Pro-Hindu BJP wins over Christian voters in northeast India

Christians gather for the general assembly of the National Council of Churches in India in Shillong, capital of the Christian-majority state of Meghalaya in the north-east. (May 2008)
India’s pro-Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now the governing party in two Christian-dominated states in the northeast, following recent election successes in Nagaland and Meghalaya. But to do so, it had to betray its core values of Hindutva, according to John Dayal, former National President of the All India . . . Read More

Egypt’s elections and the man dividing the country’s Copts

Egypt’s elections and the man dividing the country’s Copts
Walking around Cairo you would be forgiven for thinking that President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was the only candidate running in the elections later this month. His is the only grandiose face bearing down on passers-by, while billboards of his rival, Mousa Mostafa Mousa, are nowhere to be seen. Egypt’s 26-28 March presidential elections have . . . Read More

Pakistan Senate seeks same sentences for blasphemy offenders and those who falsely accuse

In November there were widespread anti-blasphemy protests in Islamabad and other cities in reaction to proposed changes to an election law. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pakistan’s Senate Special Committee on Human Rights has recommended that those who falsely accuse someone of blasphemy should receive the same punishment as those convicted of blasphemy. The Committee also said registration of a blasphemy case should include a minimum of two witnesses who support the charges. Right-wing political parties . . . Read More

India: Modi ‘shocked’ at archbishop’s criticism

India: Modi ‘shocked’ at archbishop’s criticism
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has expressed “shock” at the criticism levelled at him by an archbishop. Ahead of state elections this month, Archbishop Thomas Macwan of Gandhinagar, capital of the western state of Gujarat, had written an open letter, citing “ human rights violations” and warning against “nationalist forces”. . . . Read More

India archbishop served notice for raising human rights ahead of Gujarat elections

India archbishop served notice for raising human rights ahead of Gujarat elections
Christian groups and networks in India have rallied behind Archbishop Thomas Macwan of Gandhinagar, capital of Gujarat state in western India, after the federal Election Commission served a notice on the prelate for his pastoral letter ahead of state elections this month. Gujarat is the home state of Prime Minister . . . Read More

Nepal PM ‘commits to address’ Christian concerns ahead of elections

Nepal PM ‘commits to address’ Christian concerns ahead of elections
Nepal’s Prime Minister has committed to addressing the Christian community’s concerns over religious freedoms, reports Asia News. Christians are thought to account for around 4 per cent of the population. Dinesh Bhattarai, advisor to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, said the commitment “will be immediately put into practice and everything . . . Read More

Iran MPs want to change law so people can only vote for candidates from their own religion

Iran MPs want to change law so people can only vote for candidates from their own religion
Conservative MPs within Iran’s parliament are proposing that Iranians should only be allowed to vote for members of their own religious group. In Iran, where 90-95% of the population is Shia Muslim, this will essentially mean that it will be impossible for members of religious minorities to be elected. The . . . Read More