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India: Catholic bishops warn against Hindu nationalism as religious hate crimes rise

India: Catholic bishops warn against Hindu nationalism as religious hate crimes rise
An acknowledgement by India’s BJP-led government that there has been a rise in religion-based hate crime has coincided with a warning from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) about the dangers to the country of a Hindu-nationalist agenda. Statistics revealed in India’s parliament on 6 February confirmed a long-standing . . . Read More

Indonesia church attacker acted alone, police say

Altar of the Stasi Kinali Catholic Church, West-Sumatra, Indonesia, which was attacked in May 2014. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The man accused of injuring four people in an attack on an Indonesian church on Sunday morning (11 February) acted alone and obtained the weapon – a one-metre-long sword – in exchange for his mobile phone, police say. The suspect, a 23-year-old student identified as Suliyono from Bayuwangi in East . . . Read More

Church built to honour beheaded Copts, but families still waiting for bodies’ return

Church built to honour beheaded Copts, but families still waiting for bodies’ return
Tomorrow, 15 February, will mark the third anniversary of the beheading of 20 Egyptian Copts and a Ghanaian Christian, carried out by IS on the Libyan coast. In remembrance of the 21 Christians, a new church is to be inaugurated in Upper Egypt’s Minya province, where the Egyptians came from. As . . . Read More

US agency accuses Russia of abusing anti-extremism laws

US agency accuses Russia of abusing anti-extremism laws
Russia’s anti-extremism laws are being used to crack down on peaceful religious minorities such as Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Hare Krishnas, the top US religious-freedom watchdog says. A report commissioned by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) found that “vague and problematic definitions of ‘extremism’ in Russian law . . . Read More

Pakistani Christian says daughter, 12, abducted, forced to convert to Islam and marry

Pakistani Christian says daughter, 12, abducted, forced to convert to Islam and marry
A 12-year-old Pakistani Christian girl, who disappeared in November, was abducted, forced to convert to Islam and marry her abductor, according to her father. Elisha, daughter of Iqbal Masih, appeared in the High Court in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, on Thursday 8 February, where she introduced herself by a new Muslim . . . Read More

Sudan government demolishes church despite pending appeal

Sudan government demolishes church despite pending appeal
A church belonging to the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) denomination in the Khartoum suburb of Haj Yousif was demolished yesterday (11 February). The police arrived with three lorries shortly after the Sunday morning service and confiscated furniture, Bibles and musical instruments, before knocking down the 29-year-old building. The demolition . . . Read More

Nigerian bishops accuse government of failing to protect citizens from ‘terrorist’ herdsmen

Nigerian bishops accuse government of failing to protect citizens from ‘terrorist’ herdsmen
Nigeria’s Catholic bishops have told President Muhammadu Buhari that attacks attributed to members of the Fulani pastoralist tribe have been carried out by “terrorists masquerading as herdsmen” and accused the government of being “incapable or unwilling” to protect citizens from them. A delegation of 11 bishops delivered a strongly worded . . . Read More