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

Malaysia’s ‘deep-seated tensions’ exposed by MP’s call for religious freedom

Kasthuri Patto (Twitter)
A Malaysian Catholic MP’s call last month for the government to sign the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief has highlighted the “deep-seated tensions between ultra-conservative Muslims and the new government”, says the director of Malaysia’s Religious Freedom . . . Read More

China: Cultivate ‘patriotic’ clergy, Henan officials told

China: Cultivate ‘patriotic’ clergy, Henan officials told
Local government officials in China’s central Henan province are being encouraged to cultivate “patriotic” clergy for leadership positions in the Catholic Church, according to a document outlining how to implement the new religion regulations. The guidelines, published in a confidential document titled ‘Supervision and Self-Inspection Framework for Implementing the Central . . . Read More