Religious freedom is a prerequisite for democracy – US commission

China's 'sinicization of religion' shows how economic liberalisation has not lead to more political freedom, says USCIRF chair. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A wealth of research shows that a society’s level of religious freedom is linked to its levels of critical social indicators, such as prosperity, stability and peace, the chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom told British parliamentarians. Dr. Daniel Mark, chairman of USCIRF, an independent, bipartisan federal . . . Read More

Kazakhstan: Child in church triggers police raid

Kazakhstan: Child in church triggers police raid
A senior police officer in the southern Kazakh city of Kyzylorda has defended sending anti-extremism officers to investigate the presence of a child in church, reports regional news agency Forum 18. Kuanishbek Urazov, Head of Kyzylorda Regional Police’s Department for the Struggle with Extremism, said it was the police’s “duty . . . Read More

Kazakh ‘sting operation’ to catch out Christian backfires

Kazakh ‘sting operation’ to catch out Christian backfires
A Kazakhstan court has acquitted a Christian women accused of “missionary activity” after she was caught in an “apparent sting operation”, reports regional news agency Forum 18. Police officers arrested Dilobarkhon Sultanova in January after she helped Elmira Inibekova download a Bible app to her mobile phone. The two women . . . Read More

Kazakhstan: Hundreds punished for practising faith in 2017

Kazakhstan: Hundreds punished for practising faith in 2017
Kazakhstan prosecuted 279 individuals, groups and organisations last year for conducting activities related to religion, according to news agency Forum 18. The ‘offences’ included attending worship meetings, importing religious literature, telling other people about a faith, praying, allowing a parent to bring a child to a religious meeting, and inadequate . . . Read More

‘Unprecedented’ persecution of Egypt’s Christians heads 2018 World Watch List

‘Unprecedented’ persecution of Egypt’s Christians heads 2018 World Watch List
More Christians abused in India than in all other countries combined; Nepal enters list Islamic extremists driven out of Iraq and Syria are behind a new intensity of Christian persecution in surrounding countries, says global charity Open Doors in its latest annual survey of countries where it is most difficult . . . Read More

Kazakhstan’s new restrictions to ‘flagrantly’ violate religious rights

At the facility of one of the presbyterian Churches in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is set to pass a new set of restrictions on freedom of religion or belief that violate international human rights obligations, according to regional news service Forum 18. The proposed amendments to Kazakhstan’s religion law are currently with the Prime Minister and are expected to be signed into law . . . Read More