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

UK parliamentary group calls out 27 countries for ‘significant’ religious freedom violations

A church in Bartella, a town near the Iraqi city of Mosul, after Islamic State militants left the area in October 2016. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A “Commentary on the Current State of Freedom of Religion or Belief” presented by a group of British parliamentarians today, 10 December, highlights 27 countries where people’s religious freedom has been denied and abused in the past year. The report, presented by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International . . . Read More

70 years since universal declaration, human rights ‘ignored and abused all over the world’

Ahok protests
Ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, 10 December, rights group ADF International has called for “recommitment” to the founding principles, which it says are being “consistently ignored and abused … all over the world”. Chief among those rights, ADF notes, is the . . . Read More

Persecution of minority Christian women ‘hidden, complex, and interwoven with “everyday” discrimination’

Women's suffering because of their faith is often in daily life. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Five new reports – about Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Colombia and the Central African Republic – unmask the multiple domestic, societal and state dynamics used in the persecution of Christian women and girls in each country. When viewed individually, the tactics used against women – from subtle discrimination surrounding access to . . . Read More

Malaysia arrests four Finnish nationals for distributing Christian literature

Conversion to Christianity in Muslim-majority Malaysia is against the law in almost all states, as is evangelism among Malay Muslims. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Four Finnish nationals were arrested by police in Malaysia on Tuesday, 20 November, for allegedly distributing Christian pamphlets, reports AsiaNews. The four, two men and two women aged between 27 and 60, were arrested in their hotel on Langkawi Island, a well-known tourist destination, on charges of “disturbing religious harmony”. . . . Read More

Indian Christian forum demands withdrawal of ‘bogus’ charges of forced conversions

Indian Christian forum demands withdrawal of ‘bogus’ charges of forced conversions
The Christian Forum of Chhattisgarh state in India called on its political parties to commit to ensuring freedom of religion, as elections for the state’s legislative house took place yesterday (12 November), Catholic news agency UCAN reported. Meanwhile, several attacks on Christians were reported in the first week of this . . . Read More

‘Complex labyrinth of “legal” restrictions’ for religious communities in Azerbaijan

‘Complex labyrinth of “legal” restrictions’ for religious communities in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s government continues to claim its “tolerance” but restrictions of freedom of religion and belief, censorship of religious literature and jail sentences for prisoners of conscience are ongoing, Forum 18 reports. According to Forum 18’s recent survey, the exercise of freedom of religion and belief in the country is impinged . . . Read More

UK government commits £12 million to championing religious freedom

More than 20 people lost their lives in the Palm Sunday attack on the St George Cathedral in Tanta, Egypt.
The UK government has committed £12 million ($15.5 million) to championing freedom of religion of belief worldwide. The UK’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, Lord Tariq Ahmad, said the money “will go a long way in bolstering the work of civil society and NGOs to promote respect, . . . Read More