The Iraqi priest who defied Islamic State

The Priest defying Islamic militants in Iraq
Father Ghazwan is a priest in Alqosh, northern Iraq. Only a few kilometres away from Islamic State territory, no church bells were ringing in the whole of the Nineveh plains during the height of IS’ power.

That was until Father Ghazwan decided to defy persecution and stay put – soon, many members of his congregation followed suit. Alqosh has become the only Christian stronghold in Iraq to survive IS. 

Now he hopes that those who fled and have become refugees will be able to return to their church.

(Photo credit: BBC)

Courage Foundation

Life brings challenges for us all, but sometimes it seems they aren't shared fairly.
Life brings its challenges for all of us, but sometimes it seems those challenges are not shared out fairly.

Ruth and Tony Palmer's response has been to set up an organisation called The Courage Foundation.

Christianity 'could be wiped out' in parts of the world

Donna Birrell

BBC Radio Cornwall

Bishop of Truro

The Bishop of Truro, who has been asked by the Foreign Office to look into the persecution of Christians globally, says Christianity could be "wiped out" in parts of the world.

A report by the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen found that Christians are the most persecuted religious group, and warned that, in parts of the Middle East, Christianity could be "wiped out" as people flee persecution.

He says the situation has become so dire that it is close to meeting the definition of genocide.

I have been truly shocked by the severity, by the scale and by the scope of what it is that Christians around the world are facing - some truly challenging and some truly awful situations across the world in which, yes, people are losing their lives - and that is just appalling - but there's pretty wholesale discrimination as well as violent persecution."

Rt Revd Philip MounstephenBishop of Truro

The Mounstephen review, which will publish its final report in the summer, pointed to figures suggesting Christian numbers in Palestine are below 1.5% of the population, while in Iraq they have slumped from 1.5 million before 2003 to less than 120,000 today.