Will new Muslim region in southern Philippines bring peace?

Will new Muslim region in southern Philippines bring peace?
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has called on all communities in the southern Mindanao region to support the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) that is to facilitate the creation of an autonomous Muslim region. During a ceremony on Monday, 6 August, he urged the local population “to actively participate in constructive discussions . . . Read More

‘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

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

Indonesian rights body to release anti-sectarian guidelines ahead of elections

Young people join protests against the former Christian Jakarta governor Ahok who was convicted of blasphemy in May last year. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Indonesia’s Human Rights Commission is to propose guidelines to avoid sectarian clashes in the run-up to next year’s national elections, reports Catholic news site UCAN. Ahead of recent regional elections, some hardline Islamic leaders called on Indonesians to vote only for Muslim candidates. Sectarianism also played a prominent role in . . . 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

‘Middle East without Christians would not be the Middle East’ – Pope Francis

Pope Francis lights a candle inside the cripta of the St. Nicholas Basilica in Bari, southern Italy July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Pope Francis says religious fundamentalists in the Middle East, “under the guise of religion, have profaned God’s name, which is peace, and persecuted age-old neighbours”, Reuters reports. The pope was speaking during a summit of Christian leaders in Bari, Italy, on Saturday, 7 July. He spoke of the “terrible suffering” . . . Read More

Indonesia appoints ‘incisive’ Muslim leader in attempt to combat extremism

The Surabaya Pentecostal Church's front yard and remainders of the gate's canopy after the bomb attack on 13 May in which five people died. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The appointment of one of the Muslim world’s “most incisive and outspoken reformers” to Indonesia’s Presidential Advisory Council signals a shift in how Indonesia is trying to combat extremism, according to religious freedom professor Paul Marshall. In May Indonesia was rocked by a number of suicide bombings orchestrated by Jamaah . . . Read More