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

Church council calls for release of Syrian bishops abducted five years ago

(Source: World Council of Churches)
The World Council of Churches (WCC) has called for the release of two Syrian archbishops kidnapped five years ago. “The Central Committee recalls with heavy hearts the abduction five years ago of the archbishops of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi,” the WCC said in a statement following a six-day . . . Read More

70,000 Syrian Armenians have fled during the war, and few will return

70,000 Syrian Armenians have fled during the war, and few will return
The fragrance of Middle Eastern cuisine wafts into your nostrils, even before you open the door of the café opposite the central railway station in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital.   Nerses Kevo, the café’s owner, is one of thousands of Armenian Christians who fled the Syrian civil war and moved to . . . Read More

‘Christianity in Syria is under threat from forces the West is supporting’

‘Christianity in Syria is under threat from forces the West is supporting’
Two thousand years of Christianity in Syria could be wiped out by the very forces Western governments are supporting, an Anglican vicar has claimed. Rev. Andrew Ashdown, who has made ten trips to Syria since 2014 and is studying for a PhD in relations between Christians and Muslims there, also . . . Read More

Assessment of religious conversions as genuine or asylum-motivated dismissed as naïve

Revd Mark Miller of St Thomas' Church, Stockton, in north-east England, The Priest-in-Charge of St Thomas’s, Stockton-on-Tees, the Revd Mark Miller, has had up to 100 Persian asylum-seekers in his congregation
Attempts by Western politicians and media to judge whether Iranian migrants and asylum-seekers who ask to be baptised are either genuine or are doing so to boost their chances of being granted asylum are “naïve”, according to an academic who has carried out extensive research among Iranians who profess to . . . Read More

US religious freedom report shows ‘no progress’ in Myanmar

Displaced Kachin residents cross the Malikha river on 26 April to escape the fighting between the Kachin Independence Army and the Myanmar government troops. (Photo: ZAU RING HPARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and Iran are among the countries criticised for their religious-freedom records in the US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2017, launched yesterday (29 May) in Washington DC. The report references the violence against the predominantly Muslim Rohingya ethnic group in Myanmar, whose situation is still . . . Read More

‘Avoid persecution-of-Christians label,’ says Syria expert

‘Avoid persecution-of-Christians label,’ says Syria expert
As the conflict in Syria continues, freelance journalist Jayson Casper sat down with Miles Windsor, head of advocacy at Christian charity Middle East Concern, to discuss where Syrian Christians’ allegiance lies, whether those who fled the country may return, and how Christians in other countries can help. Jayson Casper: There . . . Read More

On trial for terrorism and espionage in a Turkish court

On trial for terrorism and espionage in a Turkish court
Just one prisoner, slightly built, came through a side door, escorted on either side by armed gendarmerie soldiers, walking him past rows and rows of empty seats. Dressed in a dark suit and white shirt, he glanced up at the impressive state-of-the-art courtroom, built to accommodate 650 people. Its walls . . . Read More

‘Giving freedom to women is something remarkable’ – Egypt’s Protestant head

‘Giving freedom to women is something remarkable’ – Egypt’s Protestant head
“Changes related to women are the most critical changes in any culture and any country,” says Rev. Dr Andrea Zaki, head of Egypt’s fast-growing Protestant community. “You can easily give men freedom, but giving freedom to women is something remarkable.” Zaki welcomes what he calls the “major and radical” reforms . . . Read More

New book rejects Western view that Christians ‘cannot be victims’

New book rejects Western view that Christians ‘cannot be victims’
The author of a new book about the persecution of Christians says she wants to “shed light” on the issue because it has become ingrained in Western thinking that “the Christian is not a victim because, historically, he has been an executioner”. Spanish journalist and politician Pilar Rahola told Christian . . . Read More