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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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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US religious freedom report shows ‘no progress’ in Myanmar

Displaced Kachin residents cross the Malikha river on 26 April to escape the fighting between the Kachin Independence Army and the Myanmar government troops. (Photo: ZAU RING HPARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and Iran are among the countries criticised for their religious-freedom records in the US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2017, launched yesterday (29 May) in Washington DC. The report references the violence against the predominantly Muslim Rohingya ethnic group in Myanmar, whose situation is still […]

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Religious freedom reduces terrorism, says US ambassador Brownback

Sam Brownback was confirmed as Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom in January.

If countries want less terrorism within their borders, they should give religious freedom to their people, says US religious freedom ambassador Sam Brownback. During a policy hearing in Washington DC on Wednesday (9 May), he said one country that had been a “bad actor” for a long time was now […]

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Report: UN weakness on religious freedom undercuts its authority on human rights

Dressed in the saffron colour, groups such these are promoting the nationalist cause for India to be a Hindu-nation. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The UN cannot strengthen, promote and protect human rights if it does not prioritise religious freedom, a report published by the Washington-based human rights alliance, ADF International has argued. The 73-page report, titled “Anti-Conversion Laws and the International Response”, claims that “some UN entities, especially special rapporteurs, have highlighted the […]

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Religious freedom is a prerequisite for democracy – US commission

China's catholic dioceses are to respond to the government led campaign of the 'sinicization of religion' with a plan of action.  (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

A wealth of research shows that a society’s level of religious freedom is linked to its levels of critical social indicators, such as prosperity, stability and peace, the chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom told British parliamentarians. Dr. Daniel Mark, chairman of USCIRF, an independent, bipartisan federal […]

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USCIRF wants 6 more countries on US Govt’s religious-freedom watch list

USCIRF wants 6 more countries on US Govt’s religious-freedom watch list

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) wants six more countries to be added to the US State Department’s religious-freedom watch list. The Central African Republic, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, and Vietnam should become ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ (CPCs) – a designation the US government uses to describe countries […]

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