Sri Lanka: Facebook told to block religious hate speech

A young girl in Colombo looks at her mobile phone while Sri Lanka's civil society has called on Facebook to block hate speech. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Civil society groups in Sri Lanka have asked Facebook to do more to prevent hate speech, including comments that discriminate on religious lines, following recent anti-Muslim riots. “There was a post in the Sinhala [Sri Lanka’s largest ethnic group] language on Facebook for six days, which mentioned ‘killing all Muslims, . . . Read More

Evangelical head sets out ambitious vision for rebuilding CAR

Evangelical head sets out ambitious vision for rebuilding CAR
Churches in the Central African Republic have pledged to unite in prayer in response to the worsening violence dividing the country. The leader of the country’s evangelical church network says the effort has the potential to bring peace to the troubled nation. “Recent history of some countries in Africa, among . . . Read More

Palestinian father who lost daughter: ‘Don’t be pro-Palestinian or pro-Israel, be pro-justice’

George Saadeh is headmaster of a school where children are taught to "have respect for those who think differently than you". (Photo: Open Doors International)
A Palestinian Christian father whose 12-year-old daughter was killed by Israeli soldiers has spoken about the ongoing conflict and his decision to forgive the soldiers who shot her, just over 15 years ago. Violence erupted once again at the weekend along the Israeli border with Gaza, leaving at least 16 . . . 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

Indonesia’s president tells Catholic students to work for ‘harmony’

Catholic students meet in Palmbang, Sumatra, this week. (Photo: Matters India)
Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, opened the 30th Catholic students congress in Palembang, on the island of Sumatra, this week by telling them to work together for “peace” and “harmony”. The president told the 3,800 participants that the “Pancasila”, the five principles that make up the state philosophy of the Indonesian . . . Read More

UK Parliament hears ‘squeeze’ of persecution of Christians ‘as dangerous as violence’

Christian women are particularly vulnerable because of their gender and their faith. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Most of the 200 million Christians globally under pressure for their faith don’t experience violence but a ‘daily squeeze’ which is more insidious and – if left unchallenged – can lead to violence, MPs and others heard yesterday (17 January) at the launch of Open Doors’ World Watch List 2018 . . . Read More

Mosul Christmas Mass hailed a ‘victory over IS’ as Sunni youth install giant Christmas tree

Christmas 2017 in Iraq
The celebration of a first mass in Mossul (Mosul) since 2014. His Beatitude Raphael Sako and Bishop Shlemon Warduni (from the Chaldean Church) are presiding the Mass.  Archbishops Mouche (Syriac Catholic) and Abp Nicodemus Dauod Matti Sharaf  (Syriac-Orthodox)  were participating. Muslim representatives were present at the celebration.
The celebration of a Christmas Eve Mass in Mosul after the city’s devastating three-year occupation by Islamic State (IS) marked “a kind of victory” over the extremists, a church leader there said. And the installation of a number of large Christmas trees around the city was unprecedented, said the leader, . . . Read More

Young refugees ‘urgently need access to education’

The new Catholic University of Erbil offers displaced young people an opportunity to continue their education.
At the start of the 10th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues, which this year focuses on ‘minority youth’, human rights advocate Ewelina Ochab draws attention to the obstacles displaced young people face in accessing education. Ochab describes meeting Iraqi Christian youth and children in Jordan. Their families . . . Read More