Religious minorities fear backlash as Sunni Islam declared state religion of Comoros

Religious minorities fear backlash as Sunni Islam declared state religion of Comoros
On Monday 30 July, the “Yes” vote recorded an overwhelming victory in the referendum on constitutional reforms in the southeast African island nation of Comoros, declaring Sunni Islam the “religion of the state”. “The state draws from this religion the principles and rules of Sunnite observance,” the amended constitution reads. . . . Read More

‘Christianity in Syria is under threat from forces the West is supporting’

‘Christianity in Syria is under threat from forces the West is supporting’
Two thousand years of Christianity in Syria could be wiped out by the very forces Western governments are supporting, an Anglican vicar has claimed. Rev. Andrew Ashdown, who has made ten trips to Syria since 2014 and is studying for a PhD in relations between Christians and Muslims there, also . . . Read More

Chaldean Patriarch congratulates surprise Iraqi election winner

Chaldean Patriarch congratulates surprise Iraqi election winner
The Chaldean Patriarch, Louis Sako, has telephoned Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr to congratulate him on his unexpected victory in the country’s recent parliamentary elections. The Patriarchate also said that Sako told Sadr he hoped for a government that promotes the common good of all the Iraqi people. According to . . . Read More

Praying for a peacemaker: What do Iraq’s elections mean for the remaining Christians?

A boy recently returned to his home in the Nineveh plains, looks out over the remains of Karamles (WWM May 2017)
Iraqis go the polls on Saturday (12 May) for the first time since the military defeat of Islamic State, whose campaign of terror against non-Muslims pushed thousands of the country’s last Christians to flee their homeland. Only about 200,000 to 300,000 Christians are thought to remain in Iraq now, mostly . . . Read More

Iraq’s young people must lead its rebuilding, says archbishop

Army truck with Iraqi flag on its way in the direction of Mosul. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The rebuilding of Iraq should be guided by its young people, says an archbishop who took in 700 students from Mosul University after the occupation of the city by Islamic State in June 2014. Bishop Yousif Thoma Mirkis of Kirkuk, 170km southeast of Mosul, recently visited the university and reunited . . . Read More

Iran protests saw people ‘turn their backs on political Islam’

Ayatollah Khomeini
Iranians are challenging the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic because corruption and inequality undermine its ideals, a human rights activist has claimed. In an interview with World Watch Monitor, Mansour Borji, Iranian-born advocacy director of UK-based human rights charity Article 18, said the street protests that spread across the country . . . Read More

Saudi Arabia clerics ‘guilty of hate speech’ against religious minorities

Men standing in front of a building in Saudi Arabia. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Some Saudi religious scholars and clerics use language that discriminates against and demonises religious minorities, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. “Saudi Arabia has permitted government-appointed religious scholars and clerics to refer to religious minorities in derogatory terms or demonise them in official documents and religious rulings that . . . Read More

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard confiscates Christian literature as ‘publicity stunt’

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard confiscates Christian literature as ‘publicity stunt’
Photographs released by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard showing large quantities of confiscated Christian materials were a “publicity stunt” that reflected the Iranian regime’s fear of Christianity, says religious freedom advocate Mansour Borji. Borji, from advocacy group Article 18, told World Watch Monitor that the photographs, which were initially released in July, . . . Read More

Who speaks for Islam in Pakistan – and where does that leave non-Muslims?

Who speaks for Islam in Pakistan – and where does that leave non-Muslims?
Last week, a Muslim student was killed by a mob after posting allegedly “blasphemous” content on social media. His murder was the latest in a long line of religiously motivated attacks in Pakistan, many of which were inspired by the country’s strict blasphemy laws. Below, World Watch Monitor takes a look at . . . Read More