UK parliamentary group calls out 27 countries for ‘significant’ religious freedom violations

A church in Bartella, a town near the Iraqi city of Mosul, after Islamic State militants left the area in October 2016. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A “Commentary on the Current State of Freedom of Religion or Belief” presented by a group of British parliamentarians today, 10 December, highlights 27 countries where people’s religious freedom has been denied and abused in the past year. The report, presented by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International . . . Read More

Raymond Koh’s wife ‘expects justice’ as inquiry into Malaysian pastor’s abduction ends

Raymond Koh’s wife ‘expects justice’ as inquiry into Malaysian pastor’s abduction ends
The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) has concluded its inquiry into the disappearance of church leader Raymond Koh, who was kidnapped in broad daylight by masked men on 13 February 2017. The final three witnesses appeared before the inquiry panel on Friday, 7 December, which is expected to present . . . Read More

70 years since universal declaration, human rights ‘ignored and abused all over the world’

Ahok protests
Ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, 10 December, rights group ADF International has called for “recommitment” to the founding principles, which it says are being “consistently ignored and abused … all over the world”. Chief among those rights, ADF notes, is the . . . Read More

Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand ask for help

Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand ask for help
Death, disease, starvation, and continuous living in hiding from immigration authorities to escape permanent imprisonment in stinking dungeons – this is what life has become for many stateless Pakistani Christians stranded in Thailand for years now. Several heroic Thai locals have come forward to help sustain these starving asylum seekers, . . . Read More

‘Complex labyrinth of “legal” restrictions’ for religious communities in Azerbaijan

‘Complex labyrinth of “legal” restrictions’ for religious communities in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s government continues to claim its “tolerance” but restrictions of freedom of religion and belief, censorship of religious literature and jail sentences for prisoners of conscience are ongoing, Forum 18 reports. According to Forum 18’s recent survey, the exercise of freedom of religion and belief in the country is impinged . . . Read More

China: Cultivate ‘patriotic’ clergy, Henan officials told

China: Cultivate ‘patriotic’ clergy, Henan officials told
Local government officials in China’s central Henan province are being encouraged to cultivate “patriotic” clergy for leadership positions in the Catholic Church, according to a document outlining how to implement the new religion regulations. The guidelines, published in a confidential document titled ‘Supervision and Self-Inspection Framework for Implementing the Central . . . Read More

Eritreans still suffering despite peace deal with Ethiopia, says priest

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Cathedral in Asmara, Eritrea. (Photo: David Stanley)
An Eritrean priest has called on the international community not to close their eyes to the reality of what is happening in his country, reports the Catholic news site Agenzia Fides. While bilateral relations with countries in the region are improving, the harassment of religious groups at home continues, Fr. Mussie . . . Read More

‘If the UN does not stand for Asia Bibi, what does it stand for?’

‘If the UN does not stand for Asia Bibi, what does it stand for?’
An opinion piece published in the Washington Examiner has criticised the United Nations for failing to speak out against Pakistan’s treatment of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman on death row for blasphemy against Islam since 2010. The article, written by New Jersey-based William Mahoney, contrasts the UN’s response to France’s . . . Read More