Blasphemers should be put to death, says one Pakistan party as elections near

Blasphemers should be put to death, says one Pakistan party as elections near
Ahead of Pakistan’s general elections later this month, the newly established Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party is gaining traction with its anti-blasphemy agenda, Al-Jazeera reports. The party calls for blasphemers against Islam to be put to death and for those who kill alleged blasphemers to be celebrated. Its election posters often . . . Read More

India: Catholics say BJP doctored letter to garner votes ahead of Karnataka elections

India: Catholics say BJP doctored letter to garner votes ahead of Karnataka elections
The Catholic Church in India has deplored a “fake” letter widely circulated in social and mainstream media alleging a Catholic conspiracy ahead of tomorrow’s elections in southern Karnataka state. “This is totally unacceptable. This is a blatant attempt to spread lies,” Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ . . . Read More

Praying for a peacemaker: What do Iraq’s elections mean for the remaining Christians?

A boy recently returned to his home in the Nineveh plains, looks out over the remains of Karamles (WWM May 2017)
Iraqis go the polls on Saturday (12 May) for the first time since the military defeat of Islamic State, whose campaign of terror against non-Muslims pushed thousands of the country’s last Christians to flee their homeland. Only about 200,000 to 300,000 Christians are thought to remain in Iraq now, mostly . . . Read More

Bangladesh’s religious minorities warned they may face ‘brunt’ of election violence

Christians protest following an attack by local thugs on a church last Saturday in which three men were injured and the building damaged. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Christians and other minorities in Bangladesh face a “daunting election” at the end of the year, warns the Bangladeshi Bureau Chief of Catholic news agency UCAN. “Elections and violence go hand-in-hand in Bangladesh and minorities often face the brunt of this amid a tug-of-war between political parties jockeying for power,” . . . Read More

Nepal ‘should practise what it preaches’ as UN member

Nepal ‘should practise what it preaches’ as UN member
As a newly elected member state of the UN Human Rights Council, Nepal must address its own commitment to the protection of human rights, including freedom of religion and belief, says Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The advocacy organisation highlighted Nepal’s decision in October to criminalise religious conversion and the “hurting of . . . Read More

Malaysian bishops: ‘We need leaders who truly care for the people’

Malaysian bishops: ‘We need leaders who truly care for the people’
For the first time in six decades, several high-profile Malaysian church leaders have publicly called for a change of government. On 24 April the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia issued a pastoral letter, saying: “We need to choose leaders who truly care for the rakyat [people], promote justice and equality, stand . . . 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

Iran: do non-Muslims have the right to hold elected public office or not?

Iran: do non-Muslims have the right to hold elected public office or not?
In Iran, which is 90-95 per cent Shia Muslim, the passing of a date set for a decision over whether a non-Muslim can hold an elected public office is significant for the country’s religious minorities and their rights. The date, April 5, passed without that decision being made for a . . . Read More