Tajikistan: Children barred from attending church, 5,000 Christian calendars burned

Tajik authorities implementing a new religion law are barring children from attending religious services and have burned thousands of calendars with Bible verses. Amendments to Tajikistan’s Religion Law came into force in January last year, giving the state greater control over religious education, and increase the amount of information religious organisations . . . Read More

Vietnamese government urged to cease persecution of religious minorities ahead of UN review

Vietnamese human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai, 48, was sentenced to 15 years in jail in April. (Photo: -/AFP/Getty Images)
Religious freedom advocates have called on the Vietnamese government to cease persecution of Christians and members of other religious minorities, including torture. Their calls come ahead of the UN Review of the country’s human rights records in Geneva today, 22 January. Non-governmental organisations said in their submission to the UN . . . Read More

Police in China given quotas for how many Christians to arrest

Police in China given quotas for how many Christians to arrest
Police stations in a city in northeast China are having their performance evaluated according to the number of Christians they arrest, says religious-liberty magazine Bitter Winter. A police officer from Dalian, a port city in Liaoning Province, near the North Korean border, told the magazine that his station had received . . . Read More

Having human rights in Kazakhstan depends on state permission – report

The Presidential Palace, the official work place of Kazakhstan's president, in the capital Astana. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Kazakhstan tries to make the “exercising of human rights conditional on state permission”, says the Oslo-based news service Forum 18. “[Kazakhstan] systematically violates intertwined fundamental rights – such as the freedoms of religion or belief, of expression and of assembly” when it has international obligations to respect and defend these, . . . Read More

Kazakhstan: 69 punished for practising faith in first half of 2018

Inside an Orthodox Church in Almaty
Courts in Kazakhstan prosecuted at least 69 individuals, religious communities or organisations for religious activities in the first half of this year, according to Oslo-based news service Forum 18. Punishments included fines of up to four months’ average salary (US$1,400) and three-month bans on activities such as distributing religious literature or . . . 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

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

China: Pastor and 200 church members detained for commemorating earthquake

People are sifting through the rubble to look for personal items after their homes were destroyed in an earthquake. (World Watch Monitor, 2008)
A church in Chengdu, the capital of China’s southwestern Sichuan province, was raided by police on Saturday (12 May) as it prepared to commemorate the 10th anniversary of an earthquake that killed almost 90,000 people and left millions homeless. Pastor Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church was arrested alongside . . . Read More