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

Iran’s clerics concerned by spread of Christianity among youth

Despite the efforts of Iran’s government to promote Islam among young people and a crackdown on newly converted Christians, many young Iranians continue to convert, saying they are willing to face the consequences. (Photo: Open Doors International)
Christianity is spreading fast among young people in some of Iran’s most religiously conservative cities, causing concern among leading Islamic clerics, who blame foreign influence, according to Mohabat News. One high profile cleric, Ayatollah Alavi Boroujerdi, said recently that “accurate reports indicate that the youth are becoming Christians in Qom . . . Read More

International Youth Day: Young Christians want to build peace

After years of war Colombia's young men and women want peace. (Photo: Open Doors International)
Ahead of the UN’s International Youth Day on 12 August, which this year has “Youth Building Peace” as its theme, World Watch Monitor takes a look at some of the challenges facing young Christians around the world and how they try to contribute to building peaceful societies. Many of the world’s . . . Read More