5 years on, what has Pope Francis done for religious freedom?

Pope Francis greets people during his inauguration on 19 March 2013. (Photo: Getty Images)
Pope Francis, the son of Italian migrants, appeared on the steps of St Peter’s Basilica five years ago to be introduced as the first Latin American pontiff. Below, World Watch Monitor looks at a few of the highlights of his tenure so far, and his impact on freedom of religion . . . Read More

Pope and Patriarch ‘feared nuclear war could erupt over Syria’

Flag of Syria is waving as sign of victory over the destroyed heavily damaged city of Aleppo. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The historic meeting between the heads of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches took place not only out of shared concern for Middle Eastern Christians, but to try to avert confrontation between nuclear powers in Syria, according to the Russian Orthodox Patriarch. When Patriarch Kirill met Pope Francis in 2016 it . . . Read More

Chinese bishop reshuffle reinforces fears of state meddling

St Joseph's Church in Beijing.
Fears are growing that China’s communist government may be gaining more control over the Catholic Church there, as news emerged that the Vatican asked two bishops it had appointed to step aside in favour of ones selected by Beijing. These developments have taken place following a state campaign against China’s . . . Read More

Pope meets evangelical leaders to strengthen religious freedom

A burned church in a village in Southern Kaduna, northern Nigeria. Violence attributed to militant Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria reached a record high last year.(Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pope Francis and leaders from the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) met last Thursday (14 December) in Rome to discuss further collaboration in promoting religious freedom in a world where persecution of Christians is on the rise. The church leaders also talked about strengthening their partnership in Bible distribution and confronting . . . 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

Bangladesh: Catholic priest missing as Pope Francis arrives

Pope Francis hold hands with President of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid (L) upon arriving at the Presidential palace in Dhaka on 30 November 2017. (Photo: VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis has arrived in Bangladesh, where a Catholic priest disappeared three days ago, highlighting the pressure Christians and other minority groups are under in the mainly Muslim country. Father Walter William Rozario, who is also the headmaster of a high school, went missing in northern Natore district on 27 . . . Read More

Myanmar: new peace talks announced during Pope’s visit

Pope Francis meeting Aung San Suu Kyi during his visit to Myanmar, Nov 2017 (Getty)
The third ‘Panglong Conference’ has been announced by Myanmar’s government during an official visit by Pope Francis, reports Catholic news agency Fides. Tabled for the last week in January, it will be the latest in a series of peace negotiations between armed ethnic groups and government forces. The original Panglong . . . Read More