Sri Lanka: Sharp increase in violence against Christians

Buddhists visiting a temple in Sri Lanka. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Christians in Sri Lanka have experienced a sharp increase in attacks this year, with 67 reported cases between January and September, according to the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL). September saw the highest number of cases, with 12 documented attacks. Comparatively, in the first five months of . . . Read More

Report: UN weakness on religious freedom undercuts its authority on human rights

Dressed in the saffron colour, groups such these are promoting the nationalist cause for India to be a Hindu-nation. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The UN cannot strengthen, promote and protect human rights if it does not prioritise religious freedom, a report published by the Washington-based human rights alliance, ADF International has argued. The 73-page report, titled “Anti-Conversion Laws and the International Response”, claims that “some UN entities, especially special rapporteurs, have highlighted the . . . Read More

Ongoing religious freedom challenges in the Commonwealth

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed Heads of State of the Commonwealth member states at Windsor Castle, west of London, on 20 April 2018. (Photo: JACK TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images)
A new report on religious freedom in Commonwealth member states says minorities in India, Malaysia and Nigeria have the least freedom to practise their faith. Using data from the Pew Global Religious Futures Project, the new report by the Council of Christians and Jews noted that Christianity is the largest . . . Read More

Sri Lanka: Facebook told to block religious hate speech

A young girl in Colombo looks at her mobile phone while Sri Lanka's civil society has called on Facebook to block hate speech. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Civil society groups in Sri Lanka have asked Facebook to do more to prevent hate speech, including comments that discriminate on religious lines, following recent anti-Muslim riots. “There was a post in the Sinhala [Sri Lanka’s largest ethnic group] language on Facebook for six days, which mentioned ‘killing all Muslims, . . . Read More

Commonwealth worst offenders urged to face up to poor levels of religious freedom

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari received Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, at Nigeria's High Commission in London on 11 April 2018. (Photo: Facebook)
A charity that supports persecuted Christians has urged Commonwealth heads of government meeting in England next week to address poor levels of religious liberty in their countries. The charity Open Doors warned that unless representatives of the 53 Commonwealth nations “explicitly include[ed] the right to freedom of religion or belief . . . Read More

Amnesty: ‘Discrimination rife in all regions of the world … with deadly consequences’

Buddhist flags are waved during a mass demonstration against Christianity in Sri Lanka, April 2017. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A review of the human-rights situation in 159 countries during 2017, published by Amnesty International yesterday (22 February), shows that religious persecution continues in the form of threats, attacks, extrajudicial killings and even genocide, while harsh sentences continue to be handed out – sometimes even death sentences – for changing . . . Read More

More than 80 countries ‘favour’ one religion over others – Pew Research Center

More than 80 countries ‘favour’ one religion over others – Pew Research Center
Over 80 countries favour a specific religion, either officially as a state religion or tacitly through special treatment, according to a new report by the US-based Pew Research Center. Islam is the most common state religion – 27 countries have it as their official religion, including 16 of the 20 . . . Read More

UNHCR accused of ‘negligence’ after Pakistani Christian dies in Thai detention centre

UNHCR accused of ‘negligence’ after Pakistani Christian dies in Thai detention centre
Thailand’s government and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Bangkok have been accused of “negligence” after a Pakistani Christian asylum seeker died in a detention centre last month. Ijaz Masih, 35, was reportedly refused medical treatment on 26 May, after complaining of chest pains, and died of a heart attack . . . Read More

Relatives of Coptic ‘martyrs’ join summit on persecuted Christians in US capital

Relatives of Coptic ‘martyrs’ join summit on persecuted Christians in US capital
A “World Summit in Defence of Persecuted Christians” has started in Washington DC, and is expected to be addressed by the US Vice-President Mike Pence today (Thursday, 11 May). It has been organised by American evangelist Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. 600 participants have come from 136 countries: including Egypt, . . . Read More