings Sam (17), Jan Hannah (14), and Salina (7). (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A petition signed by more than 800,000 people will be presented at the United Nations in New York today (12 December), calling for the protection of Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria, and recognition of the key role faith leaders can play in rebuilding efforts post-Islamic State. The . . . Read More

Freedom of thought ‘regressing on a global scale’

There are many Pakistani Christian women like Aasiya Noreen who live in fear of the Blasphemy law in their country and the (potential of) abuse. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The 2017 Freedom of Thought Report, presented yesterday (5 December), should be alarming “to all who care about freedom of thought and expression”, as it shows “a pattern of regression on a global scale”, says its editor, Bob Churchill. The report, published by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) . . . Read More

Russia pledges to safeguard future of Christians in Middle East

A mosaic of Jesus pictured as an icon in a church in Homs, was vandalised by Islamic fundamentalists, October 2017. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lavrov, says the peaceful co-existence of different religious groups in the Middle East, and particularly safeguarding the future of Christians, is one of Russia’s policy goals for the region. He was speaking at the third Mediterranean Dialogues summit in Rome on 1 and 2 December, . . . Read More

Young refugees ‘urgently need access to education’

The new Catholic University of Erbil offers displaced young people an opportunity to continue their education.
At the start of the 10th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues, which this year focuses on ‘minority youth’, human rights advocate Ewelina Ochab draws attention to the obstacles displaced young people face in accessing education. Ochab describes meeting Iraqi Christian youth and children in Jordan. Their families . . . Read More