World Evangelical Alliance Presents Pope Francis with Shahbaz Bhatti Freedom Award

Shahbaz Bhatti Freedom Award to Pope Francis

9 Nov 2014, Vatican City

(Vatican Radio) Meeting this week in the Vatican with a delegation from the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and its partner “First Step Forum”, Pope Francis has been awarded the annual Shahbaz Bhatti Freedom Award for his tireless commitment to build a more peaceful and reconciled world.

Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni spoke to WEA President, Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe, who explained the main reason for the meeting was to talk about areas of potential collaboration, to address global issues of common concerns to both the evangelical community and the Catholic Church.

Tunnicliffe begins by explaining exactly what he means when speaking of a “New Era in Evangelical and Roman Catholic Relations” – which by the way, happens to be the very title of the speech with which he addressed Pope Francis… Continue reading “World Evangelical Alliance Presents Pope Francis with Shahbaz Bhatti Freedom Award”

Why US Must Save Lives of Iraq’s Christians, Other Minorities


“The world hasn’t seen an evil like this for a generation.” This is how the national spokesman for Iraqi Christians in the United States described atrocities by Isis terrorists in northern Iraq, which include beheading of children and their mothers and fathers, and forcing almost all Christians in the region to flee. While the United States has resumed military action to deal with the crisis in Iraq, its commitment reflects half-heartedness and fails to match the enormity of suffering and potential threats.

“They are systematically beheading children, and mothers and fathers … There’s actually a park in Mosul that they’ve actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick,” Mark Arabo, the spokesman for Iraqi Christians, told CNN. “This is crimes against humanity. The whole world should come together. This is much broader than a community or faith … They are doing the most horrendous, the most heart-breaking things you can think of.”

The Episcopal Vicar of Iraq, Canon Andrew White, recently visited the town of Qaraqosh, which like many other towns and cities has been captured by the Isis, to assess the situation. “The majority of the town’s 50,000 people have fled, fearing that, like other Christians in this region, they will be massacred. The militants, in a further act of sacrilege, have established their administrative posts in the abandoned churches,” he said, according to Catholic Online. Continue reading “Why US Must Save Lives of Iraq’s Christians, Other Minorities”

Does Egypt’s Draft Constitution Provide for Religious Freedom?


December 06, 2012

The Constituent Assembly of Egypt came out with a draft constitution on Nov. 29, and a referendum will be held for its adoption on Dec. 15. The draft prepared by the Islamist- dominated assembly shows where the Muslim Brotherhood stands on the role of Shari’a in public life and human rights as understood by the international community.

President Mohamed Morsi, who is from the Brotherhood’s political wing, is going ahead with the constitutional referendum despite an ongoing uprising over his Nov. 22 declaration that no one – not even the courts – can challenge his decisions until a new constitution is in place. Morsi wants people to believe that the constituent assembly hurried to prepare the draft, and the referendum is being held in haste, so that the period of his newly acquired supreme authority is short.

However, anti-Morsi protests increased after the date of the referendum was announced. The president did not want to give enough time to the people to discuss the proposed provisions. Continue reading “Does Egypt’s Draft Constitution Provide for Religious Freedom?”

What Lies Ahead in Egypt?

June 22, 2012
Tens of thousands of Egyptians are once again converging on Cairo’s Tahrir Square following the decision of the military generals to postpone the results of the runoff presidential election that were expected on June 21. The protests are also against the military council’s move to strip the president’s office of its most important powers.
Meanwhile, the two presidential candidates, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq and leader of Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party Mohammed Morsi, are both claiming victory. Morsi, who Christians fear will marginalize the minority, seems more likely to win initially according to media reports, but some claim Shafiq is using back room deals to ensure his victory.
However, just as the votes were being counted on June 17, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which has been ruling the country since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, announced amendments to the interim constitution, granting key powers to itself. Continue reading “What Lies Ahead in Egypt?”

WEA Leaders Meet with Chinese Government Minister and Church Representatives during China Visit

New York, NY – May 14, 2012

On May 10th, Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) which represents some 600 million Evangelical Protestants, met in Beijing with Minister Wang of the Chinese government who is Director General of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA).

The two hour meeting focused on issues of mutual concern to the Chinese Government, the China Christian Council (CCC) and the WEA. Building on previous visits, a small delegation from the WEA met to continue in dialogue on matters of importance to Christians both in China and the world.

This meeting culminated a series of meetings which began in Shanghai with senior leaders of both the CCC and the Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM). The dialogue covered a wide range of topics, including the challenges of rapid church growth, Bible engagement, business ethics, religious liberty, gendercide, and human trafficking. Along with Dr. Tunnicliffe were Dr. Brian Stiller (WEA Global Ambassador) and Rev. Godfrey Yogarajah (Executive Director, Religious Liberty Commission). Continue reading “WEA Leaders Meet with Chinese Government Minister and Church Representatives during China Visit”

Brian Stiller Reporting from Cairo

At such a tumultous time in the Middle East particularly Egypt…the world watches day by day. Brian Stiller is Global Ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance and he brings us this update from Cairo.


The Key to Securing Religious Freedom in Post-Arab Spring Nations

December 1, 2011
Since a series of protests and demonstrations began across the Middle East and North Africa in December 2010, three regimes have fallen: that of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and ruler Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.
Besides, President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen has finally agreed to step down after delaying it for months following his initial announcement to do so in April that he would resign in 30 days in exchange for immunity. Syria, under the state of emergency since 1963, appears to be on the brink of a civil war and change may follow sooner or later. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have both announced that they would not seek re-election when their respective terms end.
The wave of revolutions has achieved what was almost unimaginable until recently, but it has come at the cost of tens of thousands of human lives. About 30,000 people were killed in Libya, around 4,000 in Syria, roughly 1,800 in Yemen, at least 875 in Egypt, and over 233 in Tunisia, according to estimates. Continue reading “The Key to Securing Religious Freedom in Post-Arab Spring Nations”