Myanmar: Army accused of destroying churches and turning them into Buddhist temples

Myanmar: Army accused of destroying churches and turning them into Buddhist temples
Myanmar’s military has destroyed about 60 churches in the past 18 months and turned a third of them into Buddhist pagodas in northern Kachin state, according to an American pastor who visited the region recently. “In the last 18 months, they have bombed 60 churches. Of the 60 churches they . . . Read More

Kazakhstan: 69 punished for practising faith in first half of 2018

Inside an Orthodox Church in Almaty
Courts in Kazakhstan prosecuted at least 69 individuals, religious communities or organisations for religious activities in the first half of this year, according to Oslo-based news service Forum 18. Punishments included fines of up to four months’ average salary (US$1,400) and three-month bans on activities such as distributing religious literature or . . . Read More

Uzbek pastor might face criminal charges after police repeat raids on his home

Members of Pastor Kim's church were, like these Christians elsewhere in Uzbekistan, having a meal together to celebrate Easter when the first police raid took place. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
An Uzbek Baptist pastor, who is already serving at home a two-year sentence for having religious books, might now be facing criminal charges. Police raided Pastor Stanislav Kim’s flat in Urgench, north-western Khorezm Region, twice last month, on Easter Sunday (8 April) and a week later (15 April), while the . . . Read More

Russia’s religious communities face ‘unclear’ requirements

Russia’s religious communities face ‘unclear’ requirements
Legal requirements applied to the expression of freedom of religion in Russia impose a significant burden on religious communities not recognised by the state – in the shape of fines, legal costs and bureaucracy – reports regional news agency Forum 18. The requirements are “unclear” and applied “inconsistently”, Forum 18 . . . Read More

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