Ongoing religious freedom challenges in the Commonwealth

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed Heads of State of the Commonwealth member states at Windsor Castle, west of London, on 20 April 2018. (Photo: JACK TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images)
A new report on religious freedom in Commonwealth member states says minorities in India, Malaysia and Nigeria have the least freedom to practise their faith. Using data from the Pew Global Religious Futures Project, the new report by the Council of Christians and Jews noted that Christianity is the largest . . . Read More

Anger as Hindu religious leaders given ministerial status

Anger as Hindu religious leaders given ministerial status
Christian and Muslim leaders have voiced concerns after five Hindu religious leaders were accorded “minister of state” status by the nationalist BJP (Bharatiya Janarta Party) government in India’s Madhya Pradesh state, Catholic news agency UCAN reported. Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan told journalists that the move was aimed at the “attempts . . . 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

India: Baptism service violently halted by Hindu mob claiming ‘forced conversions’

India: Baptism service violently halted by Hindu mob claiming ‘forced conversions’
Around 20 Hindu extremists in saffron-coloured clothes barged inside a church in eastern India’s Uttar Pradesh state yesterday (28 March), violently assaulting the pastor and two church members. Shouting in extremely offensive language, they entered the Evangelical Churches of India (ECI) building in the Fatehpur district of the city, and . . . Read More

Good Friday holiday reinstated in Christian-majority Indian state after protests

Good Friday holiday reinstated in Christian-majority Indian state after protests
Widespread protests have forced the government in Christian-majority Meghalaya State in north-east India to restore the Good Friday holiday. The coalition government, to which the Hindu nationalist BJP is a partner, had declared in a circular that Good Friday would be a normal “working day”, but the move was withdrawn . . . Read More