‘State-sponsored repression’ behind Eritrea’s refugee epidemic

Eritrea remains “one of the worst examples of state-sponsored repression of freedom of religion or belief in the world”, says USCIRF Commissioner.  (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
“State-sponsored repression” is the reason Eritrea is one of the world’s main sources of refugees, a US human rights commission has heard. The East African country is not at war, nor does it suffer from terrorism, but some estimate that as many as 10 per cent of Eritreans have fled . . . 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

A Middle Eastern Christian’s view of Pence’s agenda

A Middle Eastern Christian’s view of Pence’s agenda
A Jordanian Christian trauma counsellor has urged US Vice President Mike Pence to recognise Palestinian statehood to make good his pledge to help Christians in the Middle East. Issam Smeir, who has worked with refugees in the Middle East and in the US, wrote a first-person piece for the Washington . . . Read More

Iran: 2 Christians given 8-year prison sentences

The outside of the Evin prison in Tehran. Photo: Flickr/ SabzPhoto
Two Iranian Christians in the southern city of Shiraz have been sentenced to eight years in prison for “action against national security”, proselytising and holding “house-church” meetings. Eskander Rezaie and Soroush Saraei, who have both spent time in prison before, will appeal their sentences, according to Christian advocacy group Middle . . . Read More

Young refugees ‘urgently need access to education’

The new Catholic University of Erbil offers displaced young people an opportunity to continue their education.
At the start of the 10th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues, which this year focuses on ‘minority youth’, human rights advocate Ewelina Ochab draws attention to the obstacles displaced young people face in accessing education. Ochab describes meeting Iraqi Christian youth and children in Jordan. Their families . . . Read More

Universal Children’s Day: Kidnapped Christina receives letter from German namesake

Five-year-old Christina, shortly after she was reunited with her family, including mother Ayda in the back. (Twitter @thestevennabil)
When German teenager Christina learned that a three-year-old girl with the same name from Qaraqosh, Iraq, had been abducted by Islamic State militants in August 2014, she started praying. A few months ago she heard the news of Christina’s release and decided to write a letter to the little girl, . . . Read More