About us

World Watch Monitor reports the story of Christians around the world under pressure for their faith.

Freedom of belief, guaranteed by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, plays a critical part in the unfolding, complex story of the 21st Century. We exist to tell this part of the story with accuracy and authority. We respect and uphold everyone’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; Our focus is on the global Christian Church.   

World Watch Monitor is particularly concerned with reporting on the underlying causes of persecution. We aim to connect the dots to reveal the forces behind acts of violence and injustice.

We strive to be the most trusted and consulted source of news about Christians who suffer for their faith. World Watch Monitor editors commission journalists around the world to report on persecution, from breaking news to in-depth analysis. We seek authentic voices on the ground, always with the aim to place such incidents within a broader narrative to explain context.  We are committed to classic journalistic principles and practices: We pursue truth; employ the discipline of verification; maintain independence; keep the news in perspective; and publish journalism that aims to be transparent.

However, wherever the freedom to believe is denied, there is fear, secrecy and often danger. So, we will name our sources when we can, and will protect them with anonymity when we must. Our reporters, whose work can anger those who oppress minority Christians, often work in places where police protection cannot always be expected, where orthodoxy can be enforced at the end of a gun, and where the rule of law doesn’t always run as it should. For those reasons, in most cases we do not publish the name of a story’s author. But neither do we make up fake reporter names.

We know the story of the Christian Church under pressure is larger than World Watch Monitor’s engagement with it, so we link to credible news and information about persecution that is published by others. Our goal is to be a valuable guide to the full breadth of this important story.

The WWM Team

Julia Bicknell has had over 30 years’ experience in the BBC, mainly BBC World Service and BBC World. She was a correspondent from Pakistan, has lived in Vietnam, and has spent extended time in Africa.

 

 

 

 

Jeff Thomas has spent 26 years in daily newspapers in the U.S., as a reporter, editor and executive editor.

 

 

 


 

Steve Dew-Jones joined the WWM Team as a journalist in 2013. He has written two books – about long overland journeys in Asia and the Americas, respectively – and has worked for a range of newspapers, magazines and websites in London.

 

 

 

 

Lauren Gunias has worked and trained as a journalist in both the United States and United Kingdom. Prior to joining WWM, she worked for the BBC, CNN International and WOUB News.

 

 

 

Using our material

World Watch Monitor news stories, photos and video may be republished in whole, or cited in unedited excerpts, provided that World Watch Monitor is credited as the source. Please do not republish photos or other media that we have credited to a source other than World Watch Monitor. We welcome linking to our site.

About links

Persecution is a story as old and wide as the Church, well beyond the ability of any single news service to report it completely. That's why World Watch Monitor frequently links to information sources around the Web.

We select links to Web pages that contain specific content that we have reviewed and believe to have value to World Watch Monitor readers. Such content may include, but is not limited to:

  • News articles published by other agencies that contain pertinent information not originally reported by World Watch Monitor
  • Reports, white papers, research, proclamations, statutes, and other original-source documents issued by governments, NGOs, advocacy groups, etc.
  • Background information about a person, place or topic

When a World Watch Monitor article makes reference to an organization, a link to that organization's home page may be provided, as a way to make it easier for readers to learn more about that organization.

However, we cannot be responsible for the content of external websites. This is because:

  • World Watch Monitor does not produce them or maintain them
  • World Watch Monitor cannot change them
  • They can be changed without World Watch Monitor's knowledge

In some cases, we may link to a website that coincidentally includes advertisements or commercial services, such as online purchases. World Watch Monitor has no connection to those commercial services, and does not necessarily endorse them.

A World Watch Monitor link to an external website should not be understood to be an endorsement of that website, any views expressed on the site, the site's owners, or any products and services displayed on their site.

Catching Our Eye

Iran releases Christian prisoner

A Christian imprisoned in Iran for 40 months has been released, according to MEC

Homayoun Shekohi was arrested on 8 February 2012 in Shiraz as part of a raid on a house church. He and three others were sentenced to three years, eight months in prison for participating in house-church meetings, evangelism, contact with foreign Christian ministries, propaganda against the Islamic regime and disrupting national security say Mohabat News.

Homayoun was released on bail on 10th November 2014, but in January this year his bail conditions were cancelled and he was recalled to serve the remainder of his sentence, which was due to be completed in October 2015. The three other prisoners were released in December 2014 and January 2015.

In April Homayoun's family were unable to visit him or make contact as he had been transferred to what MEC refer to as a "notorious punishment ward" in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz, possibly on account of his evangelistic activity in prison.

Homayoun was transferred back to the general prison ward on 1st June and released on Sunday 28th June.

Iceland makes blasphemy legal

Iceland's parliament has abolished its blasphemy laws, despite opposition from some of the country's churches, reports the BBC.

A bill was put forward in response to the attack against the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, by Iceland's minority Pirate Party, which campaigns for internet and data freedom. The Pirate movement was formed in Sweden in 2006 and has since spread to 60 countries, but has achieved its greatest success in Iceland where it gained three MPs at the 2013 elections.

The Catholic Church wrote in comments submitted after the bill was proposed: "Should freedom of expression go so far as to mean that the identity of a person of faith can be freely insulted, then personal freedom - as individuals or groups - is undermined."

Most Icleanders (80 per cent) are members of the Lutheran State Church. A minority (five per cent) follow Asatru, the traditional Norse religion.

Malaysia: Use of 'Allah' will get day in court

Malaysia's High Court on July 2 set a date to prepare the groundwork to hear arguments by Jill Ireland that she has the right to use the word "Allah" in reference to God.

On June 23, the Court of Appeal ordered the government to return to Ireland a collection of Christian recordings that contain the word Allah. The CDs were seized from her in 2008.

Ireland, 34, a Christian clerk from the state of Sarawak, also is seeking a declaration that the Malaysian constitution gives her the right to use the word, which the government has said may be used only by Malay Muslims. In its June 23 ruling, the Appeal Court referred that matter to be heard again at the High Court.

The July 2 hearing fixed Aug. 12 for case management – a judicial procedure to ensure all parties are set to go to trial.

-- Matt K George

 

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