Afghanistan overtakes N Korea as most dangerous place to live as a Christian

Afghan-women-face-highly restricted lives under the Taliban
After the August 2021 takeover by the Taliban of Afghanistan, the country has overtaken North Korea as the most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian, according to the annual World Watch List of the NGO Open Doors International, out today. After 20 years at the top*, North . . . Read More

Pakistani Christian couple acquitted of blasphemy after 7 years on death row

Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel faced execution for allegedly sending ‘blasphemous’ texts to a mosque cleric, from a phone containing a sim registered in Shagufta’s name. The couple have consistently denied all allegations and believe Shagufta’s National Identity Card was purposely misused. Imprisoned since 2013, the couple were convicted and sentenced to death in April 2014. Their appeal was due to be heard in April 2020, six years after they
were sentenced, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. At their last two hearings in 2021, the judges left the court as they were due to hear the appeal against their death sentences,
The Pakistani woman who replaced Christian Asia Bibi in her prison cell on death row, a mother of 4, Shaguftah Kausar, has – after a dozen delays since April 2020 due to COVID-19 – been acquitted from the death penalty by Lahore High court. Kausar, with her disabled husband Shafqat . . . Read More

COVID-19 exacerbates discrimination against minority Christians globally

Christian prays during COVID-19, Cairo
• Christians refused coronavirus aid in countries from India to Yemen to West Africa • COVID-19 legitimises increased surveillance and restrictions by authoritarian governments • Organised criminal groups use virus as means to extend their control, including over churches • Nationalism driven by majority religious identity rises in countries such . . . Read More

Church surveillance, COVID-19 controls affect China’s Christians – 1 of 5 global trends

Chinese woman, phone in hand, 2020
                  The emergency that dominated the globe during the past year — the novel coronavirus — also dominated the countries of the World Watch List published by Open Doors International today (Jan 13) and the lives of the estimated 340 million Christians . . . Read More

Nigerian girl, 17, escapes month in locked room after abduction and forcible conversion to Islam

According to the UN, over 4,000 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram alone in northeast Nigeria. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Sadiya Amos, aged 17, went missing from north central Kaduna in northern Nigeria on the night of 5th January. On 7th January, some men came to force her father Amos Chindo to attend a Sharia court in Anchau (in Kubau) without telling him what offence he had committed or even . . . Read More