Fall in Christian refugee admissions ‘suggests Trump has no real interest in religious persecution’

Iraqi Christians who fled Islamic State have found shelter in a church yard in Erbil, Iraq. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The United States, under President Trump, has admitted 40 per cent fewer Christian refugees in the past year, US broadcaster NBC News has reported. As the Trump administration has implemented stricter policies on immigration and refugees, almost 11,000 Christians looking for a safe place to go were reportedly refused entry to . . . Read More

Thailand called to release detained Vietnamese Montagnard refugees

The Montagnard-people are persecuted because of their faith but getting asylum in neighbouring countries is difficult. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Thailand should release the group of ethnic minority refugees and asylum seekers, mostly Christians, arrested last week during a crackdown just outside the capital Bangkok, rights groups say. Most of the 181 refugees detained are Montagnards, an indigenous group from Vietnam who face “harsh persecution if they are returned to . . . Read More

Myanmar’s blocking of aid to Kachin ‘may amount to war crime’ – report

An elderly Kachin woman looks for shelter after fleeing fighting between Myanmar's army and Kachin rebels in December 2011. (Photo: World Watch  Monitor)
Myanmar has blocked humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of forcibly displaced people in the ongoing war in northern Kachin state – for over seven years – says humanitarian group Fortify Rights in a new report. “Consecutive governments and the military have wilfully obstructed local and international aid groups, denying . . . Read More

‘Only jihadists want to see Christians leave the Middle East’

Around 300 Christians went to Bartella during the Easter weekend of 2017, to have the very first Easter celebration in three years in their home town. A convoy of about 15 buses travelled from Erbil, crossing several Kurdish and Iraqi army checkpoints to reach the church. The people still live in Erbil and cannot go back to Bartella to live or to rebuild. But for this day many take the chance to celebrate Easter in their own church again. (Open Doors International)
“The only people that want to see all Christians leave are some of the violent jihadists,” concludes a new book. “Everyone else, including some we might term as Islamists, desires their continued presence. They recognise that it is Christians who are the leaven that permeates the whole of society.” The . . . Read More

Myanmar: Army accused of destroying churches and turning them into Buddhist temples

Myanmar: Army accused of destroying churches and turning them into Buddhist temples
Myanmar’s military has destroyed about 60 churches in the past 18 months and turned a third of them into Buddhist pagodas in northern Kachin state, according to an American pastor who visited the region recently. “In the last 18 months, they have bombed 60 churches. Of the 60 churches they . . . Read More

70,000 Syrian Armenians have fled during the war, and few will return

70,000 Syrian Armenians have fled during the war, and few will return
The fragrance of Middle Eastern cuisine wafts into your nostrils, even before you open the door of the café opposite the central railway station in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital.   Nerses Kevo, the café’s owner, is one of thousands of Armenian Christians who fled the Syrian civil war and moved to . . . Read More

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