UK parliamentary group calls out 27 countries for ‘significant’ religious freedom violations

A church in Bartella, a town near the Iraqi city of Mosul, after Islamic State militants left the area in October 2016. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A “Commentary on the Current State of Freedom of Religion or Belief” presented by a group of British parliamentarians today, 10 December, highlights 27 countries where people’s religious freedom has been denied and abused in the past year. The report, presented by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International . . . Read More

70 years since universal declaration, human rights ‘ignored and abused all over the world’

Ahok protests
Ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, 10 December, rights group ADF International has called for “recommitment” to the founding principles, which it says are being “consistently ignored and abused … all over the world”. Chief among those rights, ADF notes, is the . . . Read More

Police in China given quotas for how many Christians to arrest

Police in China given quotas for how many Christians to arrest
Police stations in a city in northeast China are having their performance evaluated according to the number of Christians they arrest, says religious-liberty magazine Bitter Winter. A police officer from Dalian, a port city in Liaoning Province, near the North Korean border, told the magazine that his station had received . . . Read More

China: Christian students under pressure to give up their faith

Group of Chinese students on Tiananmen Square, in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Municipal authorities in a city in China’s northern Hebei province have been given directions on how to handle students and teachers who express their religious beliefs, reports religious-liberty magazine Bitter Winter. Foreign teachers and students are not allowed to preach or promote religion, and local students are prohibited from speaking . . . Read More

China: Cultivate ‘patriotic’ clergy, Henan officials told

China: Cultivate ‘patriotic’ clergy, Henan officials told
Local government officials in China’s central Henan province are being encouraged to cultivate “patriotic” clergy for leadership positions in the Catholic Church, according to a document outlining how to implement the new religion regulations. The guidelines, published in a confidential document titled ‘Supervision and Self-Inspection Framework for Implementing the Central . . . Read More

China introduces three-person teams to monitor religious groups

China introduces three-person teams to monitor religious groups
In Wenzhou city – also dubbed “China’s Jerusalem” – teams of three government officials will now monitor the activities of religious groups by keeping their meeting-places under observation, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. Alongside other requirements, the groups must align their teachings with the agenda of the government. The teams . . . Read More

China: 6 churches closed, crosses removed from 3 others

China: 6 churches closed, crosses removed from 3 others
Authorities in China have closed at least six “underground” Protestant churches in Guizhou province in Southwest China, reports CSW. The churches in Guiyang city were closed on 8 October on account of being “illegal religious venues”. “Unregistered churches in the area have been under pressure from authorities to join the . . . Read More