Iranian Christians safe if ‘practise faith discreetly’ – European Court of Human Rights

Activists in the Swiss capital of Bern raise awareness of religious persecution of Christians around the world (2014). (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The European Court of Human Rights ruled last month that an Iranian who sought asylum in Switzerland based on religious grounds could be deported to his home country because his life was not in danger, despite various reports detailing how Iran persecutes religious minorities and converts to Christianity. Human Rights . . . Read More

Freedom of thought ‘regressing on a global scale’

There are many Pakistani Christian women like Aasiya Noreen who live in fear of the Blasphemy law in their country and the (potential of) abuse. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The 2017 Freedom of Thought Report, presented yesterday (5 December), should be alarming “to all who care about freedom of thought and expression”, as it shows “a pattern of regression on a global scale”, says its editor, Bob Churchill. The report, published by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) . . . Read More

New UNHRC members criticised for ‘dismal rights record’

New UNHRC members criticised for ‘dismal rights record’
Afghanistan and Pakistan were among the 15 States elected last week (16 October) to serve on the UN Human Rights Council, with human rights groups calling it a “crisis in the UN and its intergovernmental system”. Maliha Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, called it an “endorsement of Pakistan’s strong . . . Read More

EU ‘wilfully blind’ to risks of deporting Christian converts back to Afghanistan

EU ‘wilfully blind’ to risks of deporting Christian converts back to Afghanistan
European countries and the EU are “wilfully blind” to the risks facing Afghans who fail in their asylum claims and are sent home, according to a new report by Amnesty International. “All returnees face a real risk of serious human rights violations,” says Amnesty, but some, such as religious minorities . . . Read More

Muslim asylum seekers find shelter in Germany’s churches

A church in Germany. (Photo: Paul Frankenstein via Flickr; CC 2.0).
Refugees at risk of deportation from Germany are finding shelter in Germany’s churches, and many are becoming Christians in the process, reports The Washington Post. More than a million refugees travelled to Germany in 2015, in the midst of Europe’s so-called “migrant crisis”, because it was known for its open . . . Read More

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 . . . Read More

‘Risk of genocide’ linked with level of religious freedom

The civil war in Yemen has displaced over 3 million people like this woman who is sitting under a makeshift shelter at a camp for internally displaced persons in the northern district of Abs in Yemen's Hajjah province, on July 23, 2017 (Photo: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
Yemen is the country where the risk of genocide, or mass killing, rose most last year, says Minority Rights Group International (MRG) in its 2017 Peoples Under Threat index, which also includes a large number of countries in which it is most difficult to live as a Christian. Nine of . . . Read More

Persecution ‘key driver of displacement’ says UNHCR, voicing concerns about returns

Persecution ‘key driver of displacement’ says UNHCR, voicing concerns about returns
More people are currently displaced through conflict and persecution than at any time since the Second World War. According to the Global Trends report, published by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), 65.6 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2016. The report noted that the number of refugee returns . . . Read More

European migrant deals ‘could put victims of religious persecution at risk’

Iranian migrants line up for prayer alongside other members of the congregation at the Dk Live church in Dunkirk
New deals aimed at reducing the number of migrants reaching Europe’s shores could endanger the lives of people fleeing religious persecution, the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) has warned. The Partnership Framework on Migration was launched last year as the European Commission’s response to member states’ requests for a strategic approach . . . Read More