UK Parliament hears ‘squeeze’ of persecution of Christians ‘as dangerous as violence’

Christian women are particularly vulnerable because of their gender and their faith. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Most of the 200 million Christians globally under pressure for their faith don’t experience violence but a ‘daily squeeze’ which is more insidious and – if left unchallenged – can lead to violence, MPs and others heard yesterday (17 January) at the launch of Open Doors’ World Watch List 2018 . . . Read More

‘Unprecedented’ persecution of Egypt’s Christians heads 2018 World Watch List

‘Unprecedented’ persecution of Egypt’s Christians heads 2018 World Watch List
More Christians abused in India than in all other countries combined; Nepal enters list Islamic extremists driven out of Iraq and Syria are behind a new intensity of Christian persecution in surrounding countries, says global charity Open Doors in its latest annual survey of countries where it is most difficult . . . Read More

Nepal PM ‘commits to address’ Christian concerns ahead of elections

Nepal PM ‘commits to address’ Christian concerns ahead of elections
Nepal’s Prime Minister has committed to addressing the Christian community’s concerns over religious freedoms, reports Asia News. Christians are thought to account for around 4 per cent of the population. Dinesh Bhattarai, advisor to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, said the commitment “will be immediately put into practice and everything . . . Read More

UK calls for action to secure freedom of religion for 80% of world’s population

UK calls for action to secure freedom of religion for 80% of world’s population
A new report urges the UK and other governments to take practical measures to turn the rhetoric of ‘freedom of religion or belief’ into reality, to protect the millions who are vulnerable to violence, discrimination and disadvantage as a result of its abuse. The report, presented in the UK Parliament today . . . Read More

Religious freedom in Nepal ‘teetering on the edge’

Within less then 24 hours after the provisions on religion were approved by the Constituent Assembly in September 2015, 3 churches in the eastern Jhapa district were bombed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Nepali president Bidhya Devi Bhandari last week signed into law a bill criminalising religious conversion and the “hurting of religious sentiment”, as two parliamentarians warn religious freedom in the country is “teetering on the edge”. Nepali MP Lokmani Dhakal and Canadian MP David Anderson expressed their concerns after an international . . . Read More

New UNHRC members criticised for ‘dismal rights record’

New UNHRC members criticised for ‘dismal rights record’
Afghanistan and Pakistan were among the 15 States elected last week (16 October) to serve on the UN Human Rights Council, with human rights groups calling it a “crisis in the UN and its intergovernmental system”. Maliha Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, called it an “endorsement of Pakistan’s strong . . . Read More

More than 80 countries ‘favour’ one religion over others – Pew Research Center

More than 80 countries ‘favour’ one religion over others – Pew Research Center
Over 80 countries favour a specific religion, either officially as a state religion or tacitly through special treatment, according to a new report by the US-based Pew Research Center. Islam is the most common state religion – 27 countries have it as their official religion, including 16 of the 20 . . . Read More

Nepali Christians freed 9 months after conviction for ‘witchcraft’ of praying for mentally ill woman

Nepali Christians freed 9 months after conviction for ‘witchcraft’ of praying for mentally ill woman
Four Nepali Christians sentenced last year to five years in prison for “violence and witchcraft”, after praying for a mentally ill woman, have been released after their sentences were overturned. In a statement, the Federation of National Christian, Nepal (FNCN) thanked the court for “setting free our innocent people”, and . . . Read More