Boko Haram kills midwife, threatens to kill other hostages, including Leah Sharibu, unless demands met

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Boko Haram has killed an aid worker and threatened to kill three other hostages, including the Christian schoolgirl Leah Sharibu. Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, 25, who worked as midwife with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), had been abducted on 1 March, alongside two other health workers, when . . . Read More

‘UN must recognise persecution of Christians in Middle East as genocide’

At the moment of the photo taken, ISIS had just been pushed out of the home towns of these Christians. People were hoping and anticipating to return to their towns some day.
The European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) is appealing to the United Nations to recognise the persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria as “genocide”, reports the US-based National Review. The ECLJ, an affiliate of the American Center for Law and Justice, said a “genocide” declaration is necessary to . . . Read More

Attacks against Copts ‘among deadliest acts of religious persecution’ – report

This is one of the fifty five photos that is part of the photo story "Renewed day by day," commissioned by World Watch Monitor, exploring the extensive damage to churches in Egypt's Minya region that took place in late August 2013.
Attacks by members of the Islamic State group against Egypt’s Coptic Christian community “were among the deadliest acts of religious persecution” last year, according a new report presented in Washington DC yesterday, 13 September. “Fifty-three per cent of ISIS attacks against the public in 2017 were aimed at the Coptic . . . Read More

Philippines: Mindanao Christians present ‘policy agenda’ for new Muslim region

Christians form a minority in southern Philippines and policy proposals dealt with their concerns once they become citizens of an autonomous Muslim region. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Christian leaders have submitted a “Christian policy agenda” to the transitory body that will facilitate the formation of a new autonomous Muslim region in the southern Philippines, reports the Catholic news website UCAN. The agenda, put together after consultations last month in several areas set to become part of the . . . Read More

Religious freedom violations in Asia increasing – UN rapporteur

Pakistani Christians experience an increase in violence such as a suicide attack on the Bethel Methodist Church in Quetta in December last year that killed more than ten and injured dozens of people. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Religious freedom in Asia is “eroding”, with an increase in religious fundamentalism across much of the continent, according to the UN’s religious freedom rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed. Shaheed spoke during an event, hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Club in Thailand’s capital Bangkok, on the back of the 4th Southeast Asia Freedom of Religion or Belief Conference. “Freedom . . . Read More

‘ISIS won despite defeat as West was unwilling to confront it’

Iraqi Christians ask the international community for help as they are facing annihilation by Islamic State. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The Islamic State group may have been defeated on the battlefield, but the West has allowed its ideology to “percolate” and in that case it won, writes Seth J. Frantzman for the Jerusalem Post. “[ISIS] won in Iraq and Syria by destroying minority communities. It won because today the international . . . Read More

Syria’s Christian villages ‘hollowed out’ by IS

Before the war there were many churches in the area around Hassaka who held regular services, like this one in Tel Jezirah.  (Photo: World Watch Monitor, 2009)
The Islamic State, following its defeat in Syria, has left behind hollowed-out Christian villages, reports the New York Times. Assyrian Christians, an indigenous Middle Eastern minority, once formed thriving farming communities along the Khabur River in Syria’s northeast. But when IS attacked the area in 2015, the militants demolished churches and kidnapped . . . Read More