Thailand called to release detained Vietnamese Montagnard refugees

The Montagnard-people are persecuted because of their faith but getting asylum in neighbouring countries is difficult. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Thailand should release the group of ethnic minority refugees and asylum seekers, mostly Christians, arrested last week during a crackdown just outside the capital Bangkok, rights groups say. Most of the 181 refugees detained are Montagnards, an indigenous group from Vietnam who face “harsh persecution if they are returned to . . . Read More

Pakistan’s new cardinal says government unable to stop religious extremism

Newly-appointed Pakistani Cardinal Joseph Coutts during a courtesy visit of relatives following the ceremony for the creation of new cardinals at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican on 28 June. (Photo: TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistan’s first cardinal in nearly a quarter of a century says his country’s government is unable to control Islamic extremism. “Our government is not strong enough to control the kind of extremism that has developed in the country,” Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi since 2012, said, adding: “It is enough to accuse . . . Read More

UN chief ‘personally concerned’ about return of Christians to Iraq and Syria

Tree and Arabic painting on the wall in Bashiqa, a town near Mosul in Iraq where Christians are slowly returning, saying: "Tomorrow will be more beautiful." (will be better) (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The UN’s Secretary General has stressed the importance of Christians returning to the areas from which they fled in Iraq and Syria. “I am fully convinced that after the stability of the situation in Iraq and Syria and the adoption of a certain political decision, it is very important to . . . Read More

Assessment of religious conversions as genuine or asylum-motivated dismissed as naïve

Revd Mark Miller of St Thomas' Church, Stockton, in north-east England, The Priest-in-Charge of St Thomas’s, Stockton-on-Tees, the Revd Mark Miller, has had up to 100 Persian asylum-seekers in his congregation
Attempts by Western politicians and media to judge whether Iranian migrants and asylum-seekers who ask to be baptised are either genuine or are doing so to boost their chances of being granted asylum are “naïve”, according to an academic who has carried out extensive research among Iranians who profess to . . . Read More

Europe shows ‘almost sinister’ indifference to persecuted Christianity – bishop

Europe shows ‘almost sinister’ indifference to persecuted Christianity – bishop
A new, aggressive form of atheism has led to a devaluing of religious freedom, a Catholic bishop in Austria has claimed. The Bishop of Linz, Manfred Scheuer, said that this new atheism associates religion with oppression and a lack of liberty, which has led to a selective interpretation of human . . . Read More

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