EU Envoy’s threat of trade sanctions played crucial role in Asia Bibi’s freedom

EU Envoy on religious freedom, Jan Figel, meets with Asia Bibi's lawyer, Saif ul Malook in Lahore, December 2017. (Photo: Jan Figel)
Freed Pakistani Christian Aasiya Noreen, known to the world now as Asia Bibi, has pleaded for the many others like her accused of blasphemy who, she says, are still “lying in jail for years – their decisions should also be done on merit. The world should listen to them. “The . . . Read More

‘In context of gender justice, women’s right to freedom of religion pretty much ignored’

Anurima Bhargava (USCIRF) and Helene Fisher (Open Doors) at UN NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief CSW side event, 14 March, 2019
She is a woman who can be identified only as “Z”, for her security. She is a Christian in India, a country that is overwhelmingly Hindu. And she is a lawyer defending women and youth from exploitation by landlords and employers, so she was pleased when she got the opportunity . . . Read More

Ethiopia: Ethnic Somali Christian police man forced to relocate after talking about his faith

A Christian police officer in Ethiopia's eastern Somali region was advised to return to Islam but refused, claiming a constitutional right to religious freedom. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
An Ethiopian police officer was arrested, dismissed and forced to move to another part of the country after he told colleagues about his Christian faith The 25-year-old man, who grew up in Ethiopia’s eastern Somali region as a member of the nearly 100 percent Muslim Somali tribe, became a Christian . . . Read More

Key trends show in 2019 List of countries where it’s most difficult to live as a Christian

WWL 2019 key trends, gender, China, woman (photo: VPA)
In its 2019 World Watch List, Open Doors International reports that 11 countries score highly enough to fit into the ‘extreme’ category for the level of persecution of Christians. It was the same last year, but five years ago, only North Korea was in that category. From roughly 2006, and accelerating from 2012, the NGO says the . . . Read More

Pakistan joins US list of worst religious freedom violators

Burial of victims of a suicide attack on the Methodist Bethel Church in Quetta, Pakistan, on Sunday 17 December 2017 in which at least 9 people were killed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pakistan is among the ten countries that appear on the US State Department’s latest list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for religious-freedom violations, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced in a press statement on Tuesday, 11 December. China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and . . . Read More