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

West ‘failing to convert words of concern into action’ against ultra-nationalism

West ‘failing to convert words of concern into action’ against ultra-nationalism
“Ultra-nationalism” promoted by governments and non-state bodies has triggered a rise in hatred against minorities, according to a new report by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). Countries where such hatred is on the rise include “key parts of the world” such as China, India, Pakistan and . . . Read More

As Sudan hosts CAR peace talks, Russia offers to get more involved

As Sudan hosts CAR peace talks, Russia offers to get more involved
The three top faith leaders of the Central African Republic (CAR), who have won international recognition for efforts to end its conflict, have pledged to work with Russians to foster reconciliation in CAR. On 23 August, they attended a one-day meeting organised by Valery Zakharov, a Russian diplomat and security . . . 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

A ‘dire time for human rights in Russia’ as World Cup begins

The 2018 FIFA World Cup started today with a kick-off at the Luzhniki stadium in the capital Moscow. (Photo: Sandra Montanez - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
“This is a very dire time for human rights in Russia,” according to the Russia programme director for Human Rights Watch, Tanya Lokshina, speaking ahead of the start of the 2018 Football World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow earlier today. Since Vladimir Putin became Russia’s president again in 2012 . . . Read More

‘Christianity in Syria is under threat from forces the West is supporting’

‘Christianity in Syria is under threat from forces the West is supporting’
Two thousand years of Christianity in Syria could be wiped out by the very forces Western governments are supporting, an Anglican vicar has claimed. Rev. Andrew Ashdown, who has made ten trips to Syria since 2014 and is studying for a PhD in relations between Christians and Muslims there, also . . . Read More

Russia: new ruling could reduce prosecutions under ‘anti-missionary’ law

Russia's Constitutional Court
Lawyers working for Christian and other minority religious organisations in Russia have welcomed a Constitutional Court ruling over the country’s so-called “anti-missionary law”, reports regional news agency Forum 18. The March ruling helps to partially clarify what is missionary activity. It stated that “giving information about religious events would constitute . . . Read More

Religious freedom is a prerequisite for democracy – US commission

China's catholic dioceses are to respond to the government led campaign of the 'sinicization of religion' with a plan of action. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A wealth of research shows that a society’s level of religious freedom is linked to its levels of critical social indicators, such as prosperity, stability and peace, the chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom told British parliamentarians. Dr. Daniel Mark, chairman of USCIRF, an independent, bipartisan federal . . . Read More