Brunson’s trial highlights Turkey’s ‘hostage diplomacy’ tactic

Brunson’s trial highlights Turkey’s ‘hostage diplomacy’ tactic
On the eve of jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson’s second court hearing in Turkey, growing international comment has focused on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s transparent “hostage diplomacy” tactic, one of several issues seriously souring his nation’s relations with the United States. The upcoming 7 May hearing near Turkey’s third-largest . . . Read More

On trial for terrorism and espionage in a Turkish court

On trial for terrorism and espionage in a Turkish court
Just one prisoner, slightly built, came through a side door, escorted on either side by armed gendarmerie soldiers, walking him past rows and rows of empty seats. Dressed in a dark suit and white shirt, he glanced up at the impressive state-of-the-art courtroom, built to accommodate 650 people. Its walls . . . Read More

‘Giving freedom to women is something remarkable’ – Egypt’s Protestant head

‘Giving freedom to women is something remarkable’ – Egypt’s Protestant head
“Changes related to women are the most critical changes in any culture and any country,” says Rev. Dr Andrea Zaki, head of Egypt’s fast-growing Protestant community. “You can easily give men freedom, but giving freedom to women is something remarkable.” Zaki welcomes what he calls the “major and radical” reforms . . . Read More

Egypt: Protestant leader rejects community reconciliation system

Thousands attend Kasr El Dobara Evanglical Church in Cairo each week. There are thought to be as many as 2m Evangelicals in Egypt
The head of Egypt’s Protestant Church has said he urges clergy not to take part in “reconciliation sessions” that aim to resolve community conflicts without the involvement of the police and legal system. Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki said he “strongly” opposed the scheme because it renders the law “absent”. The reconciliation . . . Read More

Cuba’s new leader ‘not a reformer’

Cuba’s new leader ‘not a reformer’
Raúl Castro, who replaced his brother Fidel as Cuba’s president in 2006, stepped down from the post this week, ending a decades-long rule by his family. His successor, Miguel Díaz-Canel – who up until now was the country’s first vice-president – takes on an historic leadership role by becoming the . . . Read More

Evangelical head sets out ambitious vision for rebuilding CAR

Evangelical head sets out ambitious vision for rebuilding CAR
Churches in the Central African Republic have pledged to unite in prayer in response to the worsening violence dividing the country. The leader of the country’s evangelical church network says the effort has the potential to bring peace to the troubled nation. “Recent history of some countries in Africa, among . . . Read More

China pledges to protect religious freedom, days after Bible ban

Women, married to pastors who work in rural areas in China, meet in a church. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
China presented an official ‘white paper’ on religion on Wednesday, 4 April, guaranteeing “protection” for religious freedom, just four days after banning the online sale of Bibles. The policy paper, titled ‘China’s Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief’, was presented by the State Council Information Office at . . . Read More

Turkey’s Churches publish landmark book of common Christian doctrine

Turkey’s Churches publish landmark book of common Christian doctrine
A joint commission of Turkey’s major Christian denominations has published an historic book of concise Christian doctrine, receiving the unprecedented endorsement of all the nation’s Orthodox, Catholic, Armenian, Syriac and Protestant Churches. According to Armenian Bishop Sahak Masalyan, keynote speaker at the formal book launch in Istanbul of the English . . . Read More