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 For those reasons, in most cases we do not publish the name of a story’s author.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

Death sentence for killers of Afghan woman

Four Afghan men have been sentenced to death for the mob killing of a woman falsely accused of burning a copy of the Qu'ran.
The 28-year-old woman called Farkhunda got into an argument with a man selling amulets outside Kabul's Shah-Du-Shamshaira shrine when the accusation was made. The amulet seller is one of those sentenced to death.
A crowd overheard the argument and attacked Farkhunda. She was beaten to death before her body was driven over by a car, dragged through the streets and then set on fire.
Farkhunda's brutal killing shocked many Afghans, though some public and religious figures are reported to have said it would have been justified if she had in fact damaged a Qu'ran.
Sources: BBC, Daily Telegraph

Religious groups face extinction around world

Campaigners warn that 100 years after the Armenian genocide there are still religious and ethnic groups facing extinction around the world.

Groups identified include Christians in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and the Central African Republic (CAR), and the Christian Kachin in Burma. Each of these countries is listed on the 2015 World Watch List of places where it is most difficult to live as a Christian.

Amnesty International says there is ethnic cleansing of non-Arab and non-Sunni Muslims 'on a historic scale' in ISIS-held parts of Iraq and Syria.

Genocide Watch has put Nigeria on its 'emergency' list of countries at risk of genocide because of the threat to non-Muslims in territory held by Boko Haram.

UN and French officials have warned of the risk of genocide in CAR from the on-going conflict between Anti-Balaka (so-called Christian self-defence militias) and the mostly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition. The UN says violence on both sides is deemed genocidal in nature because victims are targeted for their religion with the aim of wiping out the opposition.

The Kachin Independence Army is fighting in a state of the same name with its majority Christian population pitted against the Burmese Buddhist government. Human Rights Watch estimates that more than 100,000 Kachin are displaced because of the fighting.

UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova, said depriving people of their culture, their history and their heritage goes 'hand in hand with genocide'.

'Greater collaboration' will help ME Christians

Bishop Angaelos, leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, told an international conference this week that there is much to lose if the international community doesn't take ownership of the suffering of Christians in the Middle East.

Speaking at 'Christians in the Middle East: What Future?' in Bari, Italy, he said there must be 'greater collaboration between our churches, governments and organisations... If we do not take ownership in responding to this situation and the needs of those suffering in the Middle East now, opportunists will take our place and use this tragedy and its victims for their own agenda.' He said problems might arise from an uncoordinated response and duplication and wastage of resources.

Bishop Angaelos also stressed the importance of classifying Christians in the Middle East as 'indigenous people with roots in these lands for millennia,' rather than just minorities: 'They are an intrinsic part of, and a stabilising force in, the region, and losing them would be a loss to the whole world.'

The conference brought together heads of the Catholic, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches of the Middle East, along with international political and governmental representatives, journalists and academics.

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