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

Religious freedom violations in Asia increasing – UN rapporteur

Pakistani Christians experience an increase in violence such as a suicide attack on the Bethel Methodist Church in Quetta in December last year that killed more than ten and injured dozens of people. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Religious freedom in Asia is “eroding”, with an increase in religious fundamentalism across much of the continent, according to the UN’s religious freedom rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed. Shaheed spoke during an event, hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Club in Thailand’s capital Bangkok, on the back of the 4th Southeast Asia Freedom of Religion or Belief Conference. “Freedom . . . Read More

‘ISIS won despite defeat as West was unwilling to confront it’

Iraqi Christians ask the international community for help as they are facing annihilation by Islamic State. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The Islamic State group may have been defeated on the battlefield, but the West has allowed its ideology to “percolate” and in that case it won, writes Seth J. Frantzman for the Jerusalem Post. “[ISIS] won in Iraq and Syria by destroying minority communities. It won because today the international . . . Read More

US imposes sanctions on Myanmar for ‘widespread human rights abuses’

Since fighting flared up in Kachin state in April thousands of people have fled their homes and, like these women, found refuge in temporary shelters at church compounds in Kachin's capital Myitkyina.(Photo: YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)
The US government announced on Friday that it had imposed sanctions on Myanmar for “widespread human rights abuses” against Christians, Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities, reports The New York Times. According to the Treasury Department the abuses against Rohingya Muslims in southwestern Rakhine state, forcing more than 700,000 to seek . . . Read More

Nepali law criminalising ‘hurting of religious feelings’ comes into force

Nepali law criminalising ‘hurting of religious feelings’ comes into force
A law criminalising religious conversions and the hurting of religious feelings comes into force in Nepal today, a year after the bill was passed. As World Watch Monitor reported last year, Nepal’s Christian minority fears the new law will be abused by those seeking to settle scores – as has . . . Read More