COVID-19 exacerbates discrimination against minority Christians globally

Christian prays during COVID-19, Cairo
• Christians refused coronavirus aid in countries from India to Yemen to West Africa • COVID-19 legitimises increased surveillance and restrictions by authoritarian governments • Organised criminal groups use virus as means to extend their control, including over churches • Nationalism driven by majority religious identity rises in countries such . . . Read More

Church surveillance, COVID-19 controls affect China’s Christians – 1 of 5 global trends

Chinese woman, phone in hand, 2020
                  The emergency that dominated the globe during the past year — the novel coronavirus — also dominated the countries of the World Watch List published by Open Doors International today (Jan 13) and the lives of the estimated 340 million Christians . . . Read More

Turkey orders deportation of pastor’s American wife, a mother-of-three, in string of expulsions

Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
An American mother-of-three has been told she has to leave Turkey, one of the latest incidents in a series of expulsions of Christian expatriates from the country. Joy Anna Crow Subasigüller, originally from Florida, USA, and her Turkish husband Lütfü were married seven years ago. They settled and started a . . . Read More

UN Sec. General’s “biggest data gap in the world” affects persecuted Christian women

Women to women conference in Ethiopia, February 2018.
The UN Secretary-General last week called it ‘the biggest data gap in the world…what UK writer Caroline Criado Perez calls “default man” thinking: the unquestioned assumption that men are standard, and women the exception. Very often, women are not counted, and their experiences don’t count”. And this lack of ‘counting’ . . . Read More

EU Envoy’s threat of trade sanctions played crucial role in Asia Bibi’s freedom

EU Envoy on religious freedom, Jan Figel, meets with Asia Bibi's lawyer, Saif ul Malook in Lahore, December 2017. (Photo: Jan Figel)
Freed Pakistani Christian Aasiya Noreen, known to the world now as Asia Bibi, has pleaded for the many others like her accused of blasphemy who, she says, are still “lying in jail for years – their decisions should also be done on merit. The world should listen to them. “The . . . Read More

Iraq: Five years after IS occupied Mosul, returnees live in fear

Iraq: Five years after IS occupied Mosul, returnees live in fear
The Islamic State’s three-year occupation of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and its surrounding villages ended nearly two years ago, yet the city and its diminished number of Christian residents remain vulnerable.   Last month the Iraqi government announced it would arm residents of 50 villages around Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, . . . Read More

‘In context of gender justice, women’s right to freedom of religion pretty much ignored’

Anurima Bhargava (USCIRF) and Helene Fisher (Open Doors) at UN NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief CSW side event, 14 March, 2019
She is a woman who can be identified only as “Z”, for her security. She is a Christian in India, a country that is overwhelmingly Hindu. And she is a lawyer defending women and youth from exploitation by landlords and employers, so she was pleased when she got the opportunity . . . Read More