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 For those reasons, in most cases we do not publish the name of a story’s author.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

Boko Haram’s survivors now facing HIV/AIDS

At least 5,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in 27 camps in Nigeria’s north-eastern Borno State have HIV/AIDS, a local official has revealed.

Speaking to the media on Thursday (1 Dec.), Hassan Mustapha, the Coordinator on HIV/AIDS in Borno, said most of the patients were women who were rescued from captivity in Boko Haram camps.

More than 1,000 patients were identified in Bama camp and 3,000 in Gwoza camp, while over 1,000 others are living in host communities.

Some of those affected were not effectively accessing anti-retroviral therapy because of stigmatisation, Mustapha said.

“The IDPs living with such ailments are constantly challenged… Most of them are shy, while some are afraid to be identified by others as carriers. They sometimes complain to us that they are not allowed to go out of the camp to access drugs in other centres.

“The honest truth is that the government is not paying priority attention to the plight of such persons,” Mustapha said.

As a result, many of the IDPs living with HIV/AIDS had already died of the scourge because they were not properly counselled and sensitised on the need to enrol under the HIV/AIDS control programme, he said.

According to Human Rights Watch, displaced women and girls were sexually exploited by officials, including security forces and camp leaders.

The UN says 75,000 children are at risk of dying of hunger in north-east Nigeria, as the region deals with the aftermath of Boko Haram violence. As many as 14 million people are in need of humanitarian aid in the region, the epicentre of the seven-year insurgency which has claimed more than 20,000 lives and displaced more than 2.5 million people in Nigeria and neighbouring Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

Source: Premium Times.

NE Nigeria has ‘more refugees than all of Europe’

“North-east Nigeria has been hit by a displacement crisis that dwarfs any migration flows seen in Europe in recent years,” reports The Guardian.

The small town of Monguno in Borno state, which has a population of 60,000, is sheltering 140,000 Nigerians who have fled their homes – comparable to the number who have left North Africa for Europe so far this year.

“Since the Boko Haram insurgency began, more people have migrated to Monguno alone than left all of North Africa for Europe in the first nine months of this year,” writes The Guardian’s Patrick Kingsley.

“About 40% more people have been displaced throughout Borno state (1.4 million) than reached Europe by boat in 2015 (1 million). Across the region, the war against Boko Haram has forced more people from their homes – 2.6 million – than there are Syrians in Turkey, the country that hosts more refugees than any other.

“The comparisons mirror a wider trend across Africa. Of the world’s 17 million displaced Africans, 93.7% remain inside the continent, and just 3.3% have reached Europe.”

“No matter how many problems Europeans have, it’s nothing like this,” Modu Amsami, the informal leader of Monguno’s nine IDP camps, told The Guardian. “Please, I’m appealing to Europeans to forget their minor problems. Let them come here and face our major problems.”

Boko Haram has specifically targeted Christians, most notably in its abduction and forced conversion of 276 mainly Christian schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in 2014, but in its desire to install an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria the group has also attacked buildings linked to the police and the UN.

Burkina Faso: citizenship for kidnapped Australian

An Australian surgeon kidnapped by jihadists in Burkina Faso nearly two years ago, and whose whereabouts remain unknown, has been declared a citizen of the West African nation, an official decree announced on Wednesday (17 Nov.).

Ken Elliot was abducted along with his wife Jocelyn in January 2015 by Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists from the northern town of Djibo, near the border with Mali and Niger.

The Christian couple, in their eighties, had run the sole medical clinic there since 1972.

Joceyln Elliot was released by her captors this February, but her husband has not been seen and it is believed he is being held outside Burkina Faso.

The kidnapping – claimed by the Islamist group Ansar Dine – prompted an outpouring of support for the Elliots. The people of Djibo pleaded for the couple’s release on Facebook, and hundreds of students with placards reading “Free Elliot” took to the streets of the town with their teachers.

Djibo residents also launched an Internet petition demanding Ken Elliot be freed.

The government decision has brought some encouragement, said Seydou Dicko, president of a group which has been campaigning for the release of Dr. Elliot.

''We have learned through media that Dr. Elliot has naturally been granted the citizenship because, for us, he was Burkinabe'', he said.

''This also allows us to think that Dr. Elliot was not forgotten. And it also enables us to raise our hopes high by asking our government to do more, knowing that a Burkina citizen is now held outside Burkina Faso''.

The couple’s abduction coincided with a jihadist assault on an upmarket hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, which left at least 30 people dead, including seven missionaries.

Jocelyn Elliot has refused to leave Burkina Faso, vowing to wait for her husband’s return to continue their medical work.

Sources: The Guardian, RFI

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