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 For those reasons, in most cases we do not publish the name of a story’s author.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.




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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.

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Catching Our Eye

10 Assyrians released after 'negotiations'

The Islamic State has released 10 more Assyrians, from over 200 indigenous Christians it had snatched from their communities in north eastern Syria in February.

The civilians, five men and five women, were released Tuesday evening, the Assyrian Human Rights Network (AHRN) reported.

The released hostages, from Tel Shamiram, Tel Jazeera, Qabr Shamiya and Tel Fayda, are all said to be “in good health”, AHRN added.

On February 23, Islamic State (IS) jihadists overran 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur River in the northeastern Hasaka province. IS captured 253 in the initial attack and drove 3,000 Assyrians from their villages.

Since the beginning of March, at least 95 Assyrian hostages, mostly sick and elderly, have been released by IS in different groups. In October, it filmed the killing of three Assyrian hostages and threatened more if demands were not met.

The latest group of freed hostages comes as a result of ongoing negotiations, AHRN said, declining to disclose details on the nearly eight months’ negotiations process, citing “the gravity and sensitivity of the situation.”

AINA says IS still holds 158 hostages from the Khabur area in addition to 185 Assyrians IS captured in Qaryatain, in the western Syrian province of Homs, in early August.

Egypt army rebuilds church destroyed by Islamists

A Coptic Orthodox church destroyed by Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers in August 2013 has been rebuilt by the Egyptian army.

St Theodore's church in the Upper Egypt city of  Minya was destroyed by Islamist extremists after the Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Morsi, was deposed from the Egyptian Presidency. In retaliation for their downfall the Muslim Brotherhood attacked and torched over 100 churches, homes and businesses owned by Christians, whom they held partly responsible for the overthrow.

The church officially reopened on 14 November when the army handed over the building to the Coptic Orthodox Church. Pope Tawadros II is to consecrate St Theodore's at a later date.

Source: Wataninet

Attacks on Christians in Bangladesh escalate

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the 18 November attack in Bangladesh on Fr. Piero Arolari, the Italian Catholic priest who survived being shot by three men on motorcycles as he cycled to work, UCA News reports.

“Security detachments of soldiers of the caliphate in Bangladesh carried out some unique operations [including] … targeting the Italian crusader foreigner,” the jihadist group said in a statement, according to the US-based SITE intelligence group.

Almost 70 Christians have received death threats by text message from IS or local Islamic fundamentalist groups in Bangladesh in the last week, local sources, who preferred to stay anonymous, told World Watch Monitor. The message read: “Your time in this world has run out. You can now do or eat whatever you want and after five days we will murder you at anytime, anywhere. Through your blood we will save the Islamic world”.

The attack on Fr. Arolari was the latest in a series of attacks on foreign nationals in Bangladesh.

In September, Caesar Tavella, an Italian aid worker, was killed in Dhaka; Islamic State claimed responsibility. IS also claimed responsibility for the murder of Japanese businessman Kunio Hoshi, 66. The government denies that IS has a presence in the country.

A week after Tavella died, a local priest survived what appeared to be a pre-meditated attack at his home. A year ago, hundreds of extremist Islamists attacked a Christian school in Bangladesh, which welcomes children of all faiths, in response to locals who were outraged by rumours stating that the school was forcing Muslim children to convert to Christianity.

Meanwhile a Muslim mob has burned down the homes of four Catholic families after a long campaign of abuse against them.

“For more than a year, Muslim youths from a neighbouring village accused us of practicing witchcraft,” said Ramni Das, 57 who lost two houses in the attack on 5 November. The families escaped after neighbours pulled them from the burning bulidings.

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