Jerusalem Patriarch says settlers are pushing Christians out of Old City

View of the city of Jerusalem where radical settlers are said to try to weaken the Christians' presence. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The most senior Christian leader in the Holy Land has accused hardline Jewish settlers of trying to intimidate clergy in Jerusalem’s Old City and acquire church-owned property in an attempt to weaken the Christians’ presence there. In an interview with the Guardian, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, . . . Read More

Palestinian father who lost daughter: ‘Don’t be pro-Palestinian or pro-Israel, be pro-justice’

George Saadeh is headmaster of a school where children are taught to "have respect for those who think differently than you". (Photo: Open Doors International)
A Palestinian Christian father whose 12-year-old daughter was killed by Israeli soldiers has spoken about the ongoing conflict and his decision to forgive the soldiers who shot her, just over 15 years ago. Violence erupted once again at the weekend along the Israeli border with Gaza, leaving at least 16 . . . Read More

Persecuted Christians celebrate Easter with mixed emotions

Flag of Syria is waving as sign of victory over the destroyed heavily damaged city of Aleppo. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Easter this year was a time of mixed emotions for the Christians who live under pressure for their faith. While political and religious leaders called for peace, reconciliation and brotherhood, Christians in countries like Syria and the Philippines continued to face violence and its consequences. Below, World Watch Monitor gives . . . Read More

Israel: Christianity’s ‘holiest site’ re-opens after tax dispute

View of the city of Jerusalem where radical settlers are said to try to weaken the Christians' presence. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The doors to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem were re-opened this morning (28 February) after plans to tax church property in Jerusalem were suspended. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced yesterday (27 February) that a team would be formed to “formulate a solution” with the churches’ representatives, . . . Read More

Jerusalem church leaders object to municipal tax levy

Land in Jerusalem is at centre of tensions between municipality and churches. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The Jerusalem municipality has announced that churches in the city need to start paying municipal taxes, but church leaders have objected, saying they already “invest billions”. In a statement released yesterday (14 February), the Patriarchs and Church Heads of Jerusalem said charging them taxes “is contrary to the historic position . . . Read More

Do Christians really ‘thrive’ in Israel?

Jews praying at the Western Wall, Jerusalem. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Protests in the southern Israeli town of Dimona have flared up again, two weeks after a meeting centre for Messianic Jews re-opened its doors. The centre was closed in May last year following violent protests by ultra-Orthodox Jews and attacks on the homes of church leaders. Earlier this week a . . . Read More

A Middle Eastern Christian’s view of Pence’s agenda

A Middle Eastern Christian’s view of Pence’s agenda
A Jordanian Christian trauma counsellor has urged US Vice President Mike Pence to recognise Palestinian statehood to make good his pledge to help Christians in the Middle East. Issam Smeir, who has worked with refugees in the Middle East and in the US, wrote a first-person piece for the Washington . . . Read More

Pence’s plans to help Middle East Christians overshadowed by political storm

NASA HQ PHOTO
US Vice President Mike Pence’s postponed trip to the Middle East goes ahead this weekend amid myriad tensions and a fast-shifting diplomatic landscape. Pence’s trip is a shortened version of the one planned for last month, which was abruptly cancelled when protests erupted at President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem . . . Read More