Algeria: two more churches closed, others threatened

Algeria: two more churches closed, others threatened
Local authorities in Algeria’s north-western city of Oran have closed two more churches amidst growing pressure on Christians in the Maghreb country. The two churches – L’Oratoire (The Oratory) in Oran’s city centre, and a village church in Layayda (about 40km from Oran) – were sealed off by police on . . . Read More

More than 80 countries ‘favour’ one religion over others – Pew Research Center

More than 80 countries ‘favour’ one religion over others – Pew Research Center
Over 80 countries favour a specific religion, either officially as a state religion or tacitly through special treatment, according to a new report by the US-based Pew Research Center. Islam is the most common state religion – 27 countries have it as their official religion, including 16 of the 20 . . . Read More

Persecution of Christians ‘still not taken seriously’

Christians are the “most harassed religious minority in the world” but their oppression is largely under-reported in the West.
Following the Palm Sunday bomb attacks on two Egyptian churches, Ewelina Ochab, writing for Forbes, suggests that it’s time to be more proactive in response to the persecution of Christians – “the most persecuted religious group in the world”. “The situation [for Christians] has not improved [in] recent years,” she writes. . . . Read More

Islam to overtake Christianity as world’s largest religion by 2070?

Islam to overtake Christianity as world’s largest religion by 2070?
Islam is the world’s second-largest religion, after Christianity, but this could change if current demographic trends continue, as Islam would overtake Christianity by 2070, reports the BBC. New reporting from the US-based Pew Research Center shows that Islam is the fastest growing major religion. The reason, it says, is simply . . . Read More

Merkel accused of downplaying attacks on Copts

A leading German Catholic priest yesterday (2 March) criticised German Chancellor Angela Merkel for “genuflecting” to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and failing to raise human-rights concerns as she headed to North Africa for trade talks. Joachim Schroedel, who has worked in Egypt for more than two decades, rejected Mrs . . . Read More

Italy takes 1,000 refugees via humanitarian visas

Italian Protestant churches will help settle 1,000 refugees arriving there this month through a “humanitarian corridor” from camps in Lebanon, Morocco and Ethiopia. The refugees, including both Christians and Muslims, will travel under the safety of humanitarian visas so they are not tempted to risk deadly sea crossings to Europe. . . . Read More

5 years on: what has the Arab Spring meant for Christians?

5 years on: what has the Arab Spring meant for Christians?
The Arab Spring, which began five years ago today (17th December) started with a wave of protests in Tunisia followed by other Arab countries. It was positively acclaimed as a social movement demanding an end to human rights violations, government corruption and poverty. Yet, so far, the outcome is largely contrary to . . . Read More