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Sudan: ‘Put brakes on’ normalising relations, rights groups tell US

A Sudan People's Liberation Movement rebel soldier in South Kordofan state where thousands of people fled the Nuba Mountains in 2012 to escape fighting between the rebel group and the government's armed forces. (Photo: ADRIANE OHANESIAN/AFP/GettyImages)
Rights groups have urged the United States to refrain from removing Sudan from its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. “New circumstances have emerged in Sudan that make US efforts at full normalisation dramatically ill-timed,” said the Washington DC-based Enough Project in a recent report. The NGO, which focuses on . . . Read More

CAR cardinal calls for end to retaliatory violence after shoot-out at Mass

CAR cardinal calls for end to retaliatory violence after shoot-out at Mass
Emotions were high at Notre Dame de Fatima church in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic on Sunday (13 May), as bereaved and traumatised worshippers prepared for a pastoral visit from their cardinal. Two weeks ago the parish became the scene of a massacre, when armed men from the . . . Read More

Myanmar: 7,000 Kachin displaced as violence escalates

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)
Almost 7,000 people belonging to the largely Christian minority group in Kachin, northern Myanmar, have fled their houses since fighting between the army and a rebel group flared up in early April, according to recent figures from the Red Cross. “It’s a war where civilians are being systematically targeted by . . . Read More

Landmark judgment on Pakistani religious minorities yet to be honoured by the state

Landmark judgment on Pakistani religious minorities yet to be honoured by the state
When a bomber killed 127 people at a Pakistan church, the country’s Supreme Court issued a list of instructions to the government to protect religious minorities. Four years later, the government has yet to follow most of them. As with the religious freedom guaranteed in Pakistan’s constitution, the government’s lacklustre . . . Read More

India: Catholics say BJP doctored letter to garner votes ahead of Karnataka elections

India: Catholics say BJP doctored letter to garner votes ahead of Karnataka elections
The Catholic Church in India has deplored a “fake” letter widely circulated in social and mainstream media alleging a Catholic conspiracy ahead of tomorrow’s elections in southern Karnataka state. “This is totally unacceptable. This is a blatant attempt to spread lies,” Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ . . . Read More

Brunson’s lawyer: secret witness practice ‘absolutely outlandish’

Lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt speaking with journalists at the entrance to the Sakran Prison complex on 7 May, 2018.
At the close of Turkey’s second trial hearing against US pastor Andrew Brunson, his lawyer has sharply protested the Izmir court’s reliance on secret prosecution witnesses against his client. Jailed for the past 19 months, the 50-year-old Evangelical Presbyterian minister was sent back to his cell in a maximum-security prison . . . Read More

Pakistan: bereaved parents accept compensation but suspect walks free

Family of Sharoon Masih (World Watch Monitor)
The family of a Christian boy beaten to death on his second day in secondary school have accepted the offer of compensation from the family of the accused. The Islamic concept of paying diyat (blood money) to the victim’s family allowed the suspect to walk free. Sharoon Masih, 17, was . . . Read More

Algerian Christian’s fine for importing crucifix keyrings ‘ridiculous’, says lawyer

Algerian Christian’s fine for importing crucifix keyrings ‘ridiculous’, says lawyer
A court in Algeria has overturned a prison sentence, but upheld a fine, against a Christian man convicted for carrying a Bible and other Christian items. Idir Hamdad, 29, had been convicted in absentia on 28 September 2017 (though he only learned about this five months later) and given the . . . Read More

A Christian escapee from North Korea has his doubts about Kim’s peace overtures

South Koreans at the Seoul Railway Station on 9 May, 2018 watch on a screen reporting the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, to meet North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, right.
What North Korea’s leader seeks from the international community is appeasement and not peace, let alone the freedom of his own people, a North Korean escapee says. “True peace will have to come alongside freedom of faith, belief, expression, speech for North Korean people,” said the former citizen of North . . . Read More