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 For those reasons, in most cases we do not publish the name of a story’s author.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

Copts flee El-Arish after sixth murder in month

Egyptian Christians are beginning to flee Sinai’s largest city, El-Arish, after yet another Copt was killed there, reports Watani.

Kamel Youssef, a 40 year old plumber, yesterday (23 Feb) became the latest victim, according to AP, which said militants stormed his home and shot him dead in front of his wife and children. Other sources say he was shot in the neck and the family’s home was set on fire.

This followed the killing of a father and son the day before, after an Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State group vowed to “eliminate” Egyptian Christians.

Six Copts have been killed in El-Arish in the past month and now a number of Coptic families are leaving, including the family of murdered schoolteacher Gamal Tawfiq, who was shot dead on his way to school on 16 Feb, and the family of the murdered father and son, who will stay in their hometown of Suez, where they had travelled to bury their dead.

Another seven families have reportedly travelled to Ismailiya, on the Suez Canal, where a church has provided them with accommodation. Rev. Ezzat told Watani that another five families are expected today (24 Feb) and that 20 families are expected in total.

A Cairo church is reportedly helping families to move their belongings.

Deaths at the hands of militant Islamists in the Sinai Peninsula are not new, especially since the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, but the Egyptian security forces have been the target; now Coptic Christians are included.

Iraqi Christian homes ‘looted after IS left’

Armed forces fighting Islamic State (IS) near Mosul “looted, damaged and destroyed homes” belonging to displaced Iraqis, including Christians, Human Rights Watch said this week.

The New York-based agency used satellite imagery and took witness statements, and concluded that looting and destruction took place in the weeks after IS fighters had been chased out of locations including the Christian-majority city of Qaraqosh.

It noted that active in the region are the mainly Shia Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF or Hashd al-Sha'abi) that were formed largely to combat ISIS, and are under the direct command of Prime Minister al-Abadi. Military personnel in the area and residents interviewed told the agency that present in Qaraqosh were the Iraqi military’s 9th Division, local and federal police, and the small and mainly Christian Nineveh Plain Protection Units.

The agency said it was unable to identify the forces responsible for these abuses, and urged the Iraqi authorities and the UN Human Rights Council to investigate their findings – which they say may amount to war crimes – and hold those responsible to account.

Hussein Al-Alak, editor of the Iraq Solidarity blog, noted that identifying culprits would be complicated by the easy availability of police and army uniforms from street markets.

Trump travel ban dints Iraqi Christians’ support

Iraqi Christians who backed the candidacy of Donald Trump have become disillusioned with his presidency since his executive order barred Iraqis, along with citizens of six other Muslim-majority countries, from entering the US.

Many Iraqi minorities supported Trump because of his anti-Islamic State rhetoric.

The Assyrian Church of the East’s Fr. Emanuel Youkhana, in the Iraqi Kurdistan city of Dohuk, lamented that Assyrians, who represent many of Iraq’s Christians, “live [with] this illusion of a saviour” because of traumatic persecution over the last century.

He rejected the idea that the ban is Islamophobic and accused some Western nations of being “naïve” in their efforts to address Islamist-linked terrorism.

However, he said he did not believe Western nations should welcome large numbers of Iraqi Christians. Failing to enable Christians to live in Iraq would amount to “completing the unfinished mission of IS,” he said.

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