What churches can do to help victims of sexual violence in conflict to stay ‘part of us’

Women affected by violence in the Central African Republic, have formed self-help groups in the capital Bangui and run a small shop where they sell their products. (Photo: Open Doors International)
Adrienne* survived a brutal sexual attack during a conflict with ex-Seleka militants in Central African Republic (CAR), only to be ostracised from her own community. Adrienne was alone in her greatest time of need, and the baby born to her nine months later bears the same vulnerabilities, and a label: a . . . Read More

Syria: Christians and Yazidis among 250,000 displaced in Afrin

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels walk past a burning shop in Afrin on 18 March. (Photo: BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Significant numbers of Christians and Yazidis have fled their homes in northern Syria’s Afrin enclave, World Magazine reports, ever since Islamist militants joined with the Turkish military this past January to oust Syrian Kurdish fighters from the region along Turkey’s border. Turkey considers the Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) to . . . Read More

Ad in Vanity Fair tells #MeToo celebrities of women who suffer for their faith

Rebecca Bitrus was abducted by Boko Haram in 2014 and suffered because of her faith. (Photo credit: Claire Giangravé/Crux news agency)
An ad in the Italian edition of Vanity Fair has called for the global #MeToo campaign to include women who suffer violence because of their religion. The Vanity Fair ad includes an open letter to some of the actresses who spoke out as part of the #MeToo initiative, like Asia . . . Read More

Indonesia: How women and children became agents of terror

Women pray in Blue Mosque in Indonesia's capital Jakarta. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Terrorism in Indonesia is now carried out by “entire families, including mothers and children”, one local police chief noted, three weeks on from the suicide blasts on three churches and a police station that claimed 27 lives, including 13 attackers. In raids following the series of bomb attacks, Jakarta security . . . Read More

Philippines parliament approves bill for autonomous Bangsamoro

The Bangsamoro Basic Law is seen as key to ending decades of conflict and stopping the growth of Islamic extremism in the southern region of Mindanao where just last year the city of Marawi was attacked by a militant group. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Philippines parliament yesterday (30 May) approved a bill that will give greater autonomy to the southern region of Mindanao, as reported by Reuters. The approval of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is another step towards the creation a new autonomous territory called Bangsamoro, named after its ‘Moro’, or Muslim, . . . Read More

Indonesia approves new anti-terrorism law after Surabaya church bombings

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)
Indonesia’s government has approved a new anti-terrorism law that gives police more freedom to carry out preventative arrests and detain terrorist suspects for longer, as reported by AsiaNews. The proposed changes, which had been under discussion for two years, were approved by parliament on Friday, 25 May, just ten days after the . . . Read More

Philippines: Catholic priest, Marawi hostage for almost 4 months, tries to find healing

Fr. Teresito “Chito” Suganob in a still taken from an IS propaganda video posted on 30 May last year.
One year after Islamist militants stormed the southern Philippines city of Marawi and 8 months since his escape from his kidnappers, Catholic priest Father Teresito Suganob is trying to find healing for himself and his nation, reported UCAN. Father Suganob was one of around 200 people who were taken hostage . . . Read More