Pakistan joins US list of worst religious freedom violators

Burial of victims of a suicide attack on the Methodist Bethel Church in Quetta, Pakistan, on Sunday 17 December 2017 in which at least 9 people were killed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pakistan is among the ten countries that appear on the US State Department’s latest list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for religious-freedom violations, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced in a press statement on Tuesday, 11 December. China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and . . . Read More

UK parliamentary group calls out 27 countries for ‘significant’ religious freedom violations

A church in Bartella, a town near the Iraqi city of Mosul, after Islamic State militants left the area in October 2016. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A “Commentary on the Current State of Freedom of Religion or Belief” presented by a group of British parliamentarians today, 10 December, highlights 27 countries where people’s religious freedom has been denied and abused in the past year. The report, presented by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International . . . Read More

70 years since universal declaration, human rights ‘ignored and abused all over the world’

Ahok protests
Ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, 10 December, rights group ADF International has called for “recommitment” to the founding principles, which it says are being “consistently ignored and abused … all over the world”. Chief among those rights, ADF notes, is the . . . Read More

Iran: ‘staggering’ number of Christians arrested – 114 in a week

Iran: ‘staggering’ number of Christians arrested – 114 in a week
Over 100 Christians have been arrested in Iran in the past week and nearly 150 in the past month, as part of the government’s attempt to “warn” Christians against proselytising over Christmas, according to the advocacy director of religious freedom charity Article 18. Mansour Borji called the number of arrests . . . Read More

Iranian Christians sentenced, verdict says ‘claiming Jesus is Lord is attack against Islam’

Iranian Christians sentenced, verdict says ‘claiming Jesus is Lord is attack against Islam’
Two Iranian Christians have been given prison sentences for “spreading propaganda against the regime”, reports Middle East Concern. Saheb Fadaei and Fatimeh Bakhteri, who belong to the non-Trinitarian “Church of Iran”, were sentenced to 18 and 12 months, respectively. Middle East Concern noted that in the verdict it was written . . . Read More

Amnesty launches writing campaign for release of four Iranian Christians

From left: Victor Bet-Tamraz, Amin Afshar-Naderi, another fellow prisoner Kaviyan Fallah-Mohammadi, and Hadi Asgari.
Amnesty International has called for the release of four Iranians sentenced to a combined total of 45 years in prison “solely for practising their Christian faith”. Its report calls for urgent action from the Iranian government to “quash the convictions and sentences of Victor Bet-Tamraz, Shamiram Isavi, Amin Afshar-Naderi, and . . . Read More

‘How can reading the Bible be acting against national security?’ asks Iranian Christian from prison

‘How can reading the Bible be acting against national security?’ asks Iranian Christian from prison
An Iranian convert to Christianity serving ten years in prison for “missionary activities” has written an open letter to the Iranian authorities, asking how his Christian activities could be perceived as anti-state. “Would it even be possible for a committed Christian – who was born and raised in Iran and . . . 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