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 For those reasons, in most cases we do not publish the name of a story’s author.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

More UK Muslim refugees convert to Christianity

A church in the UK with a growing congregation of Muslim refugees seeking conversion to Christianity is a "microcosm of what is happening across churches in Europe" says The Guardian.
Muslim refugees across western Europe are “converting in ever greater numbers and for a complex array of reasons” – because of persecution back home, they hope it might help asylum claims, but also because many just seek community and spiritual relief after fleeing conflict. Some go to church for food and shelter after being turned away by mosques.

Rev Sally Smith of St Mark’s Anglican church in Stoke, a city in the UK’s Midlands, says that it is possible that people can swap one set of religious beliefs for another. “With the mass movement from across the world we have got people of faith coming into a secular society [in the UK] and faith really matters to them,” she says. “And they are not too bothered …how that faith is expressed.”

Mohammad Eghtedarian, who became a Christian after fleeing Iran, and is now ordained as a minister in the Church of England said he doesn’t judge a Muslim’s motives for converting to Christianity and attending church. “The only thing I can do,” he says, “is see if people are still there a year later – and often they are.”

Christian refugees in Europe still suffering

Public Radio International, one of the US’s major producers and distributors of public radio programming, has interviewed Christians in German refugee centres - fleeing extremist violence in Iraq and Syria – who’ve reported intimidation from other refugees.

Their programme built on research by Christian charity, Open Doors Germany, which interviewed 200 Christian migrants from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan earlier this year. It found that 88 per cent reported being targeted by other migrants because of their religion. Most faced insults and physical attacks and some even death threats. 

One Christian refugee, Tarek Bakhous, told PRI he was the only Christian put in a house of nine devout Muslims; they then told him he should leave because he didn't share their views on drinking alcohol.

Another, Wassim Awad, also placed in a mostly Muslim house, overheard some of his housemates boasting that they weren't fleeing persecution, but were in Europe to spread political Islam. When he told the police what he'd overheard he was told "It's Germany. They have a right to free speech. There's nothing we can do".

Christians living in the migrant camps of northern France have reported similar harassment and violence from Muslims with extremist views who were also living in the camp.

Attack badly damages church in northeast Syria

An Assyrian Orthodox church was attacked Monday in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli, resulting in extensive damage to its interior, local sources said.

"Anonymous gunmen stormed the St. Charnel Church for Assyrian Orthodox in the Watwatiyah district of Qamishli in the midnight on Monday, and destroyed its contents," a spokesman for the Assyrian Monitor for Human Rights told ARA News.

It's not the first time Qamishli has been subject to a militant attack. Islamic State claimed responsibility for three attacks on the city last December that killed more than a dozen people.

The Assyrian Monitor added the unknown attackers used Molotov cocktails, and that icons and other contents were destroyed.

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