‘Only jihadists want to see Christians leave the Middle East’

Around 300 Christians went to Bartella during the Easter weekend of 2017, to have the very first Easter celebration in three years in their home town. A convoy of about 15 buses travelled from Erbil, crossing several Kurdish and Iraqi army checkpoints to reach the church. The people still live in Erbil and cannot go back to Bartella to live or to rebuild. But for this day many take the chance to celebrate Easter in their own church again. (Open Doors International)
“The only people that want to see all Christians leave are some of the violent jihadists,” concludes a new book. “Everyone else, including some we might term as Islamists, desires their continued presence. They recognise that it is Christians who are the leaven that permeates the whole of society.” The . . . Read More

US commission calls for Iranian Christians’ release after ‘new miscarriage of justice’

From left: Saheb Fadaie, Youcef Nadarkhani, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Mohammad Reza Omidi.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of an Iranian pastor and three of his church members, after they were taken to prison last week to serve ten-year sentences for “acting against national security” by “promoting Zionist Christianity” and running “house . . . Read More

US to Turkey: Release pastor Brunson or ‘face the consequences’

US to Turkey: Release pastor Brunson or ‘face the consequences’
US Vice President Mike Pence has said that America will impose “significant sanctions” upon Turkey if it does not release American pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest and allow him to return to the United States. During remarks delivered on 26 July in Washington, DC, to the Ministerial to Advance . . . Read More

Home after 21 months, but US pastor Andrew Brunson now can’t leave house till October trial

Home after 21 months, but US pastor Andrew Brunson now can’t leave house till October trial
A crowd of Turkish Christians from Andrew Brunson’s Izmir Resurrection Church greeted their pastor with cries of “We love you, Andrew!” as he arrived home under police escort on Wednesday afternoon, 25 July. After nearly 22 months in detention, Brunson was released at 5.30pm from Izmir’s Kiriklar maximum security prison . . . Read More

‘Lack of religious freedom anywhere is a threat everywhere,’ Sam Brownback tells religious freedom summit

‘Lack of religious freedom anywhere is a threat everywhere,’ Sam Brownback tells religious freedom summit
The US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, urged government and faith leaders, and civil society, to work together to enhance global religious freedom, at the opening of the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington DC yesterday (24 July). In his opening words, Brownback, who was appointed in . . . Read More

US pastor Andrew Brunson to be moved from prison to house arrest, but can’t leave Turkey

A photo of the Rev. Andrew Brunson during his time in prison.  Photo courtesy of World Witness
The US pastor Andrew Brunson is being moved from Kiriklar prison to house arrest in Turkey after a court ruling today, 25 July, a leader of the Turkish Protestant Church has confirmed direct to World Watch Monitor. The same source confirmed that Brunson’s wife is on her way to the . . . Read More

Hopes dashed for release of pastor Andrew Brunson as Turkish trial to continue in October

Andrew Brunson (World
Hopes were dashed for the imminent release of an American pastor jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges as a Turkish court today ordered him to remain behind bars. The court scheduled Andrew Brunson’s next hearing for 12 October. Some observers had believed that Turkey might release Brunson, who has been . . . Read More

North Korea tells US to drop ‘anachronistic human rights racket’

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North Korea has called on the United States to stop its “anachronistic human rights racket” as talks continue between the two countries, AP reports. The US House of Representatives recently promised that “complete, verifiable, and irreversible human rights improvements” in North Korea were a necessary part of any deal, while . . . Read More