Myanmar: 7,000 Kachin displaced as violence escalates

Displaced Kachin residents cross the Malikha river on 26 April to escape the fighting between the Kachin Independence Army and the Myanmar government troops. (Photo: ZAU RING HPARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Almost 7,000 people belonging to the largely Christian minority group in Kachin, northern Myanmar, have fled their houses since fighting between the army and a rebel group flared up in early April, according to recent figures from the Red Cross. “It’s a war where civilians are being systematically targeted by . . . Read More

Nepal: Catholic church interior ‘entirely destroyed’ after arson

Christians in Hindu-majority Nepal made feel "unwelcome" by "acts that provoke a culture of hate and fear", says a human rights activist. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A Catholic church in Nepal’s western Banke District has been left badly damaged following an arson attack last week, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). A group of between eight and ten unidentified arsonists reportedly warned locals to stay inside their houses, before breaking into St. Joseph’s, in the town . . . Read More

Brunson’s lawyer: secret witness practice ‘absolutely outlandish’

Lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt speaking with journalists at the entrance to the Sakran Prison complex on 7 May, 2018.
At the close of Turkey’s second trial hearing against US pastor Andrew Brunson, his lawyer has sharply protested the Izmir court’s reliance on secret prosecution witnesses against his client. Jailed for the past 19 months, the 50-year-old Evangelical Presbyterian minister was sent back to his cell in a maximum-security prison . . . 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

Nepal ‘should practise what it preaches’ as UN member

Nepal ‘should practise what it preaches’ as UN member
As a newly elected member state of the UN Human Rights Council, Nepal must address its own commitment to the protection of human rights, including freedom of religion and belief, says Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The advocacy organisation highlighted Nepal’s decision in October to criminalise religious conversion and the “hurting of . . . Read More

Tunisia’s religious freedom curbed by societal pressure – UN Rapporteur

The Malik ibn Anas Mosque in Carthage, near the capital Tunis. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Old laws and societal pressure pose the greatest challenges to religious freedom in Tunisia, concluded the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed, after a ten-day visit. Though Tunisia’s 2014 Constitution guarantees religious freedom, there is still work to be done to align its laws and . . . Read More

Evangelical head sets out ambitious vision for rebuilding CAR

Evangelical head sets out ambitious vision for rebuilding CAR
Churches in the Central African Republic have pledged to unite in prayer in response to the worsening violence dividing the country. The leader of the country’s evangelical church network says the effort has the potential to bring peace to the troubled nation. “Recent history of some countries in Africa, among . . . Read More

Dozens killed in CAR, including priest who planned to move

Dozens killed in CAR, including priest who planned to move
Dozens, including a Catholic priest, were killed last week as fighting erupted between armed groups in several villages in southern Central African Republic. Father Joseph Désiré Angbabata, 49, the parish priest of Séko village, near Bambari, lost his life when armed men stormed his village parish of Saint Charles LWANGA . . . Read More

Fresh move to prosecute IS for genocide

Destroyed market in the town of Bartella, 15km east of Mosul, which was liberated from IS by Iraqi forces in October 2016. (Photo World Watch Monitor)
Campaigners have welcomed a bill designed to facilitate the prosecution of Islamic State jihadists for genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in Iraq and Syria. Complaining that efforts to encourage the British government to accuse IS of genocide had received “nothing but rebuttals and refusals”, Lord Alton, a Catholic, . . . Read More

UN told to renew mandate of Iran Special Rapporteur on human rights

Asma Jahangir, Member of the International Fact-Finding Mission during the press conference presen's its findings on the implications Israeli settlements have upon the human rights of the Palestinian people. 31 Juanary 2013. Photo by Jean-Marc Ferré
Forty-six Iranian and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have called for the renewal of the mandate of the UN’s Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran. The NGOs addressed a joint letter to all diplomatic missions attending the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, as the US-based . . . Read More