Attacks against Copts ‘among deadliest acts of religious persecution’ – report

This is one of the fifty five photos that is part of the photo story "Renewed day by day," commissioned by World Watch Monitor, exploring the extensive damage to churches in Egypt's Minya region that took place in late August 2013.
Attacks by members of the Islamic State group against Egypt’s Coptic Christian community “were among the deadliest acts of religious persecution” last year, according a new report presented in Washington DC yesterday, 13 September. “Fifty-three per cent of ISIS attacks against the public in 2017 were aimed at the Coptic . . . Read More

Saudi Arabia is modernising, but will this mean greater freedom for religious minorities?

Saudi Arabia is modernising, but will this mean greater freedom for religious minorities?
The political landscape in the strict Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is changing, and quickly. A charismatic crown prince seems determined to modernise his country and even speaks of a shift towards a more “moderate” Islam. But will the changes taking place in Saudi also ease the situation for members . . . Read More

Father Tom releases book about 18 months’ captivity in Yemen

Father Tom releases book about 18 months’ captivity in Yemen
The Indian priest who spent 18 months in captivity in Yemen has released an autobiography. Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, who was freed in September 2017, has titled the book ‘By the Grace of God’. The priest, who is 58, presented his book during a meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of . . . 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

Freedom of thought ‘regressing on a global scale’

There are many Pakistani Christian women like Aasiya Noreen who live in fear of the Blasphemy law in their country and the (potential of) abuse. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The 2017 Freedom of Thought Report, presented yesterday (5 December), should be alarming “to all who care about freedom of thought and expression”, as it shows “a pattern of regression on a global scale”, says its editor, Bob Churchill. The report, published by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) . . . Read More

Saudi Arabia to reopen ancient church as ‘gift’ to visiting Lebanese Patriarch

Saudi Arabia to reopen ancient church as ‘gift’ to visiting Lebanese Patriarch
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, has reportedly announced plans to restore and re-open a 900-year-old church as a “gift” to the Lebanese Patriarch. The church is to be used as a centre for inter-religious dialogue, according to Catholic news agency Fides. The Maronite Patriarch, Bechara Boutros al-Rai, has . . . Read More

Fr Tom: my faith got me through 18 months’ captivity

Fr Tom: my faith got me through 18 months’ captivity
The Indian missionary priest released this week after 18 months as a hostage in Yemen has said his Christian faith helped him to survive the ordeal. Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, a priest in the Salesian order, met Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday, the day after his release. The priest . . . Read More

Indian priest released after 18 months’ captivity in Yemen

Indian priest released after 18 months’ captivity in Yemen
India’s Church, government and politicians from across the political landscape have all expressed relief and joy over the release of Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil, kidnapped in Yemen in March 2016. Statements hailing the release of the Indian priest have poured in – from India’s foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, to the . . . Read More

IS guilty of genocide, says US Secretary of State

rex tillerson flickr
The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stressed that the actions of the Islamic State (IS) group against Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims constitute genocide, and also criticised America’s ally, Saudi Arabia, for religious freedom violations. Tillerson made his “genocide” comments in the preface to the State Department’s annual . . . Read More