Foreign Christian students targeted by Russia’s security services

Foreign Christian students targeted by Russia’s security services
Foreign students of Pentecostal churches in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod region have become a particular target for the authorities under the so-called “anti-missionary” law introduced two years ago, Forum 18 reports. The vague definition of “missionary activity” in the law, officially titled the Yarovaya Law after one of its authors, has meant that law . . . Read More

Ethiopian Evangelical sent back to prison for ‘causing outrage to religious feeling’

Women sitting in front of the Holy Saviour Orthodox Church in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
An Ethiopian court of cassation has rejected an appeal by an Evangelical Christian sentenced to seven months in prison for “causing outrage to religious peace and feeling”. Temesgen Mitiku Mezemir, 24, the leader of an Evangelical fellowship group, was taken back to prison in the southern city of Arba Minch, . . . Read More

Kazakhstan passes Religion Law that ‘undermines principles of human rights’

Kazakhstan's Parliament building in the capital Astana. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Kazakhstan’s Parliament has approved a set of wide-ranging amendments to the country’s Religion Law, refusing calls from civil society groups for a legal review by an independent body. The new set of restrictions, which are expected to further infringe upon religious freedom and have been criticised for violating international human . . . Read More

Uzbek police accused of targeting Christian women with sexual violence

Christian women in Uzbekistan meet for a meal and to pray together. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Women belonging to a Protestant church in the western Uzbek city of Urgench face threats, harassments and sexual violence from local authorities, according to regional news agency Forum 18. The news agency highlighted the case of Nargiza Khusainova, who was reportedly walking in the streets in January when she was . . . Read More

Report: Latin American states failing Christians by overlooking ‘criminal freedom’

Threatening messages were scrawled on outside walls of this church in Arauca, east Colombia, where Christians continue to face oppression by armed groups. (Photo: World Watch Monitor, 2012)
A new report looking into the “endemic phenomena” of organised crime and corruption in Latin America highlights the failure of governments to protect active Christians from violence. The inability or unwillingness of Latin American governments to stop organised crime encourages a “criminal freedom” that “makes specific sectors within society become . . . Read More

Four-year sentence for Indonesian pastor who evangelised a taxi driver

Four-year sentence for Indonesian pastor who evangelised a taxi driver
A Protestant pastor has been sentenced to four years in prison for religious defamation after discussing Christianity with a Muslim taxi driver in Indonesia, the Jakarta Post reports. The Tangerang District Court in Banten also ordered that Rev. Abraham Ben Moses, 52, pay a fine of 50 million Rupiah (US$3,565) . . . Read More

China: children stopped from entering church as pressure on Henan Christians increases

Under new religious regulations in China, religious education to minors is prohibited. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pressure on Christians is increasing in China’s central Henan province, according to Catholic news service UCAN. Suppressive measures on both Catholic and Protestant churches have been directed by the central government in Beijing and have intensified in recent weeks, according to UCAN, which reported that churches had been “demolished and . . . Read More

Brunson’s trial highlights Turkey’s ‘hostage diplomacy’ tactic

Brunson’s trial highlights Turkey’s ‘hostage diplomacy’ tactic
On the eve of jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson’s second court hearing in Turkey, growing international comment has focused on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s transparent “hostage diplomacy” tactic, one of several issues seriously souring his nation’s relations with the United States. The upcoming 7 May hearing near Turkey’s third-largest . . . Read More