The cause of Christians striving to practise their faith without fear or pressure often advances and retreats in countries outside those where Christians directly live under the most oppression. In London, New York, Strasbourg, Washington, and other centres of deliberation, important developments happen concerning Christians and religious freedom more broadly. This is the page where we consolidate news with an international scope.

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UN ‘overlooked’ IS crime of forced displacement

Iraqi Christians ask the international community for help as they are facing annihilation by Islamic State. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Campaigners for Christian and Yazidi victims of the Islamic State group welcomed the UN’s decision last month to recognise the Islamic State group’s crimes as “genocide”, but human rights advocate Ewelina Ochab questions why “forced displacement” wasn’t included. The UN Security Council voted unanimously to create an investigative team to […]

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Hungary’s response to urgent need to help persecuted Christians ‘stay in their homelands’

Viktor Orban  Gergely Botár/kormany.hu

Referring to his country’s experience of oppression during the Soviet Union era, the Hungarian Prime Minister has once again explained why his government has been the first – and so far the only – government to specifically address the persecution of Christians around the world. Yesterday (12 October) he pledged […]

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More than 80 countries ‘favour’ one religion over others – Pew Research Center

More than 80 countries ‘favour’ one religion over others – Pew Research Center

Over 80 countries favour a specific religion, either officially as a state religion or tacitly through special treatment, according to a new report by the US-based Pew Research Center. Islam is the most common state religion – 27 countries have it as their official religion, including 16 of the 20 […]

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UN calls for abolition of death penalty for blasphemy and apostasy

During protests against Jakarta's Christian former governor Ahok for alleged blasphemy, some protestors called for the death penalty.  Blasphemy is a criminal offence in Indonesia and carries a penalty of up to five years in jail. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The UN Human Rights Council last week passed a new resolution, demanding the abolition of the death penalty for apostasy and blasphemy. The resolution called on UN member states that still have the death penalty to, among other things, “ensure that it is not imposed as a sanction for specific […]

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Worldwide blasphemy cases highlighted in USCIRF report

Worldwide blasphemy cases highlighted in USCIRF report

In its push to see blasphemy laws repealed worldwide, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has released a new report referencing some of the most high-profile cases. ‘Selected blasphemy cases’ highlights the well-known trials of Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama in Indonesia and Asia Bibi in Pakistan, alongside […]

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‘Milestone’ as UN votes to create team to collect evidence of IS’s crimes

Desecrated church I in Qaraqosh, Iraq. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Campaigners for Christian and Yazidi victims of the Islamic State group welcomed a vote at the United Nations yesterday (21 September), hailed as a “milestone” in their efforts to bring perpetrators of atrocities to justice. The UN Security Council voted unanimously to create an investigative team to collect evidence of […]

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EU urged to make religious freedom envoy permanent

EU urged to make religious freedom envoy permanent

Ján Figeľ, the European Union’s Special Envoy for freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) outside the EU, has had his 12-month mandate extended by another year, but it should be longer, reports EU news specialist Euractiv. According to Belgium-based Sophia Kuby, Director of European Union Advocacy for religious freedom campaigners […]

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IS guilty of genocide, says US Secretary of State

rex tillerson flickr

The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stressed that the actions of the Islamic State (IS) group against Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims constitute genocide, and also criticised America’s ally, Saudi Arabia, for religious freedom violations. Tillerson made his “genocide” comments in the preface to the State Department’s annual […]

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Blasphemy laws violate human rights in 1/3 nations – USCIRF

Over a third of the world’s countries have blasphemy laws that violate at least one internationally recognised human rights principle, according to a new report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Over a third of the world’s countries have blasphemy laws that violate at least one internationally recognised human rights principle, according to a new report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Most blasphemy laws are “embedded in criminal codes” and are “vaguely worded”, with “unduly harsh penalties […]

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International Youth Day: Young Christians want to build peace

After years of war Colombia's young men and women want peace. (Photo: Open Doors International)

Ahead of the UN’s International Youth Day on 12 August, which this year has “Youth Building Peace” as its theme, World Watch Monitor takes a look at some of the challenges facing young Christians around the world and how they try to contribute to building peaceful societies. Many of the world’s […]

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