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Indian state’s ‘anti-conversion law’ to be repealed

Indian state’s ‘anti-conversion law’ to be repealed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of a state in north-east India that he will ensure that a law preventing conversions from one faith to another is repealed.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

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

Report: Latin American states failing Christians by overlooking ‘criminal freedom’

Threatening messages were scrawled on outside walls of this church in Arauca, east Colombia, where Christians continue to face oppression by armed groups. (Photo: World Watch Monitor, 2012)
A new report looking into the “endemic phenomena” of organised crime and corruption in Latin America highlights the failure of governments to protect active Christians from violence. The inability or unwillingness of Latin American governments to stop organised crime encourages a “criminal freedom” that “makes specific sectors within society become . . . 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