US aid to Middle East will fund faith groups before ‘ineffective’ UN

US aid to Middle East will fund faith groups before ‘ineffective’ UN
The United States’ Vice President Mike Pence has announced that its State Department will favour “faith-based groups” and the US Agency for International Development over “ineffective” UN relief efforts, reports The Independent. Pence made the announcement as keynote speaker at the annual dinner of a Washington-based advocacy NGO In Defense . . . Read More

Christians who fled IS displaced again as Iraqi and Kurdish forces clash

Christians who fled IS displaced again as Iraqi and Kurdish forces clash
Fighting has erupted between Iraqi and Kurdish forces in a predominantly Christian town in northern Iraq, causing residents to flee. Around 900 families have fled Telskuf and its surrounding villages – part of the Nineveh Plains region of northern Iraq liberated last year from the Islamic State group – to . . . Read More

Hungary’s response to urgent need to help persecuted Christians ‘stay in their homelands’

Viktor Orban  Gergely Botár/kormany.hu
Referring to his country’s experience of oppression during the Soviet Union era, the Hungarian Prime Minister has once again explained why his government has been the first – and so far the only – government to specifically address the persecution of Christians around the world. Yesterday (12 October) he pledged . . . Read More

Iraqi bishops seek $262m for post-IS ‘Marshall Plan’

Iraqi bishops seek $262m for post-IS ‘Marshall Plan’
Church leaders in northern Iraq are launching an ambitious US$262 million “Marshall Plan” for the reconstruction of Christian-majority villages devastated by the occupation of Islamic State (IS) jihadists – but knowing they could be subjected to attacks while they implement it. The ecumenical Bishops’ Emergency Committee (BEC) hopes to raise the . . . Read More

Iraqi families urged to return and rebuild homes in Nineveh Plains

Iraqi families urged to return and rebuild homes in Nineveh Plains
The families of Nidal (left) and Janan (centre) recently returned home to the Christian town of Telskuf.Open Doors International   As the offensive against IS in western Mosul drives civilians out of the jihadists’ last Iraqi stronghold, residents of towns already liberated are returning home with their expectations high – . . . Read More

Pope: ‘Church without martyrs is without Jesus’

Pope Francis has again spoken of his admiration for suffering Christians around the world, saying “a Church without martyrs, dare I say, is a Church without Jesus”. “Martyrs are the ones who carry the Church forward,” he said, as he presided over Mass in the Vatican on 30 January. “The . . . Read More

Iraq: Why Najiba can’t go home

Iraq: Why Najiba can’t go home
Najiba in her portacabin – her home as an IDP for the last two years, 2016World Watch Monitor   Two years on from Mosul falling to Islamic State, World Watch Monitor hears from Najiba, a woman forced to flee her home on the frontline of fighting between the jihadist group . . . Read More