Churches destroyed, priests questioned in Myanmar’s Shan state

The United Wa State Army has ordered that churches built in Wa territory in Shan state after 1989 have to be destroyed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
An ethnic armed group in Myanmar’s Shan state is destroying churches and holding clergymen for questioning, reports Radio Free Asia. The United Wa State Army (UWSA), the military wing of the United Wa State Party (UWSP), reportedly issued a statement on Facebook on 6 September, declaring that all churches built . . . Read More

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

‘ISIS won despite defeat as West was unwilling to confront it’

Iraqi Christians ask the international community for help as they are facing annihilation by Islamic State. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The Islamic State group may have been defeated on the battlefield, but the West has allowed its ideology to “percolate” and in that case it won, writes Seth J. Frantzman for the Jerusalem Post. “[ISIS] won in Iraq and Syria by destroying minority communities. It won because today the international . . . Read More

Hidden agendas cloak Turkish-US feud over jailed pastor

Hidden agendas cloak Turkish-US feud over jailed pastor
On the eve of the week-long Muslim festival of sacrifice, Eid al-Adha, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has accused US President Donald Trump of not wanting to solve his country’s disagreements with the United States over jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson. “It seems that they do not want to solve . . . Read More

US imposes sanctions on Myanmar for ‘widespread human rights abuses’

Since fighting flared up in Kachin state in April thousands of people have fled their homes and, like these women, found refuge in temporary shelters at church compounds in Kachin's capital Myitkyina.(Photo: YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)
The US government announced on Friday that it had imposed sanctions on Myanmar for “widespread human rights abuses” against Christians, Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities, reports The New York Times. According to the Treasury Department the abuses against Rohingya Muslims in southwestern Rakhine state, forcing more than 700,000 to seek . . . Read More

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

‘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

US commission calls for Iranian Christians’ release after ‘new miscarriage of justice’

From left: Saheb Fadaie, Youcef Nadarkhani, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Mohammad Reza Omidi.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of an Iranian pastor and three of his church members, after they were taken to prison last week to serve ten-year sentences for “acting against national security” by “promoting Zionist Christianity” and running “house . . . Read More