Sudan court rules in favour of church in governance dispute

Several churches are in conflict with the Sudanese government over ownership of their properties and are facing fines and destruction of church buildings. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A Sudanese court has surprisingly ruled against the government in a case against the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) after a long-standing dispute over ownership of the church’s property. Five church leaders, including the SCOC president Ayouba Telyan, appeared in court on Wednesday, 8 August, expecting to have to defend . . . Read More

Could Brunson’s release ease Turkey’s diplomatic standoff with the US?

Could Brunson’s release ease Turkey’s diplomatic standoff with the US?
After the slipping Turkish lira nosedived dramatically yesterday, losing a record 5 per cent of its value in one day, unnamed Turkish diplomatic sources confirmed to CNNTURK today that a government delegation from Ankara is heading to Washington within two days to discuss escalating tensions between Turkey and the United . . . Read More

US to Turkey: Release pastor Brunson or ‘face the consequences’

US to Turkey: Release pastor Brunson or ‘face the consequences’
US Vice President Mike Pence has said that America will impose “significant sanctions” upon Turkey if it does not release American pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest and allow him to return to the United States. During remarks delivered on 26 July in Washington, DC, to the Ministerial to Advance . . . Read More

Hopes dashed for release of pastor Andrew Brunson as Turkish trial to continue in October

Andrew Brunson (World
Hopes were dashed for the imminent release of an American pastor jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges as a Turkish court today ordered him to remain behind bars. The court scheduled Andrew Brunson’s next hearing for 12 October. Some observers had believed that Turkey might release Brunson, who has been . . . Read More

Myanmar: Peace talks resume but ethnic autonomy not on the agenda

Myanmar's defacto leader Aung San Suu Kyi leaves the 2016 Panglong Conference. (Photo: AUNG HTET/AFP/Getty Images)
A third round of peace talks are taking place in Myanmar this week between armed ethnic groups and government forces, but the military has ruled out discussions on the autonomy that ethnic groups crave. The six-day meeting, which has been dubbed the 21st century ‘Panglong Conference’ after the historic 1947 . . . Read More

Religious freedom ‘essential goal’ in normalising relations with Sudan – US commission

Religious freedom ‘essential goal’ in normalising relations with Sudan – US commission
A new report highlights the lack of religious freedom in Sudan and says improvements in this area remain “an essential goal” for the US before relations between the two countries can be fully normalised. A delegation from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent, bipartisan advisory body, . . . Read More

Sudan: ‘Put brakes on’ normalising relations, rights groups tell US

A Sudan People's Liberation Movement rebel soldier in South Kordofan state where thousands of people fled the Nuba Mountains in 2012 to escape fighting between the rebel group and the government's armed forces. (Photo: ADRIANE OHANESIAN/AFP/GettyImages)
Rights groups have urged the United States to refrain from removing Sudan from its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. “New circumstances have emerged in Sudan that make US efforts at full normalisation dramatically ill-timed,” said the Washington DC-based Enough Project in a recent report. The NGO, which focuses on . . . Read More

US State Department adds Pakistan to religious-freedom watch list

Burial of victims of a suicide attack on the Methodist Bethel Church in Quetta, Pakistan, on Sunday 17 December in which at least 9 people were killed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The US State Department has placed Pakistan on a “Special Watch List” for severe violators of religious freedom, it announced yesterday (4 January) with the publication of its annual list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’. The announcement comes as the US government cuts security aid to Pakistan, saying the country . . . Read More

South Sudan’s Christians return to Sudan, despite pressures

Village church in Goli, South Sudan. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Many of the Christians who fled Sudan after the South’s independence in 2011 have returned, even though the authorities continue to close churches and harass Christians there, a Catholic priest told The Economist. Prayer centres that were closed have been reopened, Father Juma Charles of St Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral in . . . Read More