Non-state actors behind most religious freedom violations in Indonesia – report

Young people join protests against the former Christian Jakarta governor Ahok who was convicted of blasphemy in May last year. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The number of religious freedom violations in Indonesia grew again in 2017 and for the first time non-state actors were the worst offenders, reports the Jakarta Globe. Last year 213 incidents were reported, 4% more than the year before, according to the annual report of the human rights group Wahid . . . Read More

Blasphemy accusation draws mob to Pakistan town’s only Christian street

Blasphemy accusation draws mob to Pakistan town’s only Christian street
As horrific details emerge of a young Muslim artist being tortured to death for alleged blasphemy, separately a young Christian man has been charged with blaspheming against Islam’s prophet, a crime punishable with death in Pakistan. Farhan Aziz, 26, from Muslim Town in Gujranwala district, about 100 kilometres from Lahore, . . . Read More

Egypt: Copt in court for ‘blasphemous’ Facebook post that led to riot

An attack on the Saint Tadros Church in Menbal village on Monday night was prevented by security guards. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A Coptic Christian whose allegedly blasphemous Facebook post caused riots in his Egyptian village earlier this month is scheduled to appear in court today (24 July) on charges of contempt of religion.* Abdo Adel, 43, from Menbal village in Minya governorate, has been in detention since his arrest on 6 July . . . Read More

Blasphemers should be put to death, says one Pakistan party as elections near

Blasphemers should be put to death, says one Pakistan party as elections near
Ahead of Pakistan’s general elections later this month, the newly established Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party is gaining traction with its anti-blasphemy agenda, Al-Jazeera reports. The party calls for blasphemers against Islam to be put to death and for those who kill alleged blasphemers to be celebrated. Its election posters often . . . Read More

Christians matter least in Pakistani politics

Pakistan elections (Getty)
As Pakistan prepares for elections later this month, the country’s minorities – particularly its Christians – have expressed dismay at their lack of representation among the candidates. Among the thousands of candidates contesting hundreds of provincial and national constituencies across the country, not a single Christian is nominated by any . . . 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

Four Iranian Christians set to begin ten-year prison sentences

From left: Saheb Fadaie, Youcef Nadarkhani, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Mohammad Reza Omidi.
The four Iranian Christians who saw their ten-year prison sentences upheld by an appeal court earlier this month are expecting to have to report to prison any day now. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, and fellow Church of Iran members Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammad Reza Omidi could receive a call . . . Read More

Landmark judgment on Pakistani religious minorities yet to be honoured by the state

Landmark judgment on Pakistani religious minorities yet to be honoured by the state
When a bomber killed 127 people at a Pakistan church, the country’s Supreme Court issued a list of instructions to the government to protect religious minorities. Four years later, the government has yet to follow most of them. As with the religious freedom guaranteed in Pakistan’s constitution, the government’s lacklustre . . . Read More