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

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

‘Double suffering’ when women targeted not only for gender, but also religion

‘Double suffering’ when women targeted not only for gender, but also religion
A woman and her two children travel to fetch water for their home. (Kirehe, Rwanda, Feb 2017)Olivia Jackson   On International Women’s Day, one statistic you may not hear much is that 83% of global women identify with a religious faith. Pew Research asked people in 84 countries how often . . . Read More

Thai Buddhist calls for action against nationalism

A Thai Buddhist has called for Buddhist-majority countries like Thailand to halt the rise of nationalism, intolerance and hate speech. “It’s very dangerous, much more dangerous than weapons,” said Sulak Sivaraksa during a recent panel discussion on the Channel NewsAsia programme Between The Lines. As World Watch Monitor reported in . . . Read More

Nationalism in Asia, Islamic extremism in Africa – the 2017 World Watch List

Nationalism in Asia, Islamic extremism in Africa – the 2017 World Watch List
One of the greatest increases in animosity towards Christians last year took place in India as a result of religiously motivated nationalism, according to the latest annual survey of the 50 countries in which it is most difficult to live as a Christian. Since the rise to power of Narendra . . . Read More

Give all religions a voice, Pope urges Sri Lanka

Religious freedom must be central to Sri Lanka’s future, Pope Francis urges on his arrival in the capital, Colombo. In his arrival speech at Colombo’s airport, he said that followers of various religious traditions “have an essential role to play” in the process of the country’s reconciliation and rebuilding, adding: “For that process . . . Read More

2014: A year of rising hostility toward Christians

2014: A year of rising hostility toward Christians
While the world’s eyes were riveted to Syria and Iraq in 2014, life for Christians worsened even more profoundly in Africa, according to an annual report on religious freedom. The situation deteriorated most rapidly in Sub-Saharan Africa, in countries where Islamic extremism is the main source of pressure upon Christians, . . . Read More

Pressure on Christians grew in 2013

Pressure on Christians grew in 2013
More than ever, some of the hardest places for Christians to live are fragile or failed states where militant Islamist movements flourish, according to an annual report on Christian religious freedom. Pressure on Christians intensified worldwide in 2013, according to Open Doors International, a charity that provides support to Christians . . . Read More

‘Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians’

‘Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians’
This is a book designed to show that “Christians are the single most widely persecuted religious group in the world today” (p4). With that aim, three authors well known in the field of religious advocacy give the reader the ultimate global briefing on the causes, patterns and trends in the persecution . . . Read More