Call for UN to establish International Day for victims of religious persecution

Call for UN to establish International Day for victims of religious persecution
The United Nations should establish an International Day Commemorating the Victims and Survivors of Religious Persecution, say parliamentarians in the United Kingdom. The proposed annual day should be on 3 August, “being the day when Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ISIS] unleashed its genocidal campaign against the Yazidis in Sinjar, . . . Read More

Reconciliation with Ethiopia could improve human rights in Eritrea – UN rapporteur

Reconciliation with Ethiopia could improve human rights in Eritrea – UN rapporteur
As relations between Ethiopia and its neighbour Eritrea show signs of improvement, the UN’s rapporteur on human rights in Eritrea has called for the momentum to be used to improve human rights conditions in the country. “While peace is being negotiated, while rapprochement is happening, one would make sure that . . . Read More

What churches can do to help victims of sexual violence in conflict to stay ‘part of us’

Women affected by violence in the Central African Republic, have formed self-help groups in the capital Bangui and run a small shop where they sell their products. (Photo: Open Doors International)
Adrienne* survived a brutal sexual attack during a conflict with ex-Seleka militants in Central African Republic (CAR), only to be ostracised from her own community. Adrienne was alone in her greatest time of need, and the baby born to her nine months later bears the same vulnerabilities, and a label: a . . . Read More

Myanmar: ‘400 villages destroyed, 150,000 people displaced’ in Kachin

An elderly Kachin woman looks for shelter after fleeing fighting between Myanmar's army and Kachin rebels in December 2011. (Photo: World Watch  Monitor)
More than 400 villages have been damaged or destroyed and 150,000 people displaced since the collapse of a ceasefire in 2011 between Myanmar’s army and rebels in northern Kachin state, reports Catholic website AsiaNews. In 2018 alone, 50 villages were abandoned and more than 7,000 people fled their homes, seeking . . . Read More

CAR’s clerics warn against attempts to divide Christians and Muslims

CAR’s clerics warn against attempts to divide Christians and Muslims
The three top faith leaders of the Central African Republic (CAR), who have won international recognition for their efforts to end conflict in the country, have blamed foreign mercenaries for a recent upsurge in violence. One month ago today, the relative calm enjoyed by the capital, Bangui, was shattered when . . . Read More

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