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

UK parliamentary group calls out 27 countries for ‘significant’ religious freedom violations

A church in Bartella, a town near the Iraqi city of Mosul, after Islamic State militants left the area in October 2016. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A “Commentary on the Current State of Freedom of Religion or Belief” presented by a group of British parliamentarians today, 10 December, highlights 27 countries where people’s religious freedom has been denied and abused in the past year. The report, presented by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International . . . Read More

70 years since universal declaration, human rights ‘ignored and abused all over the world’

Ahok protests
Ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, 10 December, rights group ADF International has called for “recommitment” to the founding principles, which it says are being “consistently ignored and abused … all over the world”. Chief among those rights, ADF notes, is the . . . Read More

Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand ask for help

Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand ask for help
Death, disease, starvation, and continuous living in hiding from immigration authorities to escape permanent imprisonment in stinking dungeons – this is what life has become for many stateless Pakistani Christians stranded in Thailand for years now. Several heroic Thai locals have come forward to help sustain these starving asylum seekers, . . . Read More

UK government commits £12 million to championing religious freedom

More than 20 people lost their lives in the Palm Sunday attack on the St George Cathedral in Tanta, Egypt.
The UK government has committed £12 million ($15.5 million) to championing freedom of religion of belief worldwide. The UK’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, Lord Tariq Ahmad, said the money “will go a long way in bolstering the work of civil society and NGOs to promote respect, . . . Read More

Lawyer: Asia Bibi is on a plane, destination unknown

Lawyer: Asia Bibi is on a plane, destination unknown
The lawyer for Aasiya Noreen said 7 Nov. that the Pakistani Christian, whose blasphemy conviction was overturned 31 Oct., was on a plane, destination undisclosed. “No one knows where she will land,” the lawyer, Saiful Malook, told Agence France-Presse in a message via Twitter posted at 7:40 p.m. GMT: In his . . . Read More

Bangladesh PM says anyone who offends Islam will be prosecuted

Sheikh Hasina (Getty)
Bangladesh’s prime minister has pledged that anyone who offends Islam or its prophet will be prosecuted. Sheikh Hasina said the religion of Bangladesh “is Islam. Anyone who pronounces offensive comments against it, or against the Prophet Muhammad, will be prosecuted according to the law,” as reported by Asia News. Her . . . Read More

‘No grounds for review of Supreme Court ruling’ – Asia Bibi’s lawyer, who fled Pakistan

‘No grounds for review of Supreme Court ruling’ – Asia Bibi’s lawyer, who fled Pakistan
The lawyer who defended the Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi* against blasphemy charges and secured her acquittal at the Supreme Court says he does not expect a review of her case to take place. As part of its agreement with an Islamist political party to stop its violent protests, the . . . Read More

Pakistan paralysed following Asia Bibi’s victory in Supreme Court

Pakistan paralysed following Asia Bibi’s victory in Supreme Court
The victory of Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi in the Supreme Court has sparked nationwide protests, led by supporters of the Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP). TLP, which stands for the “Here-I-Am Movement”, is a rising party known for organising street protests in opposition to any changes to the blasphemy . . . Read More