In Egypt, Meeting with Sunni Muslim Leaders, Pope Francis Must Speak Up
By Nina Shea
He should ask them to define and clarify key Islamic terms that terrorist groups use to recruit members.
On Friday, Pope Francis travels to Egypt, the largest Arab country and home to the Copts, the Middle East’s largest Christian community. His principal purpose is to take part in an interfaith dialogue with Grand Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, who heads el-Azhar, the ancient center of Sunni Muslim learning. Begun 20 years ago, this dialogue effort is best known for Tayeb’s breaking it off in 2011, after he faulted Pope Benedict XVI for an “unacceptable interference” in Egypt’s internal affairs.
Christianity in Iraq is finished, says Canon Andrew White, 'vicar of Baghdad'
He is one of the world’s most prominent priests, but Canon Andrew White – known as the “Vicar of Baghdad” – has reached a painstaking conclusion: Christianity is all but over in the land where it all began. “The time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some stay Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited,” White told Fox News this week. “The Christians coming out of Iraq and ISIS areas in the Middle East all say the same thing, there is no way they are ever going back. They have had enough.”
Cardinal Dolan Leads Good Friday Mass at Coptic Church
By NY1 News
Religious leaders gather on the Upper East Side as a show of solidarity in the face of last weekend's terror attacks in Egypt. Cardinal Timothy Dolan led Good Friday services at Our Lady of Peace on 62nd Street, a Coptic Christian Church. A Greek Orthodox archbishop, an Armenian orthodox archbishop and a rabbi also came out to pray for peace.
Florida rally designed to support persecuted Christians
Kathryn Jean Lopez
The site of this event is so connected to the mission of this festival because it was on this “holy acre” where the first Mass of the United States was said and where seven Servants of God of La Florida were martyred for their faith. Also, the Shrine to Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios is where the first Marian shrine in the U.S. was founded and this devotion to Our Lady is one of comfort, healing, and restoration.
What a perfect place to pray for the persecuted Church and their aggressors!
The US Must Do More for Minority Faiths Facing Genocide Abroad
The fact that President Trump’s executive order allows the government to prioritize individual claims of religious-based persecution from religious minorities—whether Christian, Yazidi, Jew, Muslim, Bahá’í, Buddhist, etc.—should be welcome news to every Christian and everyone concerned with human rights and religious freedom.
ISIS has waged genocide against Christians and other minorities for nearly three years. The terror group carried out its slogan, “We will break your crosses and enslave your women,” with literal precision against the ancient Christian community of several Middle Eastern countries. The Yazidis, another ancient religion, saw ISIS abduct more than 3,000 of its women and girls for sexual enslavement, and mass graves of their men are now being unearthed.
Should America’s Refugee Policy Put Persecuted Christians First?
David Curry, Nina Shea, Matthew Soerens, and Jeremy Courtney
Four Christian experts offer their take on Trump’s controversial plan.
Under President Donald Trump’s new executive order, religious minorities claiming persecution will take priority over other applicants once the refugee program resumes. Last weekend on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Trump indicated that the policy will particularly advantage persecuted Christians from the Middle East:
They’ve been horribly treated. Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough to get into the United States? If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair, everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.
Most Democrats Think Christians in Muslim World Treated Better Than Muslims in U.S.
This is what happens when ideology clashes with reality.
This is disturbing for so many reasons.
A majority of Democrats believe that Muslims are mistreated in the United States because of their faith, but fewer say the same thing about Christians living in the Islamic world, a new poll shows. Fifty-six percent of Democrats told Rasmussen that Muslims living in the U.S. are mistreated because of their faith while only 46 percent believe Christians in the Islamic world are persecuted over their faith.
The lessons of Roosevelt’s failures
Caroline B. Glick
The current media and left-wing uproar over the executive order US President Donald Trump signed on Saturday is extraordinary on many levels.
Is US President Donald Trump the new Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Does his immigration policy mimic Roosevelt’s by adopting a callous, bigoted position on would-be asylum seekers from the Muslim world? At a press conference on June 5, 1940, Roosevelt gave an unspeakably cynical justification for his administration’s refusal to permit the desperate Jews of Nazi Germany to enter the US.
In Roosevelt’s words, “Among the refugees [from Germany], there are some spies... And not all of them are voluntary spies – it is rather a horrible story but in some of the other countries that refugees out of Germany have gone to, especially Jewish refugees, they found a number of definitely proven spies.”
TUCKER with Piers Morgan: American Media Don't Care About Palm Sunday Egypt ISIS Attacks - But They Should
In the birthplace of Christianity, Christians and other minorities are being persecuted, driven and wiped out, and their places of worship are being destroyed. Faithkeepers gives face and voice to the humanitarian crisis and genocide affecting millions in the Middle East as a result of religious and ethnic persecution. The film is a testament to the stories of the persecuted and an inspiring portrait of the human spirit. Using personal testimonies and original animation, the film exposes daily life for those facing violence and expulsion.
Faithkeepers – the movie and the movement – will awaken, enlighten and inspire all people of faith to stand up and take action.
Palm Sunday attacks: 44 dead, more than 100 injured in Coptic church bombings carried out by ISIS
Egypt's president called for a three-month state of emergency Sunday after at least 44 people were killed and more than 100 more were injured in two Palm Sunday suicide attacks at Coptic Christian churches, each carried out by the ISIS terror group. Sunday's first blast happened at St. George Church in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, where at least 27 people were killed and 78 others wounded, officials said.
‘Record-Breaking’ Number of Migrants Crossing Mediterranean This Easter
By Nick Hallett
The charity said the situation had been a “24 hours marathon of continuous rescue operations” in what was “set to be the latest marker in the record-breaking escalation of this on-going humanitarian crisis at sea”.
For Iraqi Christians After Islamic State, Hope Amid the Ruins
By Lauren Ashburn
Christian towns in Iraq’s Kurdistan region show both heartbreaking damage and signs of resilience
Trump, Egypt and the future
By Judith Miller
The Palm Sunday bombings of Coptic churches in Egypt are a tragedy for Egyptian Christians, the Middle East’s oldest and largest Christian community and for all Egyptians who oppose the Islamic State’s intolerance and terror. But this calamity has political benefits for Egypt’s beleaguered President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. The twin suicide bombings, the worst terror attack against Egypt’s Christians since 28 people were killed near St. Mark’s Coptic Cathedral in Cairo last December, have not only helped el-Sisi cement ties with President Trump, but they have given him even greater latitude to crack down on opponents of his policies.
Middle East – and not even a visit from the Pope can convince them to stay
By Robert Fisk
In the British mandate of Palestine, the Christian population was 9.6 per cent of the population. By 1999, it was 2.9 per cent. Meanwhile, 35 per cent of the Christians of the West Bank and Gaza left between 1967 and 1999
As we work to eradicate ISIS, Iraq's Christians, Yizidis need our help now more than ever
Three years ago ISIS began attacking Iraq's Christians and Yizidis in an onslaught of rape, murder and ruin that was properly designated as “genocide” on March 17, 2016 by the State Department. Now, as their hometowns in Iraq’s northern Nineveh Province become liberated in an ongoing coalition offensive, a few brave Christian and Yizidi genocide survivors are straggling back to the rubble that was once their homes and businesses. The next six months will be the moment of truth for them.
March 6, 2017
Statement of Nina Shea, director of Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, in light of the March 6 Executive Order, which drops prior version’s refugee section on religious persecution of minorities:
“There’s a dire need for Pres. Trump to issue a separate executive order -- one specifically aimed to help ISIS genocide survivors in Iraq and Syria. For three years, the Christians, Yizidis and others of the smallest religious minorities have been targeted by ISIS with beheadings, crucifixions, rape, torture and sexual enslavement. One year ago, on March 17, 2016, ISIS was officially designated as responsible for this “genocide” by the State Department. Nevertheless, the UN marginalizes these minorities, not only from Syrian refugee resettlement referrals, but from other UN programs substantially funded by the U.S.: Iraqi humanitarian aid programs, Nineveh reconstruction assistance plans and its refugee camps, which, region-wide, have been allowed to become dens of religious persecution in which few minority refugees dare enter. Even if ISIS is routed from Mosul, the Christian community is now so shattered and vulnerable, without Pres. Trump’s prompt leadership, the entire Iraqi Christian presence could soon be wiped out.”
Christianity's prospects of surviving in its birthplace are grim
By Perry Chiaramonte
Prospects of Christianity surviving in its birthplace, the Middle East, appear as grim this Holy Week as they have at any time in the last two millennia. Persecution of the world’s largest religion has intensified throughout the 20th century and that trajectory has only intensified in recent years, especially in Muslim-dominated countries. Jihadists appear to have repeatedly carried out one of their oft-stated goals of erasing any trace of Christianity in some regions, while in others persecution against Christians and other religious minorities are being held at bay — for now.
EU Parliament: Weber (EPP), “Christians persecuted all over the world. must be protected”
(Strasbourg) “The persecution that Christian have to endure all over the world is more and more worrying”: this has been stated by Manfred Weber, head of the People’s Party Group in Strasbourg, as he commented on the fact that tomorrow afternoon the European Parliament, gathered in its plenary meeting, will hold a debate about such subject with the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini. “Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world. One million Christians had to flee Syria alone. Attacks on churches and communities, as it recently happened in Egypt, are multiplying”. Weber states that the European Parliament “must give a strong message”, so that the communities, that are above all in the Middle East and in Africa, are really protected.
Strengthening the ties between the United States, United Kingdom, and the English speaking world.
The Anglosphere Society
Secularism Is No Match for Radical Islam
It falls to Christian leaders everywhere to work and advocate for their co-religionists in the Middle East.
Trudging around the ruined Church of St. Addai, in the empty Christian town of Karemlash, I saw clearly where radical Islamic extremism leads. This was only days before the attack on Westminster in London on March 22. With broken glass underfoot and the walls of the Church blackened after ISIS firebombed it, perhaps the most powerful symbol I came across in Karemlash was the defaced Cross.
Next few months will decide Christians’ fate in scarred Iraq, says official
By Mark Pattison - Catholic News Service
The next few months will determine whether Iraqi Christians can return to their homes in areas where Islamic State had been routed, according to Msgr. John E. Kozar, international president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Msgr. Kozar, who was in Iraq March 31-April 5, cited several daunting challenges for Iraqi Christians who return to their country: infrastructure woes, burned- and bombed-out buildings, desecrated churches and security issues.