News
by Kamran Chaudhry

National Minorities Day was established thanks to Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic minister who killed for defending Asia Bibi. Christians are discriminated against in the workplace and ignored in school books. In 2018, 16 people were charged for alleged blasphemy.

| 13/08/2019
| PAKISTAN

Extra-luxury religious tourism is growing in conjunction with the Hajj.  Some rooms also cost $ 1000 a night and for the period of the largest pilgrimage, can see up to $ 25,000 being spent per person.  Structures overlooking the Kaaba in greatest demand.  Analysts and experts speak of a phenomenon linked to religious tourism.

 

 

| 13/08/2019
| SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
by Melani Manel Perera

The assault has raised concern among Christians, already shocked by the Easter Sunday attacks. Methodist Church president says he trusts the justice system. In his view, Buddhists can enjoy their faith as they wish, and so should let Christians do the same.

| 12/08/2019
| SRI LANKA

From the leaders of the Iraqi Church the hope of a return of families displaced by ISIS and a strengthening of the reconstruction process.  A "just representation" of Christians in institutions and the goal of "full citizenship".  A conference of young Chaldeans in 2020 and one dedicated to the laity in 2022.

 

| 12/08/2019
| IRAQ

Clashes between faithful and police started yesterday morning, during the Muslim festival of Sacrifice and the Jewish anniversary of Tisha B’Av.  Two arrests, dozens of Palestinians injured and 15 hospitalized.  After an initial ban, the police allowed Jews to enter the holy place.  The Israeli extreme right fuels tensions.

 

| 12/08/2019
| ISRAEL - PALESTINE - GULF

The victim is Dvir Sorek, grandson of a famous rabbi killed in the 2000s.  In a few days he would have turned 19.  For the Israeli authorities the members of the commando are ready to strike again.  For Netanyahu they are "despicable terrorists".  Hamas justifies the gesture as a "response" to "crimes" linked to "occupation".

 

 

| 09/08/2019
| ISRAEL - PALESTINE

Over 2.5 million Muslims prepare for the annual pilgrimage that begins tomorrow.  At least 5 thousand faithful from Africa rejected for fear of Ebola.  About 350 thousand people will ensure safety of pilgrims.  Despite the tensions with Tehran, the arrival of almost 89,000 people from Iran is expected.

| 08/08/2019
| SAUDI ARABIA - TURKEY - ISLAM

The young man, aged 19, was a student of a Jewish religious school and grandson of a well-known rabbi.  According to preliminary information, the soldier was  the victim of a failed kidnapping attempt.  The kidnappers abandoned him at the edge of the road.  For the Israeli security forces this is a "terrorist attack".

 

| 08/08/2019
| ISRAEL - PALESTINE

Egyptian authorities recently authorised 88 Coptic places of worship built without a permit. So far, more than 2,000 churches "of all denominations" have been retroactively approved. However, violence is back on the agenda after Sunday’s attack in Cairo. "Pray for us," urges Fr Rafic.

| 07/08/2019
| EGYPT

Meeting the press in his summer residence, the cardinal attacks the leaders of the security forces and recalls the values ​​underlying the national agreement.  Taëf's agreement disregarded "in letter and in spirit".  Constitution and laws the "path to follow" in a period of strong tensions.  The danger of an escalation between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

 

| 07/08/2019
| LEBANON

The largest pilgrimage falls in the last month of the Islamic calendar, the Dhu Al Hijjah.  Riyadh has mobilized 350,000 employees to ensure safety.  Muslims from Congo blocked because of Ebola epidemic. Leaders warn the faithful: No selfies or texting from  the holy places.  Women must be accompanied by their mahram.

 

 

| 06/08/2019
| SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM

Two years after the Islamic State’s military defeat, going home appears a distant prospect. There are still many needs, but aid and resources have been reduced. The Iraq issue and Mideast political and religious tensions have increased insecurity. Clergyman pleads “don't forget” because the disappearance of Christians will have tragic consequences for the region.

| 05/08/2019
| IRAQ

Saleh Abdelaziz el-Dhamiri, 60, suffered from heart problems and needed a new heart pump. He had spent over four years in isolation for his work in favour of Saudi political prisoners. In the past he had criticised the rise to power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

| 05/08/2019
| SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia is ranked 172nd on the RSF list, is involved in the murder of dissident journalist Khashoggi and arrests reporters.  But it intends to launch a "media forum" and media awards.  The goal is to become a place for "discussions and debate" at regional and international level.

| 03/08/2019
| SAUDI ARABIA
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