Egypt’s disappearing Coptic women and girls

Egypt’s disappearing Coptic women and girls
At least seven Coptic Christian women and girls disappeared in Egypt last month, in what is becoming a recurring phenomenon. In each case, the family of the woman says she was abducted by a Muslim who wished to convert her to Islam and marry her. All of the disappearances have been . . . Read More

Five years on, hope remains for missing Syrian bishops

Syrian Bishop Boulos Yaziji, head of the Greek Orthodox church in Aleppo, together with his counterpart from the Syriac Orthodox Church in Aleppo, has been missing since 22 April 2013. (Photo: LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Five years since the disappearance of two Syrian bishops, the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of Beirut says “all available evidence and indications encourage continued optimism” that they may yet be alive and one day released. However, its statement added that “all the efforts that have been made to obtain even a . . . Read More

Nigerian Christian schoolgirl ‘escaped’, only to be sent back to Boko Haram

Leah Sharibu, 14, was abducted by Boko Haram on 19 February. (Photo from family)
The only Christian among the 110 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted last month by Boko Haram ran away from her kidnappers but was caught and brought back three days later, according to fellow captives, reports the UK’s Guardian newspaper. Leah Sharibu, 14, and two other girls walked for three days and, hungry and exhausted, . . . Read More

Pakistan Senate seeks same sentences for blasphemy offenders and those who falsely accuse

In November there were widespread anti-blasphemy protests in Islamabad and other cities in reaction to proposed changes to an election law. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pakistan’s Senate Special Committee on Human Rights has recommended that those who falsely accuse someone of blasphemy should receive the same punishment as those convicted of blasphemy. The Committee also said registration of a blasphemy case should include a minimum of two witnesses who support the charges. Right-wing political parties . . . Read More

Fears of ‘another Chibok’ after Boko Haram school attack

Some of the 21 girls who were released in October 2016. (Photo:  Open Doors International)
Fears are growing that the girls still missing after Boko Haram attacked a boarding school in Nigeria’s north-eastern state of Yobe on Monday night (19 February) have been taken by the militant group. The attack comes almost four years after Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from a boarding school in Chibok, . . . Read More

Malaysia’s reputation as moderate Muslim nation hangs by a thread

Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia is seen by most Western countries as one of the moderate Muslim nations, an ally to be cultivated and befriended in the battle against militant Islam. The country’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, was among one of the leaders to visit US President Donald Trump in his first year of . . . Read More

Father Tom releases book about 18 months’ captivity in Yemen

Father Tom releases book about 18 months’ captivity in Yemen
The Indian priest who spent 18 months in captivity in Yemen has released an autobiography. Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, who was freed in September 2017, has titled the book ‘By the Grace of God’. The priest, who is 58, presented his book during a meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of . . . Read More

Malaysian pastor Raymond Koh’s kidnap inquiry halted

Malaysian pastor Raymond Koh’s kidnap inquiry halted
The fragile hopes of a Malaysian family in search of answers to the abduction of church leader Raymond Koh were dashed by a surprise development on Wednesday (17 January). Almost a year after Koh went missing, after little or no progress in police investigations, Malaysia’s newest Inspector General of Police . . . Read More

Burkina Faso: 2 years on, thousands call for release of ‘doctor of the poor’ by Al-Qaeda offshoot

Burkina Faso: 2 years on, thousands call for release of ‘doctor of the poor’ by Al-Qaeda offshoot
Thousands took to the streets of Djibo, a northern town in Burkina Faso, on Monday (15 January) to call for the government to secure the release of an Australian doctor, Ken Elliott, kidnapped two years ago. The abduction was claimed by the ‘Emirate of the Sahara’, a branch of Al-Qaeda . . . Read More