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

‘80% of religious discrimination targets Christians’

Father Poulos looking up to the ceiling in this house that still has a lot of destruction and needs thorough repairs
Christians are the victims in 80 per cent of acts of religious discrimination, despite only accounting for 30 per cent of the global population, a conference in Washington heard on Tuesday (5 December). The statistics, from the International Society for Human Rights, were presented at the 3rd International Conference on Religious . . . Read More

Russia pledges to safeguard future of Christians in Middle East

A mosaic of Jesus pictured as an icon in a church in Homs, was vandalised by Islamic fundamentalists, October 2017. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lavrov, says the peaceful co-existence of different religious groups in the Middle East, and particularly safeguarding the future of Christians, is one of Russia’s policy goals for the region. He was speaking at the third Mediterranean Dialogues summit in Rome on 1 and 2 December, . . . Read More

Russian Patriarch and UK archbishop call for greater support for persecuted Christians

Russian Patriarch and UK archbishop call for greater support for persecuted Christians
The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Archbishop of Canterbury have called for more aid to reach Middle Eastern refugees, especially Christians, and for robust safeguards against extremist ideology, which they say has spread “like an epidemic”. Patriarch Kirill and Archbishop Justin Welby released a joint statement thanking . . . Read More

ISIS ‘the greatest preacher for Christianity in the world’

More than 20 people lost their lives in the Palm Sunday attack on the St George Cathedral in Tanta, Egypt.
An Egyptian bishop says that by killing hundreds of Christians across the Middle East the Islamic State group has in fact strengthened the Church and been “the greatest preacher for Christianity in the world”. Bishop Stephen of Beba and Fashn, speaking during a memorial service for the murdered Coptic priest . . . Read More

US aid to Middle East will fund faith groups before ‘ineffective’ UN

US aid to Middle East will fund faith groups before ‘ineffective’ UN
The United States’ Vice President Mike Pence has announced that its State Department will favour “faith-based groups” and the US Agency for International Development over “ineffective” UN relief efforts, reports The Independent. Pence made the announcement as keynote speaker at the annual dinner of a Washington-based advocacy NGO In Defense . . . Read More

Qatar conference: ‘no peace in Middle East without democracy and rule of law’

Qatar conference: ‘no peace in Middle East without democracy and rule of law’
A two-day conference in Qatar earlier this week focused on the plight of Arab Christians and the threats they face through wars and conflicts in the Middle East, recognising there is “no magic wand” to deal with inter-religious and sectarian strife. Bomb attacks on Coptic churches in Egypt and forced . . . Read More

UN ‘overlooked’ IS crime of forced displacement

Iraqi Christians ask the international community for help as they are facing annihilation by Islamic State. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Campaigners for Christian and Yazidi victims of the Islamic State group welcomed the UN’s decision last month to recognise the Islamic State group’s crimes as “genocide”, but human rights advocate Ewelina Ochab questions why “forced displacement” wasn’t included. The UN Security Council voted unanimously to create an investigative team to . . . Read More