UN chief ‘personally concerned’ about return of Christians to Iraq and Syria

Tree and Arabic painting on the wall in Bashiqa, a town near Mosul in Iraq where Christians are slowly returning, saying: "Tomorrow will be more beautiful." (will be better) (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The UN’s Secretary General has stressed the importance of Christians returning to the areas from which they fled in Iraq and Syria. “I am fully convinced that after the stability of the situation in Iraq and Syria and the adoption of a certain political decision, it is very important to . . . 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

Iraq’s Assyrian Christians: persecution and resurgence

Iraq’s Assyrian Christians: persecution and resurgence
Samir Gedhya never wanted to leave his home in Qaraqosh for the unknown, even when the Islamic State group was almost at his doorstep, sweeping through the towns of Iraq. As the menace to Qaraqosh loomed, his eldest son Faraj, then 16, decided to flee to France, entering by a . . . Read More

EU ‘wilfully blind’ to risks of deporting Christian converts back to Afghanistan

EU ‘wilfully blind’ to risks of deporting Christian converts back to Afghanistan
European countries and the EU are “wilfully blind” to the risks facing Afghans who fail in their asylum claims and are sent home, according to a new report by Amnesty International. “All returnees face a real risk of serious human rights violations,” says Amnesty, but some, such as religious minorities . . . Read More

Muslim asylum seekers find shelter in Germany’s churches

A church in Germany. (Photo: Paul Frankenstein via Flickr; CC 2.0).
Refugees at risk of deportation from Germany are finding shelter in Germany’s churches, and many are becoming Christians in the process, reports The Washington Post. More than a million refugees travelled to Germany in 2015, in the midst of Europe’s so-called “migrant crisis”, because it was known for its open . . . Read More

Sweden to Iranian convert it plans to deport: ‘It’s not our problem you chose to become a Christian’

Iranian convert, Aideen Strandsson, is still waiting for an appeal hearing after her asylum request in Sweden was rejected. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
An Iranian convert to Christianity has been refused asylum in Sweden, placing her at risk of deportation and “torture and rape” in jail in her home country. Aideen Strandsson, 37, who was baptised in Sweden in 2014, said officials at the country’s Migration Board did not believe her life would . . . Read More

Somaliland closes only Catholic church due to public pressure – it re-opened a week ago after 30 years

Somaliland closes only Catholic church due to public pressure – it re-opened a week ago after 30 years
The only Catholic church in Somaliland, East Africa, officially re-opened after three decades on 29 July, has been closed again within a week, due to public pressure. “The issue has created a lot of division … which is not in our national interest… The government has decided to respect the . . . Read More