Bomb scare intimidates another church in Turkey

Trabzon church in a 2007 photo (World Watch Monitor)
Turkish police were called to Trabzon’s Santa Maria Catholic Church on Sunday morning (4 February) to examine a smouldering device spotted in the garden by alarmed church staff. After discovering a partially burned homemade pipe bomb, which had failed to explode, local authorities promptly checked the church’s security camera footage. . . . 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

Netherlands joins UN Security Council to shine light on IS genocide

A church in Karamles, a town near Mosul, after IS was pushed out in October 2016. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The Netherlands has just joined the UN Security Council as a temporary member for a year. Ten days before, its Foreign Minister, Halbe Zijlstra, published a letter explaining the Dutch government’s response on the use by politicians of the term “genocide”. The Dutch Parliament had had several debates on the . . . Read More

‘Unprecedented’ persecution of Egypt’s Christians heads 2018 World Watch List

‘Unprecedented’ persecution of Egypt’s Christians heads 2018 World Watch List
More Christians abused in India than in all other countries combined; Nepal enters list Islamic extremists driven out of Iraq and Syria are behind a new intensity of Christian persecution in surrounding countries, says global charity Open Doors in its latest annual survey of countries where it is most difficult . . . Read More

Sweden opens church for 5,000 Christians who fled Middle East

Evening mass at Mar Elia Chaldean Catholic Church in the Iraqi city of Erbil, attended by many refugees from Mosul and Nineveh Plains who fled IS. (Photo: World Watch Monitor, 2014)
A new church opened last week in the Swedish town of Södertalje, 30km south of Stockholm, for the estimated 5,000-6,000 Chaldean Catholics who have resettled there after fleeing their homes in the Middle East. Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne, Germany, who participated in the inaugural service, explained to German . . . Read More

British PM Theresa May hears about plight of Christians in Middle East

British PM Theresa May hears about plight of Christians in Middle East
The British Prime Minister Theresa May was briefed on the plight of Christians and minorities in the Middle East in a meeting yesterday (13 December) with an Iraqi priest who has been looking after refugees who fled IS violence. Father Daniel Alkory highlighted the plight of Christians and minorities in . . . Read More

Over 800,000 call on UN to protect Christians in Middle East

Noeh (bottom) with his parents, Hathem and Almas, and siblings Sam (17), Jan Hannah (14), and Salina (7). (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A petition signed by more than 800,000 people will be presented at the United Nations in New York today (12 December), calling for the protection of Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria, and recognition of the key role faith leaders can play in rebuilding efforts post-Islamic State. The . . . Read More

Trump’s Jerusalem move rejected by Arab Christian leaders, who fear backlash

Trump’s Jerusalem move rejected by Arab Christian leaders, who fear backlash
Church leaders in the Middle East have voiced grave concerns at US President Donald Trump’s announcement that the US will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. There are an estimated 200,000 Christians in the Holy Land, of whom around 50,000 live . . . Read More