China: Christian summer camps closed down, priests dismissed

Authorities make holding summer youth camps like this one held in 2008, increasingly difficult. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
China has closed several Christian summer camps for children and dismissed two priests for holding a camp, reports Catholic news agency UCAN. The two priests belonged to one of the only two unregistered Catholic churches in Tianshui diocese, in China’s northwest Gansu province. After their dismissal, the Tianshui Municipal Ethnic . . . Read More

Nine-year-old Indian girl from Christian convert family gang-raped and murdered

Nine-year-old Indian girl from Christian convert family gang-raped and murdered
A nine-year-old girl from an Indian family that had recently converted to Christianity was gang-raped and murdered on Sunday, 5 August, in Punjab state. Anjali Masih was playing with her friends in the city of Gurdaspur, near the Pakistan border, when a group of men lured her away by showing . . . Read More

70,000 Syrian Armenians have fled during the war, and few will return

70,000 Syrian Armenians have fled during the war, and few will return
The fragrance of Middle Eastern cuisine wafts into your nostrils, even before you open the door of the café opposite the central railway station in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital.   Nerses Kevo, the café’s owner, is one of thousands of Armenian Christians who fled the Syrian civil war and moved to . . . Read More

What churches can do to help victims of sexual violence in conflict to stay ‘part of us’

Women affected by violence in the Central African Republic, have formed self-help groups in the capital Bangui and run a small shop where they sell their products. (Photo: Open Doors International)
Adrienne* survived a brutal sexual attack during a conflict with ex-Seleka militants in Central African Republic (CAR), only to be ostracised from her own community. Adrienne was alone in her greatest time of need, and the baby born to her nine months later bears the same vulnerabilities, and a label: a . . . Read More

Burkina Faso: Kidnappers release pastor and his family after four days

Burkina Faso: Kidnappers release pastor and his family after four days
The pastor abducted on Sunday with his family in Burkina Faso’s north-eastern province of Soum has been released. Local sources told Omega Radio that Pastor Pierre Boena, his son David and his daughter-in-law, Ami Sawadogo, were released yesterday (7 June). The report did not specifically mention the two granddaughters, Fasne-wendé . . . Read More

Indonesia: How women and children became agents of terror

Women pray in Blue Mosque in Indonesia's capital Jakarta. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Terrorism in Indonesia is now carried out by “entire families, including mothers and children”, one local police chief noted, three weeks on from the suicide blasts on three churches and a police station that claimed 27 lives, including 13 attackers. In raids following the series of bomb attacks, Jakarta security . . . Read More

Second Christian leader in two weeks kidnapped in Burkina Faso

Second Christian leader in two weeks kidnapped in Burkina Faso
A Christian pastor and three members of his family have been kidnapped in Burkina Faso’s north-eastern province of Soum, two weeks after the kidnapping of another Christian leader and his wife. Pierre Boena, a pastor with an Assembly of God church, was kidnapped during the evening of Sunday 3 June . . . Read More

Kazakhstan passes Religion Law that ‘undermines principles of human rights’

Kazakhstan's Parliament building in the capital Astana. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Kazakhstan’s Parliament has approved a set of wide-ranging amendments to the country’s Religion Law, refusing calls from civil society groups for a legal review by an independent body. The new set of restrictions, which are expected to further infringe upon religious freedom and have been criticised for violating international human . . . Read More