‘In context of gender justice, women’s right to freedom of religion pretty much ignored’

Anurima Bhargava (USCIRF) and Helene Fisher (Open Doors) at UN NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief CSW side event, 14 March, 2019
She is a woman who can be identified only as “Z”, for her security. She is a Christian in India, a country that is overwhelmingly Hindu. And she is a lawyer defending women and youth from exploitation by landlords and employers, so she was pleased when she got the opportunity . . . Read More

For persecuted Christian women, violence is compounded by ‘shaming’

Women to women conference in Ethiopia, February 2018.
It would be hard to argue the world is unaware that Islamic State fighters used rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war against Iraq’s Yazidi women: Nadia Murad shared the 2018 Nobel Prize after she told the world of her personal ordeal at their hands. However, testimonies from . . . Read More

Pastor Brunson case increased ‘hate speech’ against Turkey’s Protestants – report

Malatya’s Kurtulus (Salvation) Church posted this message on the broken glass after an attacker heaved a brick through the church’s display window on November 24, 2017:  “’Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.’ – Jesus Christ.” (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Turkey’s high-profile criminal case against Protestant pastor Andrew Brunson has triggered a significant increase in public hate speech against the nation’s small Protestant community, creating what its church leaders last week called a ‘climate of insecurity’ for its congregations and individual members. According to the Turkish Association of Protestant Churches’ . . . Read More

Tajikistan: Children barred from attending church, 5,000 Christian calendars burned

A church in Isfara, northern Tajikistan. (Photo: 2005, World Watch Monitor)
Tajik authorities implementing a new religion law are barring children from attending religious services and have burned thousands of calendars with Bible verses. Amendments to Tajikistan’s Religion Law came into force in January last year, giving the state greater control over religious education, and increase the amount of information religious organisations . . . Read More

As Nigeria votes, family and churches urge candidates to remember Christian teen Leah Sharibu

Leah Sharibu was 14 when she was abducted by Boko Haram exactly one year ago.
One year since the Christian teenager Leah Sharibu was abducted from her boarding school in north-eastern Nigeria by an Islamist group, a coalition of groups have called on presidential candidates to tell Nigerians how they plan to secure her release. “We are urging the political parties and their candidates that . . . Read More

Nigeria elections: Whomever wins, Christians hope for justice and security

Burned church in a village in Nigeria's southern Kaduna after an attack by suspected Fulani gunmen. Violence attributed to militant herdsmen in Nigeria reached a record high last year. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
As Nigerians are preparing to go to the polls tomorrow to elect a new president, Boko Haram has been stepping up attacks in the northeast of the country, making it difficult if not impossible for people to vote. On Tuesday, 12 February, the Islamist militants attacked Madagali town, Gulak, Magar . . . Read More

Malaysia: Exactly 2 years since Raymond Koh’s abduction, his wife asks PM to intervene

Pastor Raymond Koh who was last seen in February 2017. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Two years since the disappearance of Malaysian pastor Raymond Koh in broad daylight, his family has asked the country’s Prime Minister to order a new investigation into his kidnapping. “It has already been two years and until now there’s no result [of the inquiry]. We are at our wits’ end. . . . Read More