Report: Latin American states failing Christians by overlooking ‘criminal freedom’

Threatening messages were scrawled on outside walls of this church in Arauca, east Colombia, where Christians continue to face oppression by armed groups. (Photo: World Watch Monitor, 2012)
A new report looking into the “endemic phenomena” of organised crime and corruption in Latin America highlights the failure of governments to protect active Christians from violence. The inability or unwillingness of Latin American governments to stop organised crime encourages a “criminal freedom” that “makes specific sectors within society become . . . Read More

International Youth Day: Young Christians want to build peace

After years of war Colombia's young men and women want peace. (Photo: Open Doors International)
Ahead of the UN’s International Youth Day on 12 August, which this year has “Youth Building Peace” as its theme, World Watch Monitor takes a look at some of the challenges facing young Christians around the world and how they try to contribute to building peaceful societies. Many of the world’s . . . Read More

Church split as Colombians reject FARC deal

The saga rolls on. After four years of peace talks and more than half a century of armed conflict, the Colombian people have rejected the government’s negotiated truce with the country’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Since its inception in 1964, the FARC has – . . . Read More

Freedom of religion or belief ‘undermined’ in corrupt countries

Freedom of religion or belief ‘undermined’ in corrupt countries
Corruption is increasingly seen as a factor behind the persecution of minority Christians around the world, and the world leaders who gathered at an Anti-Corruption Summit in London in May showed they are beginning to pay more attention to the effects of corruption on freedom of religion or belief. Evidence . . . Read More

Analysis: Latin American Christians need protection from organized crime

Analysis: Latin American Christians need protection from organized crime
For three days last month, El Salvador was the deadliest country in the world. The 125 people killed in gang-related violence from 16-18 Aug. could not be matched even by the horrors in Syria and Iraq. Violence related to organized crime is perhaps the most significant threat to Latin America’s . . . Read More

Organised crime is making life worse for Latin America Christians

Organised crime is making life worse for Latin America Christians
About one-quarter of the world’s Christians live in Latin America and, apart from in Colombia, most have enjoyed wide freedom to live out their faith. Christian life in Latin America is getting a bit more difficult, however, according to Open Doors International, creator of the World Watch List. The annual . . . Read More

Pressure on Christians grew in 2013

Pressure on Christians grew in 2013
More than ever, some of the hardest places for Christians to live are fragile or failed states where militant Islamist movements flourish, according to an annual report on Christian religious freedom. Pressure on Christians intensified worldwide in 2013, according to Open Doors International, a charity that provides support to Christians . . . Read More