Tunisians protest against closure of cafes and restaurants during Ramadan

People walking in Medina in Sfax, a city on Tunisia's east coast. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Non-Muslims in Tunisia have taken to the streets during this year’s Ramadan to protest the closure of many cafés and restaurants, saying they can’t be forced to fast, reports the New York Times (NYT). Around 100 protestors began Ramadan this year by drinking water and eating sandwiches in central Tunis in . . . Read More

Nigerian pastor says security services threatened to kill him after Muslim woman’s conversion to Christianity

Nigerian pastor says security services threatened to kill him after Muslim woman’s conversion to Christianity
The Nigerian pastor who played a central role in the conversion of a young Muslim woman to Christianity has denounced the response of the country’s security services, from which he alleges he has received death threats. The first response of the Nigerian Department of State Security Services (DSS), in January, . . . Read More

Gunman shoots Pakistan minister over blasphemy law

Gunman shoots Pakistan minister over blasphemy law
Pakistan’s interior minister, who has championed the country’s minority communities, has survived an assassination attempt by a gunman protesting against the country’s blasphemy laws. Ahsan Iqbal was shot in the arm before police overpowered his suspected attacker, 21-year-old Abid Hussain, the BBC reported. Iqbal was shot on Sunday (6 May) . . . 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

Pakistan’s top judge says he’ll hear Asia Bibi’s appeal personally – and ‘soon’

Pakistan’s top judge says he’ll hear Asia Bibi’s appeal personally – and ‘soon’
Pakistan’s chief justice says he will decide, “soon,” the fate of Aasiya Noreen, a Christian woman whose 2009 conviction on blasphemy charges has fixated world attention on the country’s treatment of religious minorities. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar told Noreen’s lawyer, Saif-ul-Malook, on 21 April that he would hear the woman’s . . . Read More

Maldives to EU: ‘Islam shall be the basis of all laws’

Only Muslims can be citizens of the Maldives is Muslim, and citizenship is revoked if one chooses another faith. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The Maldives government has told the European Union it will not consider amending its constitution to allow for religious freedom in the country, reports Maldives-based news site Avas Online. A report by the EU’s Electoral Follow-up Mission (EFM), published last week, said the Maldives had implemented none of the 22 . . . Read More

World Council of Churches condemns persecution of other religions

World Council of Churches condemns persecution of other religions
The general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, has condemned efforts to incite violence against people who practise other faiths as “abhorrent and ungodly”. “Freedom of religion is as much about Christian minorities in Muslim countries as it is about followers of Islam . . . Read More

Nigerian Christian schoolgirl ‘escaped’, only to be sent back to Boko Haram

Nigerian Christian schoolgirl ‘escaped’, only to be sent back to Boko Haram
The only Christian among the 110 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted last month by Boko Haram ran away from her kidnappers but was caught and brought back three days later, according to fellow captives, reports the UK’s Guardian newspaper. Leah Sharibu, 15, and two other girls walked for three days and, hungry and exhausted, . . . Read More