CURRENT NEWS

Philippines: Marawi liberated but root cause of extremism remains

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared “Marawi City liberated from the terrorist influence” on Tuesday (17 October) after the military killed two of the ring leaders behind the five-month assault on the city, but a religious freedom expert has warned the “killing of militant leaders does not destroy the fighters behind […]

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Algeria: ‘unjust law’ still denying churches their ‘right to worship’

Churches in northern Algeria continue to clash with the authorities over permission to hold services in non-religious buildings. Authorities in Tizi Ouzou province – 100km east of the capital, Algiers – have said a 2006 law that regulates non-Muslim worship is breached by churches meeting in houses meant only for […]

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Azerbaijan: ‘no fair trial’ for house-church leader appealing against fine

An Azerbaijani man fined for leading a “house church” without state permission has not been treated fairly during his appeal against the fine, a local source has told World Watch Monitor. The source, who wishes to remain anonymous, said there have been “multiple violations of law and process” against Hamid […]

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Christians on alert as Iraqi forces take over Nineveh Plains

Christians who have returned to the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq, three years after fleeing Islamic State militants, are on high alert now Iraqi forces have retaken some of the disputed region from Kurdish forces. Father Poulos, one of the priests in the town of Bashiqa, near Mosul, told World […]

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Nigeria’s Christians condemn killings in Plateau, urge government to intervene

Worried by the recent incessant killings in Plateau state, north-central Nigeria, the Christians in the north under the aegis of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have urged the government to intervene. The Chairman of the Northern CAN, Rev. Yakubu Pam, expressed concern that people who had lived together peacefully […]

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Niger: pastor’s daughter kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram militants

The teenage daughter of a pastor was kidnapped on 16 October in Diffa, south-eastern Niger, in what appears to be the first targeted kidnapping of a Christian by Boko Haram-affiliated militants in the West African nation. Aphodiya Garba Maida, 17, daughter of a pastor with the EERN (Église Évangélique de […]

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Indian Christians beaten ‘with rods and sticks’

A Christian man involved in church work across ten villages in the southern Indian state of Telangana was severely beaten earlier this month, a source told World Watch Monitor. The victim, known as Pastor Seviya, “was attacked by five Hindu extremists with rods and thick sticks … until he became unconscious”, […]

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Iraqi-Kurdish violence could push Christians who survived IS ‘to flee for good’

Fresh large-scale fighting in the disputed territory between Iraq and its Kurdish region could further drain the region of Christians – only months after the military defeat of Islamic State persuaded some to return to their homes, experts have warned. Small numbers of Iraqi Christians are gradually returning to the towns […]

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Egypt: the public spectacle of a slain Coptic priest

The images were horrific. Father Samaan Shehata, a 45-year-old Coptic Orthodox priest, lay dead on the ground, stabbed and beaten by a young man wielding a meat cleaver. Blood dripped down his face into his long, black beard. Dirt discoloured his flowing black robe. His cross pendant rested peacefully on […]

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Behind Nigeria persecution ‘lies prejudice, weak leadership, corruption, historic grievance’

Support for the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram is a reaction to Western-backed corruption, colonial-era intervention and weak Nigerian leadership, a Catholic archbishop has said. Archbishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto in north-western Nigeria told World Watch Monitor that sympathy for the extremist group in northern Nigeria’s majority-Muslim states was fuelled […]

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