Iraqi Christians Celebrate Mass In Qaraqosh

Surrounded by charred walls and in front of a ruined altar, dozens of Iraqi Christians celebrated mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

CHR Comment: Christians were driven out in August 2014 when ISIS troops occupied the city and issued an ultimatum that they should convert or else.

Source: Iraqi Christians Celebrate Mass In Qaraqosh For The First Time Since Liberation From ISIS | Christian News on Christian Today

Moral Assassinations of Priests

Mexico’s Roman Catholic Church on Monday harshly criticized what it called a campaign to smear three priests murdered in less than a week by suggesting the victims had been involved in questionable behavior.

CHR Comment: Drug cartels and a government prosecutor have condemned ministers serving in Mexico where 28 priests have been killed since 2006.

Source: Catholic Church alleges smear campaign against slain priests – The Washington Post

Hungary Seeks to Aid Persecuted Christians

Hungary says it is setting up a special department to coordinate the assistance and rescue of persecuted Christians around the world.

CHR Comments: The comments from Janos Lazar followed a meeting with Eastern Christians at Rome. Additionally, the Hungarian Prime Minster expressed concern about assimilating Muslims refugees.

Source: Hungary seeks to aid persecuted Christians around the world – The Washington Post

In Defense of Christians

(RNS) The plight of Christians in the Middle East is all but ignored, say their advocates.

CHR Comment: The article describes a Washington DC conference intent upon addressing the plight of Christians in the Middle East such as the Assyrian Christians and the Copts in Egypt. These minority religious groups are subject to persistent persecution in recent years. The conference also mentioned the suffering of the Yazidi people who practice a form of Zoroastrianism.

Source: Activists: West is ignoring genocide of Middle East religious minorities | Religion News Service

Egypt’s Christians Say They Are at a Breaking Point

While Imam Mahmoud Gomaa, appointed to keep the peace between two faiths, blames journalists for exaggerating the problem, a local bishop says, “We are at a breaking point.”

CHR Comment: The article describes the continued atmosphere of persecution in Egypt. Copts in America want to demonstrate about the situation but Copts in Egypt are afraid of reprisals. This illustrates the sense of intimidation they are experiencing. Muslim rule has at times presented an atmosphere of peace while having strict rules that prevent Christian communities from growth and freedom. (E. g., not allowing the building or repair of churches, conversions to Christianity, etc.)

Source: Egypt’s Christians Say They Are at a ‘Breaking Point’ – The New York Times

Persecution Intensifies in Democratic Republic of Congo

Another jihadist organization is feared to be gaining strength after persecution of Christians intensified in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

CHR Comment: The Jihadist organization attempted to overthrow the government some years ago but failed. They have since continued militant and terrorizing activities, which disrupts local communities and food production.

Source: Christian persecution intensifies in DRC as 36 tied up and hacked to death | Christian News on Christian Today

Christians Resettling Northeastern Nigeria

For years a key state in Islamist terror group Boko Haram’s attempt to create a caliphate, parts of Adamawa state in northeastern Nigeria have now been liberated by government forces. However, as civilians begin returning home, they are finding it difficult to adjust to life after the insurgency.

CHR Comment: Years of fighting resulted in the destruction of homes, churches, and wells, making resettlement difficult. Boko Haram remains a threat active in the country though their efforts to form a caliphate have failed.

Source: Churches destroyed, Bibles burned: Nigerian church leader on Christians returning home after Boko Haram