G20 ‘missed opportunity’ to tackle major global issue: religious freedom

G20 ‘missed opportunity’ to tackle major global issue: religious freedom
By not discussing international religious freedom at the G20 summit in Germany last weekend, world leaders failed to address the root cause of major global issues like the migrant crisis, says David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA. As a result, “we can expect more violence from religious intolerance, a . . . Read More

‘Change your image of India from a nice backpacking trip to Taj Mahal!’

‘Change your image of India from a nice backpacking trip to Taj Mahal!’
India, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan top the list of countries where religious freedom is under pressure, according to the Annual Interim Report 2017 of the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance’s, presented in Brussels last week. “Forget the image of a nice backpacking trip . . . Read More

US Commission urges Trump administration to prioritise international religious freedom

US Commission urges Trump administration to prioritise international religious freedom
An influential US government commission that monitors religious freedom around the world is urging President Donald Trump and his new administration to take concrete steps to make advocacy of universal religious rights a priority in American foreign policy. “Our foreign policy should not simply be about US self-interest – you know, . . . Read More

Religious intolerance increasing, says Pew annual report

Europe is seeing an increase in government's engaging in harassment and use of force against religious groups. This is partly caused by a surge in migration.
A report released earlier this month by the Pew Research Center shows an increased intolerance towards religion by governments and societies alike in 2015. According to Pew’s annual report, restrictions on religious activities increased in 2015, as did harassment relating to religion. The global study, which included 198 countries, found . . . Read More

Concerns about tolerant Indonesia: 3 more churches closed

Church members of the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) of Yasmin Bogor and the Batak Christian Church (HKBP) of Filadelfia Bekasi, along with inter-faith human rights activists and students of the Jakarta Art Institute, held the 100th open-air Sunday Service in front of State Palace in September 2015 after their church buildings were sealed in 2010. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Indonesian authorities in Bogor, West Java, have banned three churches from holding religious activities. According to UCANews the Methodist Church Indonesia, Huria Batak Protestant Church and a house used by Catholics for catechism classes were ordered to close their doors. Local authorities said they could not guarantee the safety of the . . . Read More

How easy is it to live as a Christian in the Arabian Peninsula?

How easy is it to live as a Christian in the Arabian Peninsula?
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman.World Watch Monitor   There are currently hundreds of thousands of Christians living and worshipping in the Arabian Peninsula. Millions of labourers from predominantly poor Asian and African countries – many of them Christians – work long-term in the region. Most of the migrants . . . Read More

Middle East faith & money toxic for Horn of Africa

There’s a long-standing connection between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, shaped by trade and faith. Former BBC Africa Editor Martin Plaut explores this relationship, which has caused increased tensions between and within the countries in the Horn, and which has affected the Christians there badly. Over centuries, . . . Read More

‘UN failing religious minorities and Christian converts’

‘UN failing religious minorities and Christian converts’
The suffering of persecuted Christians around the world is exacerbated by the failure of UN bodies to fulfil their obligations to uphold religious freedom, a damning report has claimed. The 27-page report, starkly entitled The UN’s Failure to Promote and Protect Religious Freedom, argues that concerns about the protection of . . . Read More