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

USCIRF wants 6 more countries on US Govt’s religious-freedom watch list

USCIRF wants 6 more countries on US Govt’s religious-freedom watch list
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) wants six more countries to be added to the US State Department’s religious-freedom watch list. The Central African Republic, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, and Vietnam should become ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ (CPCs) – a designation the US government uses to describe countries . . . Read More

North Korea, China, Russia and Iran ‘forces of instability’

Tibetan Buddhists as well as Uyghur Muslims are among the minority groups that Chinese authorities are clamping down on. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The US State Department has called North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran “forces of instability” in its latest set of country reports on human rights, saying they “violate the human rights of those within their borders on a daily basis”. The 2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, published on . . . Read More

Russian Patriarch and UK archbishop call for greater support for persecuted Christians

Russian Patriarch and UK archbishop call for greater support for persecuted Christians
The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Archbishop of Canterbury have called for more aid to reach Middle Eastern refugees, especially Christians, and for robust safeguards against extremist ideology, which they say has spread “like an epidemic”. Patriarch Kirill and Archbishop Justin Welby released a joint statement thanking . . . Read More

Crimea also affected in first year of Russia’s ‘anti-missionary law’

A cross seen over the construction site of a bridge across the Strait of Kerch linking Crimea to mainland Russia. (Photo by Vladimir Smirnov via Getty Images)
Since Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed into law what some commentators referred to as an “anti-missionary bill” in July last year, individuals and groups have been targeted because of their religious affiliation in both Russia and the annexed Crimea. After the annexation in March 2014, religious organisations in Crimea had . . . Read More

More Christian than Muslim refugees in US under Trump, but fewer overall

More Christian than Muslim refugees in US under Trump, but fewer overall
Christians account for a steadily growing share of refugee arrivals in the US, Pew Research has found, although the net number of Christian arrivals may in fact be shrinking. In its review of US State Department data, published on 12 July, Pew noticed a gradual increase in the numbers of . . . Read More