Coptic Teenagers Sentenced in Egypt for ‘Defaming Islam’ in Video Flee to Switzerland

In exclusive interview, they debunk story of mocking Islamic State beheadings.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – Sentenced to prison in Egypt for allegedly insulting Islam in a video, four Coptic teenagers who had taken refuge in Turkey for months on Thursday (Sept. 1) flew to Switzerland to seek asylum. In exclusive interviews with Morning Star News, the boys said they made their video before the release […]

Iran Suspected of ‘Forcing Confessions’ to Obtain ‘Evidence’ against Church Leader

Five Christians illegally arrested at a picnic.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – Five members of an Iranian house church are missing after government agents arrested them on Friday (Aug. 26) without a warrant and took them to an undisclosed location, according to a leading advocacy group. No information is available on the whereabouts of Ramiel Bet Tamraz, Amin Nader Afshar, Hadi Askary, […]

Key Figure in Fight for Religious Freedom in Egypt Freed, Declares Return to Islam

Mohammed Hegazy endured abuse in prison for more than two and a half years.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – After more than two and a half years of unlawful detention and abuse at the hands of the Egyptian government, a prominent convert from Islam to Christianity has issued a public statement declaring he has returned to Islam. Mohammed Hegazy, also known by his Christian name, Bishoy Armia Hegazy, […]

Iran Levels Serious Charge against Noted Church Leader, Beats Another

Pastor faces fabricated charge of “acting against national security.”

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – Iranian authorities charged a well-known pastor with “acts against national security” and beat another as persecution of Christians continued the past month. Youcef Nadarkhani, a pastor once charged with apostasy and then acquitted in 2012, was charged with acting against national security. Summoned to the 13th Branch of the Revolutionary […]

One Dead, Several Injured in Islamist Attacks on Copts in Egypt

Weekend of violence abetted by impunity.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – One Christian is dead, several others have been wounded and a fire gutted a church building after Muslims across Egypt waged a weekend of violence against Copts. In Tahana El-Gabal village in Minya Governorate, on Sunday night (July 17) Fam Mary Khalaf, 27, was overpowered by a group of Muslims […]

Imprisoned Christian in Iran Hopes for Appeal; Inmate Returns after Medical Leave

Separately, incarcerated woman on hunger strike wins medical furlough.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – A convert from Islam sentenced to five years in prison on a concocted charge of “disturbing the national security of Iran” is expected to be granted an appeal this month after waiting more than a year for a hearing. Although there is no evidence that any action will be taken […]

Copt Stabbed to Death in Egypt Less than Week after Islamic State Kills Priest

Islamic month of Ramadan marked by violence.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – A Coptic pharmacist was stabbed to death and then beheaded by a group of Salafi Muslims in Egypt’s Delta region Monday (July 4), the latest in a string of attacks against Copts during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Family members found the body of Magdy Attia, 33, in an apartment […]

Jailed Advocate for Christians’ Religious Rights in Egypt Released on Bail

Accusations remain against activist working against persecution.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – A noted Coptic human rights activist arrested in May and accused of belonging to a terrorist organization was released from prison Tuesday (June 21) after posting bail. A judge in the Al-Wayly Court of Appeals on Saturday (June 18) set a 10,000 Egyptian pound (US$1,125) bail for Mina Thabet, 26, […]

Government in Egypt Fights Efforts to Repeal Controversial ‘Blasphemy Law’

Justice Ministry says any change would be ‘unconstitutional.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – Parliamentary efforts in Egypt to repeal the country’s equivalent of a “blasphemy law” are facing stiff opposition from the Ministry of Justice. The ministry’s representative to parliament, Chancellor Ayman Rafah, this month told the People’s Assembly that the administration opposed efforts to eliminate the constitution’s Article 98F, which criminalizes any […]

Christian Prisoner in Iran Begins Hunger Strike over Denial of Medical Treatment

Woman with heart condition incarcerated for role in house-church movement.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – A convert to Christianity imprisoned for her involvement in the Iranian house-church movement has gone on a hunger strike to protest denial of needed medical treatment, religious freedom advocates said. Maryam Naghash Zargaran, 36, started her hunger strike on Friday (May 27) because a prosecutor has repeatedly denied permission to […]