Christian women at double risk of persecution – because of gender as well as religion

Chibok girls. Two of them were abducted by Boko Haram in 2014. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
For the first time ever, the persecution of women as it differs to that of men has been examined by the analysts of the 2018 World Watch List. The list, compiled by Open Doors International, researches over 50 countries where it is most difficult for Christians to live. The resulting Gender . . . Read More

Evangelical churches in Turkmenistan want official registration

Evangelical churches in Turkmenistan want official registration
Six Evangelical churches in Turkmenistan have submitted a letter to President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, asking to be allowed to register as official religious communities. Following the adoption of a new Law on Religious Organisations and Religious Freedom in March 2016, all religious entities are required to re-register in order to operate . . . Read More

US State Department adds Pakistan to religious-freedom watch list

Burial of victims of a suicide attack on the Methodist Bethel Church in Quetta, Pakistan, on Sunday 17 December in which at least 9 people were killed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The US State Department has placed Pakistan on a “Special Watch List” for severe violators of religious freedom, it announced yesterday (4 January) with the publication of its annual list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’. The announcement comes as the US government cuts security aid to Pakistan, saying the country . . . Read More

Kazakhstan’s new restrictions to ‘flagrantly’ violate religious rights

At the facility of one of the presbyterian Churches in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is set to pass a new set of restrictions on freedom of religion or belief that violate international human rights obligations, according to regional news service Forum 18. The proposed amendments to Kazakhstan’s religion law are currently with the Prime Minister and are expected to be signed into law . . . 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

Turkmenistan repressing religious freedom through ‘fines, raids and torture’

Hero statues at Ashgabat Independence Monument. City of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Fines, raids and police brutality are some of the trademarks of Turkmenistan’s repeated violations of religious freedom, according to the latest report by regional news agency Forum 18. Protestant Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims have all been repeatedly repressed, according to the report, despite the UN reiterating its concerns. “Turkmen . . . Read More

Silence on human rights ‘deafening’ as Turkmenistan hosts Asian Games

Silence on human rights ‘deafening’ as Turkmenistan hosts Asian Games
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) – and by virtue so too the International Olympic Committee – has come under fierce criticism for allowing Turkmenistan to stage the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, beginning this Sunday (17 September) in Ashgabat, while making “no visible efforts to urge the . . . 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

Turkmenistan’s secret additions to already restrictive Religion Law

Turkmenistan’s secret additions to already restrictive Religion Law
It’s been over a year since the Central Asian state of Turkmenistan added further restrictions to its Religion Law, but the changes were introduced in such secrecy that few knew about them until well after the event. It wasn’t until January this year that regional news agency Forum 18 shed . . . Read More