India: 15 Christians accused of ‘conversion’ in Jharkhand

Seven Indian states have an “anti-conversion law”; the Hindu nationalist BJP is the ruling party in six of them. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Police in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand have arrested four and are investigating 11 other Christians on charges of conversion, reported Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). The arrest of the four in the village of Podkher, Simdega district, on 29 May is the first reported case since Jharkhand introduced anti-conversion . . . Read More

India: 2017 saw 20% increase in atrocities against Christians, says lawyer

India: 2017 saw 20% increase in atrocities against Christians, says lawyer
Amid growing extreme Hindu nationalism in India, dozens of speakers have called for concerted action to uphold the country’s constitution and fundamental rights, at a conference to mark four years of government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “There is a grave threat to plurality,” Professor Ganesh Narayan Devy, a . . . Read More

Philippines: Marawi, a year after Islamist siege, 50,000 still in temporary shelter

Street in battle-scarred Marawi in a still taken from a video.
 People in the battle-scarred Southern Philippines city of Marawi are trying to rebuild their homes and lives one year after the place was stormed by Islamist militants. On 23 May 2017, militants belonging to the Maute group, an affiliate of Islamic State, took over Marawi. In what followed, five . . . Read More

India: Catholics say BJP doctored letter to garner votes ahead of Karnataka elections

India: Catholics say BJP doctored letter to garner votes ahead of Karnataka elections
The Catholic Church in India has deplored a “fake” letter widely circulated in social and mainstream media alleging a Catholic conspiracy ahead of tomorrow’s elections in southern Karnataka state. “This is totally unacceptable. This is a blatant attempt to spread lies,” Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ . . . Read More

Nepal: Catholic church interior ‘entirely destroyed’ after arson

Christians in Hindu-majority Nepal made feel "unwelcome" by "acts that provoke a culture of hate and fear", says a human rights activist. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A Catholic church in Nepal’s western Banke District has been left badly damaged following an arson attack last week, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). A group of between eight and ten unidentified arsonists reportedly warned locals to stay inside their houses, before breaking into St. Joseph’s, in the town . . . Read More

China: children stopped from entering church as pressure on Henan Christians increases

Under new religious regulations in China, religious education to minors is prohibited. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pressure on Christians is increasing in China’s central Henan province, according to Catholic news service UCAN. Suppressive measures on both Catholic and Protestant churches have been directed by the central government in Beijing and have intensified in recent weeks, according to UCAN, which reported that churches had been “demolished and . . . Read More

Gunman shoots Pakistan minister over blasphemy law

Gunman shoots Pakistan minister over blasphemy law
Pakistan’s interior minister, who has championed the country’s minority communities, has survived an assassination attempt by a gunman protesting against the country’s blasphemy laws. Ahsan Iqbal was shot in the arm before police overpowered his suspected attacker, 21-year-old Abid Hussain, the BBC reported. Iqbal was shot on Sunday (6 May) . . . Read More

Malaysian bishops: ‘We need leaders who truly care for the people’

Malaysian bishops: ‘We need leaders who truly care for the people’
For the first time in six decades, several high-profile Malaysian church leaders have publicly called for a change of government. On 24 April the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia issued a pastoral letter, saying: “We need to choose leaders who truly care for the rakyat [people], promote justice and equality, stand . . . Read More