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 For those reasons, in most cases we do not publish the name of a story’s author.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

'Saints of Bangui’ honoured

The 2015 Sergio Vieira de Mello Prize has been awarded to the three top religious leaders of the Central African Republic. 

Sergio Vieira de Mello was the UN’s Special Representative in Iraq, killed when the UN headquarters in Baghdad was bombed in August 2003. Every two years the award goes to an individual, group or organization that has done something unique to reconcile people and parties in conflict.

The President of CAR’s Evangelical Alliance, Rev. Nicolas Guérékoyamé-Gbangou, the Catholic Archbishop of Bangui, Mgr. Dieudonné Nzapalainga, and the President of the Islamic Council in CAR, Imam Oumar Kobine Layama, have spoken out against religious extremism and promoted peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims.

TIME Magazine named them among the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2014, and the French Magazine Le Monde called them “the three saints of Bangui.”

In the midst of two years of violence in CAR, often portrayed as a religious conflict, the three clerics formed a joint platform to promote peaceful coexistence. Their message: “Violence in CAR is not primarily caused by religious conflict; instead, the root of the conflict lies in the struggle for political power.”

Nzapalainga sheltered the imam and his family for several months in his own home. 

The award ceremony will take place on 19 August 2015 during the events marking World Humanitarian Day in Geneva, Switzerland.

Recommended reading, Pt. II

The UK-based Guardian has published four brief sketches of Christians living under pressure in Egypt, Pakistan, China and Israel, respectively. Their individual stories should not seem surprising to any regular reader of World Watch Monitor, but taken together they add to the narrative of rising levels of antagonism toward Christians because of their faith. Striking, too, is the fundamental optimism of each of the men -- each of the four subjects is male. "You get used to it," Xu Yonghai is quoted as saying. "It won't stop me practising Christianity."

Recommended reading

Eliza Griswold has penned a compelling dispatch to the New York Times Magazine that reads, in one sitting, like World Watch Monitor's past year of coverage of Iraq's Christians. The 26 July article provides a concise summary of the complex and often contradictory political currents that complicate attempts to preserve a Christian presence in the Middle East.

Griswold also relates further detail about the story of Christine Abada, the now-4-year-old girl snatched from the arms of her mother, Ayda, nearly a year ago by militants of the so-called Islamic State as they took over the town of Qaraqosh. According to snips of information emerging from underground sources, the author says Christine is being raised by a Muslim family.

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