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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Religious freedom violations in Asia increasing – UN rapporteur

Pakistani Christians experience an increase in violence such as a suicide attack on the Bethel Methodist Church in Quetta in December last year that killed more than ten and injured dozens of people. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Religious freedom in Asia is “eroding”, with an increase in religious fundamentalism across much of the continent, according to the UN’s religious freedom rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed. Shaheed spoke during an event, hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Club in Thailand’s capital Bangkok, on the back of the 4th Southeast Asia Freedom of Religion or Belief Conference. “Freedom […]

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‘ISIS won despite defeat as West was unwilling to confront it’

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

The Islamic State group may have been defeated on the battlefield, but the West has allowed its ideology to “percolate” and in that case it won, writes Seth J. Frantzman for the Jerusalem Post. “[ISIS] won in Iraq and Syria by destroying minority communities. It won because today the international […]

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‘When religious freedom is protected, women’s rights are strengthened’ – US ambassador

‘When religious freedom is protected, women’s rights are strengthened’ – US ambassador

There is a strong link between religious freedom and the facilitation of women’s rights, according to the US Ambassador to the Vatican, Callista Gingrich. In an article for Fox News, Gingrich argues that “when religious freedom is protected, women’s rights are strengthened and societies flourish”. “Female victims of religious discrimination […]

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‘Lack of religious freedom anywhere is a threat everywhere,’ Sam Brownback tells religious freedom summit

Christian leaders in Iran have said that pressure on Christians increases every year around Christmas but that this year it is particularly severe. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, urged government and faith leaders, and civil society, to work together to enhance global religious freedom, at the opening of the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington DC yesterday (24 July). In his opening words, Brownback, who was appointed in […]

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Call for UN to establish International Day for victims of religious persecution

Call for UN to establish International Day for victims of religious persecution

The United Nations should establish an International Day Commemorating the Victims and Survivors of Religious Persecution, say parliamentarians in the United Kingdom. The proposed annual day should be on 3 August, “being the day when Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ISIS] unleashed its genocidal campaign against the Yazidis in Sinjar, […]

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Increase in religious harassment globally – Pew

Increase in religious harassment globally – Pew

Restrictions on religion around the world continued to climb in 2016, as more governments tightened controls on religious practices, populist parties increasingly used rhetoric to attack religious minorities, and the harassment of religious groups increased. A 138-page report by the Washington-based Pew Research Center into global restrictions on religion in […]

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What churches can do to help victims of sexual violence in conflict to stay ‘part of us’

Women affected by violence in the Central African Republic, have formed self-help groups in the capital Bangui and run a small shop where they sell their products. (Photo: Open Doors International)

Adrienne* survived a brutal sexual attack during a conflict with ex-Seleka militants in Central African Republic (CAR), only to be ostracised from her own community. Adrienne was alone in her greatest time of need, and the baby born to her nine months later bears the same vulnerabilities, and a label: a […]

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Ad in Vanity Fair tells #MeToo celebrities of women who suffer for their faith

Rebecca Bitrus was abducted by Boko Haram in 2014 and suffered because of her faith. (Photo credit: Claire Giangravé/Crux news agency)

An ad in the Italian edition of Vanity Fair has called for the global #MeToo campaign to include women who suffer violence because of their religion. The Vanity Fair ad includes an open letter to some of the actresses who spoke out as part of the #MeToo initiative, like Asia […]

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