Religious minorities fear backlash as Sunni Islam declared state religion of Comoros

Religious minorities fear backlash as Sunni Islam declared state religion of Comoros
On Monday 30 July, the “Yes” vote recorded an overwhelming victory in the referendum on constitutional reforms in the southeast African island nation of Comoros, declaring Sunni Islam the “religion of the state”. “The state draws from this religion the principles and rules of Sunnite observance,” the amended constitution reads. . . . Read More

Christians matter least in Pakistani politics

Pakistan elections (Getty)
As Pakistan prepares for elections later this month, the country’s minorities – particularly its Christians – have expressed dismay at their lack of representation among the candidates. Among the thousands of candidates contesting hundreds of provincial and national constituencies across the country, not a single Christian is nominated by any . . . Read More

Pakistan’s new cardinal says government unable to stop religious extremism

Newly-appointed Pakistani Cardinal Joseph Coutts during a courtesy visit of relatives following the ceremony for the creation of new cardinals at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican on 28 June. (Photo: TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistan’s first cardinal in nearly a quarter of a century says his country’s government is unable to control Islamic extremism. “Our government is not strong enough to control the kind of extremism that has developed in the country,” Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi since 2012, said, adding: “It is enough to accuse . . . Read More

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

Four Iranian Christians set to begin ten-year prison sentences

From left: Saheb Fadaie, Youcef Nadarkhani, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Mohammad Reza Omidi.
The four Iranian Christians who saw their ten-year prison sentences upheld by an appeal court earlier this month are expecting to have to report to prison any day now. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, and fellow Church of Iran members Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammad Reza Omidi could receive a call . . . Read More

Maldives to EU: ‘Islam shall be the basis of all laws’

Only Muslims can be citizens of the Maldives is Muslim, and citizenship is revoked if one chooses another faith. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The Maldives government has told the European Union it will not consider amending its constitution to allow for religious freedom in the country, reports Maldives-based news site Avas Online. A report by the EU’s Electoral Follow-up Mission (EFM), published last week, said the Maldives had implemented none of the 22 . . . Read More

What makes Pakistan’s small religious minorities so significant?

What makes Pakistan’s small religious minorities so significant?
Pakistan conducted its first census in 19 years in July. All the results have now been released, except those on religious minorities. The government has provided no explanation. On 22 November a small group of protesters, mostly Christians, gathered outside the Press Club in Lahore, the major city in Pakistan’s . . . Read More