Tajikistan: Christian convert’s burial delayed as relatives call for husband to return to Islam

Tajikistan: Christian convert’s burial delayed as relatives call for husband to return to Islam
When an elderly Christian woman from a Muslim background died last week in a Tajikistan hospital, her husband Mihrab* and children – all of them Christians – organised a funeral ceremony and invited people from their church. But Mihrab’s Muslim relatives also invited local Muslims, including a cleric, who demanded . . . Read More

What churches can do to help victims of sexual violence in conflict to stay ‘part of us’

Women affected by violence in the Central African Republic, have formed self-help groups in the capital Bangui and run a small shop where they sell their products. (Photo: Open Doors International)
Adrienne* survived a brutal sexual attack during a conflict with ex-Seleka militants in Central African Republic (CAR), only to be ostracised from her own community. Adrienne was alone in her greatest time of need, and the baby born to her nine months later bears the same vulnerabilities, and a label: a . . . Read More

Myanmar: ‘400 villages destroyed, 150,000 people displaced’ in Kachin

An elderly Kachin woman looks for shelter after fleeing fighting between Myanmar's army and Kachin rebels in December 2011. (Photo: World Watch  Monitor)
More than 400 villages have been damaged or destroyed and 150,000 people displaced since the collapse of a ceasefire in 2011 between Myanmar’s army and rebels in northern Kachin state, reports Catholic website AsiaNews. In 2018 alone, 50 villages were abandoned and more than 7,000 people fled their homes, seeking . . . Read More

‘Christianity in Syria is under threat from forces the West is supporting’

‘Christianity in Syria is under threat from forces the West is supporting’
Two thousand years of Christianity in Syria could be wiped out by the very forces Western governments are supporting, an Anglican vicar has claimed. Rev. Andrew Ashdown, who has made ten trips to Syria since 2014 and is studying for a PhD in relations between Christians and Muslims there, also . . . Read More

US religious freedom report shows ‘no progress’ in Myanmar

Displaced Kachin residents cross the Malikha river on 26 April to escape the fighting between the Kachin Independence Army and the Myanmar government troops. (Photo: ZAU RING HPARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and Iran are among the countries criticised for their religious-freedom records in the US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2017, launched yesterday (29 May) in Washington DC. The report references the violence against the predominantly Muslim Rohingya ethnic group in Myanmar, whose situation is still . . . Read More

India: 2017 saw 20% increase in atrocities against Christians, says lawyer

India: 2017 saw 20% increase in atrocities against Christians, says lawyer
Amid growing extreme Hindu nationalism in India, dozens of speakers have called for concerted action to uphold the country’s constitution and fundamental rights, at a conference to mark four years of government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “There is a grave threat to plurality,” Professor Ganesh Narayan Devy, a . . . Read More

Landmark judgment on Pakistani religious minorities yet to be honoured by the state

Landmark judgment on Pakistani religious minorities yet to be honoured by the state
When a bomber killed 127 people at a Pakistan church, the country’s Supreme Court issued a list of instructions to the government to protect religious minorities. Four years later, the government has yet to follow most of them. As with the religious freedom guaranteed in Pakistan’s constitution, the government’s lacklustre . . . Read More

Nepal: Catholic church interior ‘entirely destroyed’ after arson

Christians in Hindu-majority Nepal made feel "unwelcome" by "acts that provoke a culture of hate and fear", says a human rights activist. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A Catholic church in Nepal’s western Banke District has been left badly damaged following an arson attack last week, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). A group of between eight and ten unidentified arsonists reportedly warned locals to stay inside their houses, before breaking into St. Joseph’s, in the town . . . Read More