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

Nineveh Plains Christians ‘slowly returning to normal’

Nineveh Plains Christians ‘slowly returning to normal’
Four years since IS seized the town of Karamles in northern Iraq’s Nineveh Plains, the local Christian community are “returning, albeit slowly, to normal”, AsiaNews reports. Hundreds of Christians joined in a procession following a Mass at the weekend, holding candles and chanting psalms, to celebrate their return and the new life . . . Read More

‘When religious freedom is protected, women’s rights are strengthened’ – US ambassador

‘When religious freedom is protected, women’s rights are strengthened’ – US ambassador
There is a strong link between religious freedom and the facilitation of women’s rights, according to the US Ambassador to the Vatican, Callista Gingrich. In an article for Fox News, Gingrich argues that “when religious freedom is protected, women’s rights are strengthened and societies flourish”. “Female victims of religious discrimination . . . Read More

Freed Czech charity worker recalls finding hell and heaven in Sudan’s jails

Freed Czech charity worker recalls finding hell and heaven in Sudan’s jails
The Czech aid worker who spent 14 ½ months behind bars in Sudan has said he counted his experience a “privilege” because it enabled him to share his Christian faith with Sudanese prisoners, and praised the country’s “very courageous” Christian minority. Petr Jašek also told World Watch Monitor that two . . . Read More

Call for UN to establish International Day for victims of religious persecution

Call for UN to establish International Day for victims of religious persecution
The United Nations should establish an International Day Commemorating the Victims and Survivors of Religious Persecution, say parliamentarians in the United Kingdom. The proposed annual day should be on 3 August, “being the day when Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ISIS] unleashed its genocidal campaign against the Yazidis in Sinjar, . . . Read More

Iraqi archbishop tells USAID delegation to hurry up aid delivery

Iraqi archbishop tells USAID delegation to hurry up aid delivery
An Iraqi Catholic archbishop has said he and other bishops are “delighted” that the US aid arm is to make good on a pledge to send aid directly to non-Muslim communities recovering from ISIS’s occupation of their towns and villages, but warned “time is running [out]”. Archbishop Bashar Warda of . . . 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

UN chief ‘personally concerned’ about return of Christians to Iraq and Syria

Tree and Arabic painting on the wall in Bashiqa, a town near Mosul in Iraq where Christians are slowly returning, saying: "Tomorrow will be more beautiful." (will be better) (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The UN’s Secretary General has stressed the importance of Christians returning to the areas from which they fled in Iraq and Syria. “I am fully convinced that after the stability of the situation in Iraq and Syria and the adoption of a certain political decision, it is very important to . . . Read More