Malaysia’s reputation as moderate Muslim nation hangs by a thread

Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia is seen by most Western countries as one of the moderate Muslim nations, an ally to be cultivated and befriended in the battle against militant Islam. The country’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, was among one of the leaders to visit US President Donald Trump in his first year of . . . Read More

Pakistan: Christian cleaner dies at work, leaving wife and two children

Pakistan: Christian cleaner dies at work, leaving wife and two children
A Pakistani Christian, who fell ill after inhaling poisonous gasses at work, died on Saturday (20 January) after three days on a life-support machine. Shahzad Masih, 24, who leaves a wife and two young children, worked as a sewer cleaner in the Korangi area of the southern city of Karachi, . . . Read More

Indian Christian complained of threats before he was found dead

Indian Christian complained of threats before he was found dead
The body of Rev. Gideon Periyaswamy, 43-year-old pastor of the church of Maknayeem in Adayachery village, in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state, was found hanging from the roof of his house on 20 January. Church congregation members who discovered his body described his knees bent to the floor and his . . . Read More

Malaysian pastor Raymond Koh’s kidnap inquiry halted

Malaysian pastor Raymond Koh’s kidnap inquiry halted
The fragile hopes of a Malaysian family in search of answers to the abduction of church leader Raymond Koh were dashed by a surprise development on Wednesday (17 January). Almost a year after Koh went missing, after little or no progress in police investigations, Malaysia’s newest Inspector General of Police . . . Read More

Could Pakistan’s place on US ‘Watch List’ create more problems for minorities?

Could Pakistan’s place on US ‘Watch List’ create more problems for minorities?
The US State Department last week placed Pakistan on a ‘Special Watch List’ for “severe violations of religious freedom”. The US did not, however, go as far as adding it to its ten ‘Countries of Particular Concern’* – for countries where “governments have engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing, and . . . 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

US State Department adds Pakistan to religious-freedom watch list

Burial of victims of a suicide attack on the Methodist Bethel Church in Quetta, Pakistan, on Sunday 17 December in which at least 9 people were killed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The US State Department has placed Pakistan on a “Special Watch List” for severe violators of religious freedom, it announced yesterday (4 January) with the publication of its annual list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’. The announcement comes as the US government cuts security aid to Pakistan, saying the country . . . Read More

India’s top Catholic on Hindutva attacks: ‘country being divided on basis of religious belief’

India’s top Catholic on Hindutva attacks: ‘country being divided on basis of religious belief’
The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, has expressed a lack of trust in the government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as the leader of the ruling BJP – known for pursuing a Hindu nationalistic agenda. “The country is being divided on the . . . Read More