- Jan 18, 2020
A riot in the Papua — a mostly Christian province of the predominantly Muslim country of Indonesia — was sparked by claims police burned Christian scripture. The police said water cannon was used, but the church’s report said two armored vehicles from the military base had fired at the crowd.
The roughly 30 million Christians in India, about half of whom are Catholic, have suffered various forms of intimidation and harassment, including physical violence, instigated by Hindu nationalist groups. There is a fear among Christians that the nation is losing its secular identity.
The group of IS affiliates in Egypt claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings that struck two of the country’s Coptic Christian churches last month, killing over 45 worshippers and prompting the president to declare a three-month state of emergency.
Pope Francis said he wants his visit to Egypt “to be a witness of my affection, comfort and encouragement for all the Christians of the Middle East, a message of friendship and respect for all the inhabitants of Egypt and the region, and a message of brotherhood and reconciliation with all the children of Abraham, particularly the Muslim world” in a video message to the Egyptian people released on Tuesday ahead of his April 28-29 visit to the country.
Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom says Christians in Egypt are concerned and saddened, but added “I haven’t heard the word fear used by anybody.” The Church in Egypt is preparing for a more somber Easter, after attacks on Palm Sunday left at least 45 people dead.
Christians in Mali celebrate Christmas with joy even though this is the first Christmas they’ve been able to hold a service at the Catholic church, which was torched in 2012 by the al-Qaida-linked militants who took over the major towns in northern Mali that year.