India: 2 years after Supreme Court order, no investigation into ‘shocking’ number of Kandhamal acquittals

India: 2 years after Supreme Court order, no investigation into ‘shocking’ number of Kandhamal acquittals
The man spearheading the campaign for “justice” for the victims of the worst case of anti-Christian violence in India’s history has denounced the failure of the Odisha state government to follow up on a Supreme Court order to investigate why there have been so few criminal convictions despite nearly 6,500 . . . Read More

Having human rights in Kazakhstan depends on state permission – report

The Presidential Palace, the official work place of Kazakhstan's president, in the capital Astana. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Kazakhstan tries to make the “exercising of human rights conditional on state permission”, says the Oslo-based news service Forum 18. “[Kazakhstan] systematically violates intertwined fundamental rights – such as the freedoms of religion or belief, of expression and of assembly” when it has international obligations to respect and defend these, . . . Read More

India: Kandhamal Christians still waiting for justice one decade after massacre

Some 56,000 Christians fled their homes during the rioting and many stayed in camps such as this one in Raikia. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Ten years after the worst case of anti-Christian violence in India’s history, the local community continues to struggle, with reparations from the government slow in coming and seven reportedly innocent Christians still in prison. Nearly 100 Christians were killed, 300 churches and 6,000 Christian homes were damaged, and 55,000 people . . . Read More

Nepali law criminalising ‘hurting of religious feelings’ comes into force

Nepali law criminalising ‘hurting of religious feelings’ comes into force
A law criminalising religious conversions and the hurting of religious feelings comes into force in Nepal today, a year after the bill was passed. As World Watch Monitor reported last year, Nepal’s Christian minority fears the new law will be abused by those seeking to settle scores – as has . . . Read More

US commission calls for Iranian Christians’ release after ‘new miscarriage of justice’

From left: Saheb Fadaie, Youcef Nadarkhani, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Mohammad Reza Omidi.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of an Iranian pastor and three of his church members, after they were taken to prison last week to serve ten-year sentences for “acting against national security” by “promoting Zionist Christianity” and running “house . . . Read More

India: 16 more Christians detained under Jharkhand’s ‘anti-conversion law’

A number of the Christians who were arrested by police, after they held a prayer service at the house of a Christian family in Phulpahari, India. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A group of 16 Indian tribal Christians who visited another tribal family in the eastern state of Jharkhand to talk to them about Christianity are in police custody after the local village head accused them of “conversion by inducement”. Last year, Jharkhand became the seventh Indian state to introduce a . . . Read More

Foreign Christian students targeted by Russia’s security services

Foreign Christian students targeted by Russia’s security services
Foreign students of Pentecostal churches in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod region have become a particular target for the authorities under the so-called “anti-missionary” law introduced two years ago, Forum 18 reports. The vague definition of “missionary activity” in the law, officially titled the Yarovaya Law after one of its authors, has meant that law . . . Read More

Indian state’s ‘anti-conversion law’ to be repealed

Indian state’s ‘anti-conversion law’ to be repealed
Christian groups have welcomed a surprise announcement by a nationalist chief minister of a state in north-east India that he will ensure that a law preventing conversions from one faith to another is repealed. Pema Khandu, a Buddhist who heads the nationalist BJP-led state government in Arunachal Pradesh, told an . . . Read More