Nepal’s criminalisation of conversion a ‘direct infringement’ of religious freedom

Nepal’s criminalisation of conversion a ‘direct infringement’ of religious freedom
The clause in Nepal’s constitution that prohibits religious conversions was added to “protect Hinduism at the expense of other religions”, says advocacy group CSW, on the third anniversary of the amended constitution. As World Watch Monitor reported, Nepal’s Christian minority feared that the so-called “anti-conversion” measure, which came into force . . . Read More

China: 279 church leaders sign petition urging government to stop its ‘violent actions’

"Christians are an enigma to the Chinese Communist Party," researcher Aaron Ma says. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A public letter urging the Chinese government to stop its “violent actions” against Christians has been signed by some 279 church leaders in the country, reports the St. Charles Institute. In central Henan province alone, two-thirds of churches have closed and more than 7,000 crosses have been demolished after pressure from . . . Read More

Vietnam uses ‘national security’ to detain rights activists, UN told

Vietnam uses ‘national security’ to detain rights activists, UN told
Vietnam has been accused of “misinforming” the international community about the human rights issues in the country. The president of the Paris-based Vietnam Committee on Human Rights, Vo Van Ai, speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, condemned the alleged “brutal crackdown on freedom of expression, association, peaceful . . . Read More

Myanmar: Peace talks for settling conflict with majority-Christian ethnic groups

Myanmar: Peace talks for settling conflict with majority-Christian ethnic groups
Myanmar’s Peace Commission has held a meeting in China with the representatives of three ethnic armed groups fighting the Myanmar Armed Forces along the country’s northern border, AsiaNews reports. The  Ta’ang National Liberation Army, Arakan Army and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army are part of the Northern Alliance, which also . . . Read More

EU should ‘put people of the world’ first in quest for religious freedom – report

EU should ‘put people of the world’ first in quest for religious freedom – report
Members of the European Parliament (EP) have called on the EU to “put the people of the world before our financial and political interests”, in a report about religious freedom. The Annual Report on Freedom of Religion or Belief 2017, presented by the EP Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or . . . Read More

China ‘uses legal tactics to suppress religious freedom’, says rights agency

People leaving the church after a service in Shenyang, north-eastern Dongguang province. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
China’s churches are experiencing the worst persecution in 40 years, with a government which uses “non-religious reasons” and civil law to close houses of worship, according to the US-based St Charles Institute. Pressure is applied “through opaque queries of fire-protection measures, by questioning the legality of printed materials used by the . . . 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

Thailand called to release detained Vietnamese Montagnard refugees

The Montagnard-people are persecuted because of their faith but getting asylum in neighbouring countries is difficult. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Thailand should release the group of ethnic minority refugees and asylum seekers, mostly Christians, arrested last week during a crackdown just outside the capital Bangkok, rights groups say. Most of the 181 refugees detained are Montagnards, an indigenous group from Vietnam who face “harsh persecution if they are returned to . . . Read More

China has transformed Xinjiang into a ‘mass detention camp’ – UN

China's government has had an "anti terror" campaign in majority-Muslim Xinjiang region - meaning increased surveillance, arrests and detention. (Photo: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
The United Nations has raised alarm over the tens of thousands of Uyghur Muslims being held in detention centres in Xinjiang, northwest China. In a report last Thursday, the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said the Chinese government had “transformed the autonomous region of the Uyghurs into . . . Read More