Ten years after fake blasphemy charge, Pakistani Asia Bibi reunited with family

Asia Bibi is finally free, almost one decade after she was first imprisoned. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Asia Bibi’s daughter Eicham was 9 when she saw her mum badly beaten and in front of a mob charged with “blasphemy” against the Prophet Muhammad. For over 9 years, Eicham has visited her on death row in Pakistan. Finally, today, now a young woman at 18, Eicham and her . . . Read More

‘In context of gender justice, women’s right to freedom of religion pretty much ignored’

Anurima Bhargava (USCIRF) and Helene Fisher (Open Doors) at UN NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief CSW side event, 14 March, 2019
She is a woman who can be identified only as “Z”, for her security. She is a Christian in India, a country that is overwhelmingly Hindu. And she is a lawyer defending women and youth from exploitation by landlords and employers, so she was pleased when she got the opportunity . . . Read More

‘Situation for India’s religious minorities is at tipping point’ – report

The report shows that since Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014, the number of violent acts against India's religious minorities have increased (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A report by a religious freedom watchdog shows a dramatic increase in the number of attacks on Christians and Muslims in India in the last four years and “the situation … is at a tipping point”. The number of reported incidents in the first three months of 2018 was greater . . . Read More

Vietnamese government urged to cease persecution of religious minorities ahead of UN review

Vietnamese human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai, 48, was sentenced to 15 years in jail in April. (Photo: -/AFP/Getty Images)
Religious freedom advocates have called on the Vietnamese government to cease persecution of Christians and members of other religious minorities, including torture. Their calls come ahead of the UN Review of the country’s human rights records in Geneva today, 22 January. Non-governmental organisations said in their submission to the UN . . . Read More

Key trends show in 2019 List of countries where it’s most difficult to live as a Christian

WWL 2019 key trends, gender, China, woman (photo: VPA)
In its 2019 World Watch List, Open Doors International reports that 11 countries score highly enough to fit into the ‘extreme’ category for the level of persecution of Christians. It was the same last year, but five years ago, only North Korea was in that category. From roughly 2006, and accelerating from 2012, the NGO says the . . . Read More

India: Life sentence for top politician gives hope for justice for Kandhamal Christians

India: Life sentence for top politician gives hope for justice for Kandhamal Christians. (Photo: Getty Images)
Rights activists say the lifetime prison sentence given to a top politician in India on 17 December for his involvement in the riots that led to the killing of thousands of Sikhs in 1984, gives hope to India’s Christian minority still waiting for justice, reports Matters India. The High Court . . . Read More

Pakistan joins US list of worst religious freedom violators

Burial of victims of a suicide attack on the Methodist Bethel Church in Quetta, Pakistan, on Sunday 17 December 2017 in which at least 9 people were killed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pakistan is among the ten countries that appear on the US State Department’s latest list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for religious-freedom violations, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced in a press statement on Tuesday, 11 December. China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and . . . Read More