‘Untouchable’ caste identity haunts Pakistani Christians like Asia Bibi

‘Untouchable’ caste identity haunts Pakistani Christians like Asia Bibi
Asia Bibi was on death row for blasphemy, after offering drinking water which she, as a Christian, was considered to have made “unclean” by her touch. She got into an argument over this. Many Pakistani Christians – who are about 2% of the population – are children of converts to . . . Read More

‘A victory for Pakistan and millions of its marginalised people’ – son of governor who was killed for defence of innocent Asia Bibi

Shahbaz Taseer.  (Photo: beenasarwar.com)
Demonstrations were held in several cities in Pakistan following the acquittal of Asia Bibi of blasphemy charges by the Supreme Court earlier today (31 October). However, the numbers were in the hundreds rather than the thousands that might have been anticipated. And the son of the ex-Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, . . . Read More

Pakistani mother Asia Bibi wins appeal against death sentence for blasphemy

Asia Bibi is finally free, almost one decade after she was first imprisoned. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman on death row for blasphemy since 2010, has won her final appeal. She is expected to be freed from prison soon, but there are still fears for her personal safety, as many in the country still believe that she should die. Her case has divided . . . Read More

Indonesia: New religious education bill requires registration of Sunday schools

Under the new religious education law churches will also need government approval to hold Sunday school and Bible classes. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Christians in Indonesia are opposing a new religious education bill that will require them to obtain government approval for holding Sunday schools or confirmation classes, reports the Catholic news site UCAN. The draft bill prescribes that these classes can only be offered if there are at least 15 participants and . . . Read More

Asia Bibi appeal complainant not even present at time of her alleged ‘blasphemy’

Asia Bibi with Punjab Governor, Salmaan Taseer, who was assassinated for supporting her case. (Photo: Office of the Governor of Punjab)
Asia Bibi’s final appeal against her execution in the Supreme Court of Pakistan went on for more than two hours. Below, World Watch Monitor provides details of what was said. Asia Bibi’s appeal hearing on 8 October took place before a three-member bench – Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif . . . Read More

Pakistan: Islamic groups threaten Supreme Court judges ahead of Asia Bibi ruling

Asia Bibi with Punjab Governor, Salmaan Taseer, who was assassinated for supporting her case. (Photo: Office of the Governor of Punjab)
Extremist religious groups in Pakistan have called for mass protests and threatened the judges of the country’s Supreme Court in Islamabad ahead of their ruling in the blasphemy case of Christian woman Asia Bibi. The hardline Islamic party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) threatened the judges in a press conference on YouTube, saying . . . Read More

Algeria: Christian family accused of ‘proselytism’ – hearing postponed

Algeria: Christian family accused of ‘proselytism’ – hearing postponed
Four Algerian Christians accused of proselytism will appear in court on 6 November, in Bouira, in the north-eastern region of Kabylie. They had been due to appear yesterday (9 October), but the hearing was postponed. The four, including three members of the same family, are all from the town of . . . Read More

Indonesia: Three churches closed in permits dispute

Officials close and seal the doors of the Assemblies of God church in West Kenali village, Sumatra, who have been meeting since 2004. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Three churches were closed in an Indonesian village last week amidst rumours Muslims were planning to protest against the churches’ presence because they did not have the required permits. But a pastor from one of the affected churches in West Kenali village, Alam Barajo district, in Sumatra’s central Jambi province, . . . Read More

‘Eliminate’ blasphemy laws, says US commission chief on International Blasphemy Day

In some countries blasphemy is a very sensitive topic and often leads to riots and violence, like in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November 2017.(Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Blasphemy laws are “dangerous” and should be “eliminated”, the chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) told Newsweek yesterday on International Blasphemy Day. The freedom to criticise or mock religion should not be decided by governments and their interpretation of laws, said Dr. Tenzin Dorjee. And it . . . Read More