Fears that Nigerian Christians are facing ever-increasing bloodshed and violence are growing, human rights groups have warned, with the government failing to persecute and bring to justice the Islamic radical factions that killed over 4,000 Christians in 2015 alone.
"As we speak, none of the perpetrators has been fished out and put on trial. That is to say the government is fully aiding and abetting the sundry ethno-religious cleansing and butcheries. It also partakes circumstantially and vicariously, if not directly," said Emeka Umeagbalasi, chairman for the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law.
Christian Prisoner Maryam Zargaran, who has now spent over three weeks on a hunger strike in Iranian prison, has been denied a release on medical grounds by the Iranian court, despite reports of her worsening medical condition.
Mohabat News reported Monday that the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence has refused to grant Zargaran's release despite signs that she is developing multiple sclerosis. The Christian woman began her second hunger strike on July 5 in protest against the treatment she has received in prison, and reports are saying that she has become very weak, with her long-term heart condition posing an increasing health risk.
Zargaran's family were allowed to visit her in prison recently, but revealed that she refuses to receive treatment at the prison clinic because staff mistreat her there. more >>
Human rights groups have been speaking out against what they say is an alarming escalation of violence in several attacks against Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Christian community, with police providing little if any protection for victims.
Mina Thabet, programme director for minorities and vulnerable groups with the Egyptian Commission of Rights and Freedoms, told AFP that attacks on Coptic Christians have been "escalating in a very short time."
There have been a number of reports in separate Egyptian villages in recent weeks of large Muslim mobs torching Christian houses, preventing them from establishing churches and gathering to worship. Christians have been beaten and threatened against practicing their faith, while police and government officials have been failing to punish those responsible, Thabet said. more >>
Pope Francis will meet with Holocaust survivors and visit the Auschwitz concentration camp next Friday, but instead of making a speech he will carry out his visit "in silent pain, compassion and tears."
According to Catholic News Service, Fr. Pawel Rytel-Andrianik, president of the Polish bishop's conference, said the pope's decision to remain silent at Auschwitz is deeply meaningful.
"In the world there are two very parallel places. The first is the Wailing Wall and the second is the wailing place. The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, and the wailing place in Auschwitz-Birkenau in the German Nazi concentration camp," Rytel-Andianik said. more >>
Chaldean Christians are caught in the middle of a "furious debate" over whether they should stay in their ancestral home in Iraq despite the ongoing genocide at the hands of the Islamic State terror group, or flee as refugees.
Fox News reported Thursday that the debate is causing fractions within the Chaldean community, with Baghdad-based Patriarch Sako, who aligns with Pope Francis and the Vatican, urging Christians to stay put and not to abandon their homeland despite the atrocities being carried out by IS.
The other side of the debate is spearheaded by Bishop Sarhad Jammo, who has called on Chaldeans to flee for their own survival. more >>
Questions remain about the fate of abducted Indian priest Tom Uzhunnalil, who was abducted in March by armed militants in Yemen, even after a video was reportedly released on social media purporting to show a frail, weakened and bearded Uzhunnalil being beaten.
Footage and a photograph were posted on Uzhunnalil's Facebook page on Tuesday by a person claiming to be a "Yemeni friend" of the abducted priest who was kidnapped during a raid on a Missionaries of Charity retirement home in Aden in which militants took the lives of 16 civilians and four nuns.
The photo shows a frail and weak man with a large gray beard clutching his chest. The caption included with the photo stated that "an entreaty seeking his release would be uploaded soon." more >>