Indonesia: New religious education bill requires registration of Sunday schools

Under the new religious education law churches will also need government approval to hold Sunday school and Bible classes. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Christians in Indonesia are opposing a new religious education bill that will require them to obtain government approval for holding Sunday schools or confirmation classes, reports the Catholic news site UCAN. The draft bill prescribes that these classes can only be offered if there are at least 15 participants and . . . Read More

‘If the UN does not stand for Asia Bibi, what does it stand for?’

Asia Bibi is finally free, almost one decade after she was first imprisoned. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
An opinion piece published in the Washington Examiner has criticised the United Nations for failing to speak out against Pakistan’s treatment of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman on death row for blasphemy against Islam since 2010. The article, written by New Jersey-based William Mahoney, contrasts the UN’s response to France’s . . . Read More

Asia Bibi appeal complainant not even present at time of her alleged ‘blasphemy’

Asia Bibi with Punjab Governor, Salmaan Taseer, who was assassinated for supporting her case. (Photo: Office of the Governor of Punjab)
Asia Bibi’s final appeal against her execution in the Supreme Court of Pakistan went on for more than two hours. Below, World Watch Monitor provides details of what was said. Asia Bibi’s appeal hearing on 8 October took place before a three-member bench – Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif . . . Read More

Pakistan: Islamic groups threaten Supreme Court judges ahead of Asia Bibi ruling

Asia Bibi with Punjab Governor, Salmaan Taseer, who was assassinated for supporting her case. (Photo: Office of the Governor of Punjab)
Extremist religious groups in Pakistan have called for mass protests and threatened the judges of the country’s Supreme Court in Islamabad ahead of their ruling in the blasphemy case of Christian woman Asia Bibi. The hardline Islamic party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) threatened the judges in a press conference on YouTube, saying . . . Read More

Pakistan’s Supreme Court hears Asia Bibi’s ‘blasphemy’ appeal but delays ruling

Aasiya Noreen, a Pakistani Christian woman, has been on death row for over eight years for alleged blasphemy. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pakistan’s Supreme Court has finally heard the much-delayed appeal of Asia Bibi, the first Christian woman sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, today, 8 October, in the capital, Islamabad. It has not announced its decision, saying it will “reserve judgment” for several days or possibly weeks. Aasiya Noreen, commonly . . . Read More

‘Eliminate’ blasphemy laws, says US commission chief on International Blasphemy Day

In some countries blasphemy is a very sensitive topic and often leads to riots and violence, like in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November 2017.(Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Blasphemy laws are “dangerous” and should be “eliminated”, the chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) told Newsweek yesterday on International Blasphemy Day. The freedom to criticise or mock religion should not be decided by governments and their interpretation of laws, said Dr. Tenzin Dorjee. And it . . . Read More

‘Not all incidents are religiously motivated’ – Pakistan professor

Sabir Michael (YouTube / Academy for Cultural Diplomacy)
A Pakistani professor has warned that some social media activists and religious leaders are falsely portraying incidents as religiously motivated to stoke intolerance, reports UCAN. Sabir Michael, assistant professor at the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology in Karachi, cited three recent incidents that he said were reported . . . Read More

EU should ‘put people of the world’ first in quest for religious freedom – report

EU should ‘put people of the world’ first in quest for religious freedom – report
Members of the European Parliament (EP) have called on the EU to “put the people of the world before our financial and political interests”, in a report about religious freedom. The Annual Report on Freedom of Religion or Belief 2017, presented by the EP Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or . . . Read More