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

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

On trial for terrorism and espionage in a Turkish court

On trial for terrorism and espionage in a Turkish court
Just one prisoner, slightly built, came through a side door, escorted on either side by armed gendarmerie soldiers, walking him past rows and rows of empty seats. Dressed in a dark suit and white shirt, he glanced up at the impressive state-of-the-art courtroom, built to accommodate 650 people. Its walls . . . Read More

‘Giving freedom to women is something remarkable’ – Egypt’s Protestant head

‘Giving freedom to women is something remarkable’ – Egypt’s Protestant head
“Changes related to women are the most critical changes in any culture and any country,” says Rev. Dr Andrea Zaki, head of Egypt’s fast-growing Protestant community. “You can easily give men freedom, but giving freedom to women is something remarkable.” Zaki welcomes what he calls the “major and radical” reforms . . . Read More

Egypt: Protestant leader rejects community reconciliation system

Thousands attend Kasr El Dobara Evanglical Church in Cairo each week. There are thought to be as many as 2m Evangelicals in Egypt
The head of Egypt’s Protestant Church has said he urges clergy not to take part in “reconciliation sessions” that aim to resolve community conflicts without the involvement of the police and legal system. Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki said he “strongly” opposed the scheme because it renders the law “absent”. The reconciliation . . . Read More