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 . . . Read More

Bangladesh’s religious minorities warned they may face ‘brunt’ of election violence

Christians protest following an attack by local thugs on a church last Saturday in which three men were injured and the building damaged. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Christians and other minorities in Bangladesh face a “daunting election” at the end of the year, warns the Bangladeshi Bureau Chief of Catholic news agency UCAN. “Elections and violence go hand-in-hand in Bangladesh and minorities often face the brunt of this amid a tug-of-war between political parties jockeying for power,” . . . Read More

Ongoing religious freedom challenges in the Commonwealth

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed Heads of State of the Commonwealth member states at Windsor Castle, west of London, on 20 April 2018. (Photo: JACK TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images)
A new report on religious freedom in Commonwealth member states says minorities in India, Malaysia and Nigeria have the least freedom to practise their faith. Using data from the Pew Global Religious Futures Project, the new report by the Council of Christians and Jews noted that Christianity is the largest . . . Read More

Commonwealth worst offenders urged to face up to poor levels of religious freedom

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari received Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, at Nigeria's High Commission in London on 11 April 2018. (Photo: Facebook)
A charity that supports persecuted Christians has urged Commonwealth heads of government meeting in England next week to address poor levels of religious liberty in their countries. The charity Open Doors warned that unless representatives of the 53 Commonwealth nations “explicitly include[ed] the right to freedom of religion or belief . . . Read More

Bangladesh set to further ‘thwart’ freedom of expression

Traffic in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Bangladesh is considering the introduction of a new law that would further limit freedom of expression and belief in the country, a senior Bangladeshi journalist warns. The Digital Security Act, a draft of which has been approved by the government, will include a section that “criminalizes online content regarded as defamatory . . . Read More

Bangladesh: Militant group ‘targets’ Christian converts

Bangladesh: Militant group ‘targets’ Christian converts
The arrest of two members of a banned Bangladeshi militant group, who confessed to wanting to kill Christian converts, has put the spotlight on the changing tactics of Muslim extremist groups in the country. Security forces arrested two members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) on 14 February in Dhaka, the capital, . . . Read More

Bangladesh Catholics protest over church attack

Bangladesh Catholics protest over church attack
More than 200 Catholics have marched in the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka, in protest over last week’s attack on one of the country’s oldest churches, reports Asia News. Attackers broke into Canterbury St. Augustine church, also in Dhaka, early on 8 February, tied up and beat the parish priest and stole money . . . Read More

Bangladesh: Christians ‘appreciated’ but attacks continue

Christians protest following an attack by local thugs on a church last Saturday in which three men were injured and the building damaged. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Portuguese Christians, initially merchants and later also missionaries, arrived in Bangladesh 500 years ago and started communities. Today Bangladeshi Christians form a tiny group in the Muslim-majority nation and face various challenges because of their faith. According to Fr. David Bipul Das, a Catholic priest in the diocese of Barisal, . . . 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