Malaysian sergeant denies implicating ‘very senior police officers’ in pastor’s kidnapping

Pastor Raymond Koh who was last seen in February 2017. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The sergeant thought to have been ready to publicly implicate Malaysian police in the abductions of Pastor Raymond Koh and a social activist has denied ever making the claim. In a police report filed on Wednesday 30 May, Sgt. Shamzaini Mohd Daud denied claiming that the missing church leader and social . . . Read More

Four-year sentence for Indonesian pastor who evangelised a taxi driver

Four-year sentence for Indonesian pastor who evangelised a taxi driver
A Protestant pastor has been sentenced to four years in prison for religious defamation after discussing Christianity with a Muslim taxi driver in Indonesia, the Jakarta Post reports. The Tangerang District Court in Banten also ordered that Rev. Abraham Ben Moses, 52, pay a fine of 50 million Rupiah (US$3,565) . . . 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

Russia’s religious communities face ‘unclear’ requirements

Russia’s religious communities face ‘unclear’ requirements
Legal requirements applied to the expression of freedom of religion in Russia impose a significant burden on religious communities not recognised by the state – in the shape of fines, legal costs and bureaucracy – reports regional news agency Forum 18. The requirements are “unclear” and applied “inconsistently”, Forum 18 . . . Read More

Iran: appeal heard by judge with ‘poor track record in dealing with Christians’

Iran: appeal heard by judge with ‘poor track record in dealing with Christians’
Four Iranian Christians each sentenced to at least ten years in prison had their first appeal hearing yesterday (25 April). In the hearing, initially scheduled for February but postponed, a judge heard the case of Christian converts Hadi Asgari, Amin Afshar-Naderi, Kaviyan Fallah-Mohammadi and Assyrian pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz. At least . . . Read More

Indian Christians charged with ‘hurting religious sentiments’ by handing out Easter tracts

Indian Christians charged with ‘hurting religious sentiments’ by handing out Easter tracts
Four Christians, including the wife of a church leader, have been charged with “hurting religious sentiments” after they handed out Christian tracts during an Easter procession in India’s southern Telangana state. Rayapuri Jyothi, 38, Meena Kumari, 52, Mahima Kumari, 35 and Bagadam Sudhakar, 45, were taken into custody by police . . . Read More

Brunei takes another step towards full implementation of Sharia

Parliament building in Brunei's capital, Bandar Seri Begawan. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Brunei’s Sultan and his Islamic Religious Council have approved a draft Criminal Code that brings the country another step closer to the full implementation of Sharia (Islamic law), the Borneo Bulletin reports. The draft outlines procedures for investigation, prosecution and the judiciary, and would facilitate the introduction of harsher punishments . . . Read More

Algeria: two more churches closed, others threatened

Algeria: two more churches closed, others threatened
Local authorities in Algeria’s north-western city of Oran have closed two more churches amidst growing pressure on Christians in the Maghreb country. The two churches – L’Oratoire (The Oratory) in Oran’s city centre, and a village church in Layayda (about 40km from Oran) – were sealed off by police on . . . Read More

Indonesia: Catholics forced to stop aid work after accusations of converting Muslims

Indonesia: Catholics forced to stop aid work after accusations of converting Muslims
Catholics from a church in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta have been accused of proselytism while distributing aid packages to the local mostly Muslim community, Catholic news agency UCAN reports. The packages, containing basic necessities and healthcare, were delivered to locals as part of a programme to celebrate the elevation . . . Read More