Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom

U.S. Officials: Iran-Allied Shiite Militias in Iraq ‘Extort and Terrorize’ Religious Minorities

WASHINGTON, DC — Some factions of a Baghdad-sanctioned organization of mainly Iranian-backed Shiite militias are engaging in egregious violations such as torture, extrajudicial detentions, rape, extortion, and kidnappings in northern Iraq’s Nineveh province, where persecuted religious minorities like Christians are struggling to recover from the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) atrocities, top U.S. officials said this week.

TOPSHOT - David Dosha, the priest of the Church of Mart Shmony, located in the Christian Iraqi town of Bartella, about 15 kilometres (10 miles) east of Mosul, inspects the damage on October 24, 2016 at the church's compound after Iraqi forces retook control of the town from jihadists of …

‘Hope is Back’: Trump Helps Save Christians, Yazidis in Iraq from Extinction

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is helping bring Christians and Yazidis in Iraq back from the brink of extinction fomented by a genocidal campaign at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), religious minority representatives declared this week at the second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom convened by the Department of State.

Iraqi Syriac Christian priest Charbel Aesso leads an easter service at Saint John's Church (Mar Yohanna) in the nearly deserted predominantly Christian Iraqi town of Qaraqosh on April 16, 2017 near Mosul, Iraq. Qaraqosh was retaken by Iraqi forces in 2016 during the offensive to capture the nearby city of …

Exclusive: Jehovah’s Witnesses Face Harsh Persecution in Putin’s Russia

Delegations from around the globe were in Washington this week for the U.S.-led, first Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, including two representatives from the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in New York who used the opportunity to highlight the persecution of followers in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Russia's Supreme Court judge Yuri Ivanenko reads the decision in a court room in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, April 20, 2017. Russia's Supreme Court has banned the Jehovah's Witnesses from operating in the country, accepting a request from the justice ministry that the religious organisation be considered an extremist group, …