Pakistan joins US list of worst religious freedom violators

Burial of victims of a suicide attack on the Methodist Bethel Church in Quetta, Pakistan, on Sunday 17 December 2017 in which at least 9 people were killed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pakistan is among the ten countries that appear on the US State Department’s latest list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for religious-freedom violations, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced in a press statement on Tuesday, 11 December. China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and . . . Read More

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

West ‘failing to convert words of concern into action’ against ultra-nationalism

West ‘failing to convert words of concern into action’ against ultra-nationalism
“Ultra-nationalism” promoted by governments and non-state bodies has triggered a rise in hatred against minorities, according to a new report by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). Countries where such hatred is on the rise include “key parts of the world” such as China, India, Pakistan and . . . Read More

Life in 70-years-old North Korea ‘is like living in Orwell’s 1984’, says escapee

North Korea is preparing to celebrate its 70th anniversary while the majority of its population faces multiple challenges every day, including food shortages and human rights violations. (Photo: ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
As North Korea prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary this weekend with a military parade and “Mass Games”, its population lives in perpetual war (the 1953 Korean War has never officially ended), under government surveillance and with a propaganda machine controlled by the national leader’s personality cult. The reality is . . . Read More

North Korea tells US to drop ‘anachronistic human rights racket’

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North Korea has called on the United States to stop its “anachronistic human rights racket” as talks continue between the two countries, AP reports. The US House of Representatives recently promised that “complete, verifiable, and irreversible human rights improvements” in North Korea were a necessary part of any deal, while . . . Read More

North Koreans ‘betrayed’ by human rights omission in Trump-Kim agreement

After meeting Kim Jong-un in Singapore, US President Donald Trump said the many North Koreans currently being held in forced-labour camps were “one of the great winners today”. (Photo: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Koreans were “betrayed” by the failure of US President Donald Trump to include human rights provisions in his agreement with the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, following their historic meeting in Singapore, according to Human Rights Watch’s Asia Director, Phil Robertson. “The North Korean people have suffered for so long,” . . . Read More

North Korean ex-detainee was told his ‘hostile act against regime’ was prayer

North Korean ex-detainee Kim Hak Song upon return to the United States, at the Joint Base Andrews. (Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
One of the American citizens who was released by North Korea and returned to the United States last month, was told by his captors he was detained because of the “hostile act” of prayer. Kim Hak Song was arrested on a train from North Korea’s capital Pyongyang to China in . . . Read More

Religious freedom reduces terrorism, says US ambassador Brownback

Sam Brownback was confirmed as Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom in January.
If countries want less terrorism within their borders, they should give religious freedom to their people, says US religious freedom ambassador Sam Brownback. During a policy hearing in Washington DC on Wednesday (9 May), he said one country that had been a “bad actor” for a long time was now . . . Read More