India: allegations of false conversions by Christians ‘baseless’

Known for its famous mausoleum, the Taj Mahal, India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh hosts a Christian population of only 0.18 per cent.
Seven Pentecostal Christians in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, have been arrested for “forced conversions”, reports Asia News. The seven, who also allegedly insulted Hindu deities, appeared in court on Monday (11 December) and have been remanded in custody for 14 days. “The allegations are baseless,” said Sajan George, President of . . . Read More

Egypt: 21 churches receive long-delayed government approval to build

Egypt: 21 churches receive long-delayed government approval to build
Twenty-one churches in Egypt’s southern rural Minya governorate can restore, expand and rebuild their churches after receiving approval from the Minya Governor. Governor Essam al-Bedeiwi approved the 21 applications over the last six months. Some of the churches had been waiting for more than 20 years for a permit to come . . . Read More

US tells Sudan to ‘immediately suspend’ church demolitions

US tells Sudan to ‘immediately suspend’ church demolitions
The US Deputy Secretary of State has called on Sudan to “immediately suspend” its demolition of churches and to hold a roundtable discussion with Christian leaders to resolve disputes. John J. Sullivan, speaking at the Al-Neelain Mosque in Omdurman on Friday (17 November), said “the treatment of members of religious . . . Read More

Refugees call for African Union to stop Eritrea’s ‘reign of terror’

Approximately 250 Eritreans took part in a protest in Addis Ababa ear. (Photo: Getty Images)
Eritrean refugees and representatives of the opposition living in Ethiopia staged a protest at the African Union headquarters in the capital, Addis Ababa, earlier this week to call for an end to Eritrea’s “reign of terror”. The approximately 250 protestors handed a petition to the Chairperson of the African Union . . . Read More

India: 10 churches closed, Hindu nationalists seek closure of 20 more

Preparations for an Hindu festival. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Ten Protestant churches in Coimbatore district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu have been ordered to stop their worship meetings, while Hindu nationalists want another 20 churches to be closed. They claim the Christian places of worship have not been authorised by the Collector’s Office, the district’s magistrate . . . Read More

Eritrean Christians told to remove crosses as schools forced to go public

People running in the streets of Asmara while gun shots can be heard.
Eritrea’s security forces shot at protesters, using live ammunition, in the capital Asmara on Tuesday (31 October) during a protest against the government’s plans to turn all schools public. This would mean forbidding students from wearing religious items such as Christian crosses or Muslim headscarves. A local source told World . . . Read More

Sudan Church of Christ leaders charged with sound pollution for ‘noisy’ services

A 2015 church service in Sudan's Nuba Mountains (World Watch Monitor)
Five Sudanese Christians arrested, but later released, last Sunday (22 October) have now been charged with causing sound pollution through overly loud church services. The five church leaders – Ayouba Telyan, Abdelbagi Tutu, Ali El Hakim, Ambarator Hamad and Haibil Ibrahim – were summoned to court yesterday morning (26 October), but . . . Read More

Government again pressures Sudanese Church of Christ leaders

Government again pressures Sudanese Church of Christ leaders
Leaders of the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) have been detained for some hours in the capital, Khartoum, during which they were ordered to hand over ownership of their church to government officials, by transferring authority from an elected committee to a state-sanctioned rival committee. The five men, who, according to . . . Read More

Indonesia: ‘Saudi influence behind rise in Islamic extremism’, as churches continue to be closed

Thousands of Muslims from across Indonesia joined the Islamic-hardliners in Jakarta to protest against Jakarta’s (former) Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama ('Ahok') on 4 November 2016 for allegedly insulting Islam when citing a Quranic verse. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
“The election and trial of Jakarta’s former governor ‘Ahok’ have exposed increasing radicalization in Indonesia, especially among the young … and it has led to a more aggressive campaign to confront Islamist radicalism,” writes Paul Marshall. In his article for the Lausanne Movement, the Wilson Professor of Religious Freedom at . . . Read More