Indonesian rights body to release anti-sectarian guidelines ahead of elections

Young people join protests against the former Christian Jakarta governor Ahok who was convicted of blasphemy in May last year. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Indonesia’s Human Rights Commission is to propose guidelines to avoid sectarian clashes in the run-up to next year’s national elections, reports Catholic news site UCAN. Ahead of recent regional elections, some hardline Islamic leaders called on Indonesians to vote only for Muslim candidates. Sectarianism also played a prominent role in . . . Read More

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

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

Chaldean Patriarch congratulates surprise Iraqi election winner

Chaldean Patriarch congratulates surprise Iraqi election winner
The Chaldean Patriarch, Louis Sako, has telephoned Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr to congratulate him on his unexpected victory in the country’s recent parliamentary elections. The Patriarchate also said that Sako told Sadr he hoped for a government that promotes the common good of all the Iraqi people. According to . . . 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