At least 150 Christians arrested in Eritrea clampdown

Eritrea remains “one of the worst examples of state-sponsored repression of freedom of religion or belief in the world”, says USCIRF Commissioner.  (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
At least 150 Eritrean Christians were arrested by government officials during the last two months, with some of them held in an underground prison made up of tunnels. The most recent arrests occurred 18 August when Eritrean security officials detained 80 Christians from Godayef, an area near the airport of . . . Read More

Eritrea: Orthodox Patriarch Antonios expelled for ‘heresy’

Eritrea: Orthodox Patriarch Antonios expelled for ‘heresy’
Eritrea’s Orthodox patriarch, Abune Antonios, who was placed under house arrest by the government in 2007, has been expelled by pro-government bishops in his church on accusations of heresy, the BBC reported. The attempt to excommunicate is widely seen as symptomatic of Eritrea’s government push for more political control over . . . Read More

For persecuted Christian women, violence is compounded by ‘shaming’

Women to women conference in Ethiopia, February 2018.
It would be hard to argue the world is unaware that Islamic State fighters used rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war against Iraq’s Yazidi women: Nadia Murad shared the 2018 Nobel Prize after she told the world of her personal ordeal at their hands. However, testimonies from . . . Read More

Pakistan joins US list of worst religious freedom violators

Burial of victims of a suicide attack on the Methodist Bethel Church in Quetta, Pakistan, on Sunday 17 December 2017 in which at least 9 people were killed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pakistan is among the ten countries that appear on the US State Department’s latest list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for religious-freedom violations, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced in a press statement on Tuesday, 11 December. China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and . . . Read More

UK parliamentary group calls out 27 countries for ‘significant’ religious freedom violations

A church in Bartella, a town near the Iraqi city of Mosul, after Islamic State militants left the area in October 2016. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A “Commentary on the Current State of Freedom of Religion or Belief” presented by a group of British parliamentarians today, 10 December, highlights 27 countries where people’s religious freedom has been denied and abused in the past year. The report, presented by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International . . . Read More

Eritreans still suffering despite peace deal with Ethiopia, says priest

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Cathedral in Asmara, Eritrea. (Photo: David Stanley)
An Eritrean priest has called on the international community not to close their eyes to the reality of what is happening in his country, reports the Catholic news site Agenzia Fides. While bilateral relations with countries in the region are improving, the harassment of religious groups at home continues, Fr. Mussie . . . Read More

Ethiopian PM sends condolences to Orthodox Church after 15 priests killed

Ethiopian PM sends condolences to Orthodox Church after 15 priests killed
Ethiopia’s prime minister visited the leader of the country’s Orthodox Church on Saturday to express his condolences after 15 priests were killed and ten Orthodox churches damaged in the eastern Somali region last week. Among the priests killed were Rev. Kidane Mariam Nibretu, Rev. Yared Hibu, Father Gebiremariam Asfaw, and . . . Read More

‘Middle East without Christians would not be the Middle East’ – Pope Francis

Pope Francis lights a candle inside the cripta of the St. Nicholas Basilica in Bari, southern Italy July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Pope Francis says religious fundamentalists in the Middle East, “under the guise of religion, have profaned God’s name, which is peace, and persecuted age-old neighbours”, Reuters reports. The pope was speaking during a summit of Christian leaders in Bari, Italy, on Saturday, 7 July. He spoke of the “terrible suffering” . . . Read More

Reconciliation with Ethiopia could improve human rights in Eritrea – UN rapporteur

Reconciliation with Ethiopia could improve human rights in Eritrea – UN rapporteur
As relations between Ethiopia and its neighbour Eritrea show signs of improvement, the UN’s rapporteur on human rights in Eritrea has called for the momentum to be used to improve human rights conditions in the country. “While peace is being negotiated, while rapprochement is happening, one would make sure that . . . Read More