Pakistani Christian says daughter, 12, abducted, forced to convert to Islam and marry

Pakistani Christian says daughter, 12, abducted, forced to convert to Islam and marry
A 12-year-old Pakistani Christian girl, who disappeared in November, was abducted, forced to convert to Islam and marry her abductor, according to her father. Elisha, daughter of Iqbal Masih, appeared in the High Court in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, on Thursday 8 February, where she introduced herself by a new Muslim . . . Read More

Malaysia’s reputation as moderate Muslim nation hangs by a thread

Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia is seen by most Western countries as one of the moderate Muslim nations, an ally to be cultivated and befriended in the battle against militant Islam. The country’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, was among one of the leaders to visit US President Donald Trump in his first year of . . . Read More

Kazakhstan: Hundreds punished for practising faith in 2017

Kazakhstan: Hundreds punished for practising faith in 2017
Kazakhstan prosecuted 279 individuals, groups and organisations last year for conducting activities related to religion, according to news agency Forum 18. The ‘offences’ included attending worship meetings, importing religious literature, telling other people about a faith, praying, allowing a parent to bring a child to a religious meeting, and inadequate . . . Read More

UK Parliament hears ‘squeeze’ of persecution of Christians ‘as dangerous as violence’

Christian women are particularly vulnerable because of their gender and their faith. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Most of the 200 million Christians globally under pressure for their faith don’t experience violence but a ‘daily squeeze’ which is more insidious and – if left unchallenged – can lead to violence, MPs and others heard yesterday (17 January) at the launch of Open Doors’ World Watch List 2018 . . . Read More

Kazakhstan’s new restrictions to ‘flagrantly’ violate religious rights

At the facility of one of the presbyterian Churches in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is set to pass a new set of restrictions on freedom of religion or belief that violate international human rights obligations, according to regional news service Forum 18. The proposed amendments to Kazakhstan’s religion law are currently with the Prime Minister and are expected to be signed into law . . . Read More

Young refugees ‘urgently need access to education’

The new Catholic University of Erbil offers displaced young people an opportunity to continue their education.
At the start of the 10th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues, which this year focuses on ‘minority youth’, human rights advocate Ewelina Ochab draws attention to the obstacles displaced young people face in accessing education. Ochab describes meeting Iraqi Christian youth and children in Jordan. Their families . . . Read More

Universal Children’s Day: Kidnapped Christina receives letter from German namesake

Five-year-old Christina, shortly after she was reunited with her family, including mother Ayda in the back. (Twitter @thestevennabil)
When German teenager Christina learned that a three-year-old girl with the same name from Qaraqosh, Iraq, had been abducted by Islamic State militants in August 2014, she started praying. A few months ago she heard the news of Christina’s release and decided to write a letter to the little girl, . . . Read More

Catholic teachers warn against India’s attempts to ‘saffronise’ education

Catholic teachers warn against India’s attempts to ‘saffronise’ education
Catholic school teachers in India have warned against “subtle attempts” by the government to “saffronise” – or make more Hindu – the education system. Dr. George Thadathil, a headteacher moderating an event in Kolkata last week titled ‘Future of Christian Higher Education and Contemporary Transitions in India’, said Christians “have . . . Read More