Hostilities at Catholic Church in Istanbul, Turkey Leave Parishioners Fearing Worse

Congregation anxious after verbal assault, threats, and a lunge with a knife.

The Rev. Roberto Ferrari prepares to administer Holy Communion at St. Stephanos Church in Istanbul, Turkey. (Morning Star News)

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – Members of a Catholic church in Istanbul fear an attack after Muslims verbally assaulted and threatened them during a baptismal service and destroyed church property in the last two months. After two incidents at St. Stephanos Church, parishioners said they are waiting to see if hostilities will escalate into violence […]

Copt Convicted of ‘Blasphemy’ in Egypt for ‘Liking’ Facebook Page

Severity of sentence shocks Christian community, free speech advocates.

Kerolos Shouky Attallah. (Nations Without Borders)

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – A young Christian man in Upper Egypt accused of blaspheming Islam for “liking” a Facebook page was sentenced Tuesday (June 24) to six years in prison, shocking the Coptic community and other Facebook users. Judge Hazim Hany of Armant Criminal Court found Kerolos Shouky Attallah, 29, of Al-Mahamid village near […]

Noted Convert in Egypt, Formerly Known as Hegazy, Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Bishoy Armia Boulous convicted for photographing unrest.

El Amarawy mosque in Minya, Egypt. (Wikipedia)

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – A judge in Egypt yesterday sentenced Bishoy Armia Boulous – formerly Mohammed Hegazy, the first Egyptian to try to legally change his religious identity on his official ID – to five years in prison, his attorney said. The 31-year-old Christian received the prison term and a fine of 500 Egyptian […]

Coptic Teacher Loses Appeal, Sentenced to Prison in Egypt for ‘Blasphemy’

Falsely accused woman likely to remain in permanent exile, advocates say.

Demyana Abd al-Nour. (Morning Star News via family)

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – A Coptic woman has lost her appeal of what human rights activists call a false conviction for blaspheming Islam and has been sentenced to six months in an Egytian prison. The appellate court ruling, handed down on Sunday (June 15), shocked the Christian woman, 25-year-old Demyana Abd al-Nour, her family […]

Commitment to Egypt’s New Constitution Questioned after ‘Blasphemy’ Charge

Christian on trial for ‘liking’ Facebook page run by converts from Islam.

Knights of the Cross website. (Morning Star News screen-grab)

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – Charges of “blasphemy” against a Christian in Egypt for “liking” a Facebook page run by converts from Islam call into question the government’s commitment to a new constitution guaranteeing freedom of belief and thought, rights activists said. Kerolos Shouky Attallah, of Al-Mahamid village near Luxor, is accused of violating Article […]

Church Website Blocked as ‘Porn’ in Turkish Parliament, Legislator Says

Lawmaker demands investigation.

Wikimedia's 404 error message. (Wikimedia)

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – A Turkish legislator is demanding an investigation into why the website of at least one Turkish church was labeled pornography and blocked from computers at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM). While doing research on Wednesday (May 28) for a trip to Diyarbakir, Aykan Erdemir, a legislator from Bursa […]

Iran Steps Up Campaign of Terror against House Churches

Saeed Abedini tortured, beaten.

Iranian security agents beat U.S.-Iranian pastor Saeed Abedini.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – Iran’s secret police and Revolutionary Guard are subjecting Christians to a continuing wave of arrests, and increased torture and brutal beatings, in an effort to crush the house-church movement, activists said. Human rights activists confirmed that there has been a noticeable increase this month in the number of reported assaults […]

Lawyers Press for ‘Insanity Defense’ in Killing of Christian Woman in Egypt

Attorneys undeterred by psychiatric evaluation saying confessed killer is mentally fit.

Engraved image at Temple of Kom Ombo, Egypt. (Wikipedia)

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – Lawyers for a Muslim accused of stabbing a Coptic woman to death in Egypt are persisting with a claim of innocence by reason of insanity, in spite of a psychiatric evaluation that found he was fit to stand trial. Confirming fears of human rights activists who said attorneys for Mahmoud […]

Christian Teacher in Exile Awaiting Appeal of Her ‘Blasphemy’ Case in Egypt

False accusations in climate of hostility drive young woman to France.

Ramesseum, memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II, near Luxor. (Marc Ryckaert, Wikimedia)

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – One year after Muslim extremists in Egypt accused her of committing blasphemy during class, a Christian teacher who suspected she would not get a fair trial remains trapped in exile. Demyana Abd Al-Nour, 25, a first-year social studies teacher at Sheikh Sultan Primary School in a village in Upper Egypt, fled […]

Malatya, Seven Years Later – Signs of Hope Amid Oppression in Turkey

New church, renewed faith accompany commemoration of martyrs.

Susanne Geske, widow of martyr Tilmann Geske, after memorial ceremony for Uğur Yüksel. (Morning Star News)

MALATYA, Turkey (Morning Star News) – On the stone base over the grave of Uğur Yüksel, three words are etched into the blood-red marble: “Killed like Jesus.” These few words indict the men who killed Yüksel for his faith, encourage Christians he left behind and call to Turks who suspect there might be a way to […]