China: 6 churches closed, crosses removed from 3 others

China: 6 churches closed, crosses removed from 3 others
Authorities in China have closed at least six “underground” Protestant churches in Guizhou province in Southwest China, reports CSW. The churches in Guiyang city were closed on 8 October on account of being “illegal religious venues”. “Unregistered churches in the area have been under pressure from authorities to join the . . . Read More

Andrew Brunson’s legal appeal sent to Turkey’s highest court

Andrew Brunson’s legal appeal sent to Turkey’s highest court
Jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson’s lawyer has filed a formal appeal before the Turkish Constitutional Court to overturn two lower court refusals to release his client from house arrest. The 10-page petition studied by World Watch Monitor called for “urgent” and “corrective” action by Turkey’s highest court to set free . . . Read More

China: More church closures and Internet censorship in further religious clampdown

Senior lady looking at Dongguang Church in Shenyang, northeastern China.  (Photo: Open Doors International)
One of China’s largest unofficial “house churches” was closed on Sunday, while new measures have been introduced to curb religious activities online. Beijing’s Zion Church had received warnings following its refusal to place CCTV cameras in its auditorium at the government’s request. On Sunday afternoon, 9 September, around 60 government . . . Read More

China: More church closures as Party tightens rules for its religious members

St Joseph's Church in Beijing.
One of China’s largest “house churches” in Beijing has been threatened with closure by the government following its refusal of a request to install cameras in the church building, reports Reuters. Zion Church received a letter from the city authorities in April, asking it to install 24 closed-circuit video cameras . . . Read More

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