Saudi Arabia to ban ‘extremist ideologies’ from schools and universities

Sign portraying Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who wants to be known as a reformist, in the capital Riyad. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Saudi Arabia has pledged to ban the “extremist ideologies” espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood from school curricula and books, and to dismiss staff who support the group’s views. In a statement released on Tuesday (20 March), the Minister of Education, Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Isa, said the ministry is working to . . . Read More

Fresh move to prosecute IS for genocide

Destroyed market in the town of Bartella, 15km east of Mosul, which was liberated from IS by Iraqi forces in October 2016. (Photo World Watch Monitor)
Campaigners have welcomed a bill designed to facilitate the prosecution of Islamic State jihadists for genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in Iraq and Syria. Complaining that efforts to encourage the British government to accuse IS of genocide had received “nothing but rebuttals and refusals”, Lord Alton, a Catholic, . . . 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

North Korean explains growing up under Kim dynasty, and how his perception of Christianity changed

North Korean explains growing up under Kim dynasty, and how his perception of Christianity changed
Every year, for the birthdays of North Korea’s Kim dynasty founder, Kim Il-sung, and his son and successor, Kim Jong-il, John Choi* would receive a large pack of sweets from his parents. So would all his primary-school peers. However, before unpacking his present, John was told to follow the ritual . . . Read More

Turkey calls for life imprisonment of US pastor Andrew Brunson

A photo of the Rev. Andrew Brunson during his time in prison.  Photo courtesy of World Witness
Turkish prosecutors demanded life imprisonment for jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson in an official indictment presented to Izmir’s 2nd Criminal Court yesterday, 13 March. Arrested without bail since October 2016, Brunson is accused of being “a member and executive” of the Islamic movement led by self-exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, . . . Read More

US agency accuses Russia of abusing anti-extremism laws

US agency accuses Russia of abusing anti-extremism laws
Russia’s anti-extremism laws are being used to crack down on peaceful religious minorities such as Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Hare Krishnas, the top US religious-freedom watchdog says. A report commissioned by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) found that “vague and problematic definitions of ‘extremism’ in Russian law . . . Read More