Religious freedom a prerequisite for sustainable development, expert says

Poverty cannot be eradicated through government intervention alone but it needs the help of "innovative faith-based initiatives", says Brian Grim. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
As half a million people in 900 cities around the world campaign today for “sustainable” development goals, Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, argues that this cannot be achieved without religious freedom. “There is a strong and positive relationship between religious freedom and sustainable development as . . . Read More

Nepal’s criminalisation of conversion a ‘direct infringement’ of religious freedom

Nepal’s criminalisation of conversion a ‘direct infringement’ of religious freedom
The clause in Nepal’s constitution that prohibits religious conversions was added to “protect Hinduism at the expense of other religions”, says advocacy group CSW, on the third anniversary of the amended constitution. As World Watch Monitor reported, Nepal’s Christian minority feared that the so-called “anti-conversion” measure, which came into force . . . Read More

‘Not all incidents are religiously motivated’ – Pakistan professor

Sabir Michael (YouTube / Academy for Cultural Diplomacy)
A Pakistani professor has warned that some social media activists and religious leaders are falsely portraying incidents as religiously motivated to stoke intolerance, reports UCAN. Sabir Michael, assistant professor at the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology in Karachi, cited three recent incidents that he said were reported . . . Read More

Fall in Christian refugee admissions ‘suggests Trump has no real interest in religious persecution’

Iraqi Christians who fled Islamic State have found shelter in a church yard in Erbil, Iraq. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The United States, under President Trump, has admitted 40 per cent fewer Christian refugees in the past year, US broadcaster NBC News has reported. As the Trump administration has implemented stricter policies on immigration and refugees, almost 11,000 Christians looking for a safe place to go were reportedly refused entry to . . . Read More

Myanmar: Peace talks for settling conflict with majority-Christian ethnic groups

Myanmar: Peace talks for settling conflict with majority-Christian ethnic groups
Myanmar’s Peace Commission has held a meeting in China with the representatives of three ethnic armed groups fighting the Myanmar Armed Forces along the country’s northern border, AsiaNews reports. The  Ta’ang National Liberation Army, Arakan Army and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army are part of the Northern Alliance, which also . . . Read More

EU should ‘put people of the world’ first in quest for religious freedom – report

EU should ‘put people of the world’ first in quest for religious freedom – report
Members of the European Parliament (EP) have called on the EU to “put the people of the world before our financial and political interests”, in a report about religious freedom. The Annual Report on Freedom of Religion or Belief 2017, presented by the EP Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or . . . Read More

Thailand called to release detained Vietnamese Montagnard refugees

The Montagnard-people are persecuted because of their faith but getting asylum in neighbouring countries is difficult. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Thailand should release the group of ethnic minority refugees and asylum seekers, mostly Christians, arrested last week during a crackdown just outside the capital Bangkok, rights groups say. Most of the 181 refugees detained are Montagnards, an indigenous group from Vietnam who face “harsh persecution if they are returned to . . . Read More