NEWS


Christian Solidarity Worldwide works in over 20 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, defending everyone’s right to freedom of religion or belief. Three quarters of the world’s population lives in countries with severe restrictions on their religious freedom. It’s one of the most widely-violated human rights in the world. Our vision is of a world where everyone is free to choose their beliefs, to hold and practice any religion they like, or none at all.

  • NEPAL | Call for Charges to be Dropped                        5.15.2020

    CSW has called on the government of Nepal to drop all charges against Pastor Keshav Raj Acharya of Abundant Harvest Church in Pokhara, who was first arrested March 23 amid concerns for his well-being. His case highlights serious concerns ... READ THIS STORY

  • SUDAN | Call for Establishment of Commission          5.15.2020

    CSW welcomes calls by the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), led by Malik Agar, to establish an independent religious freedom commission in Sudan. The SPLM-N is an armed group based in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states which fought ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Christian Families Assaulted                                5.13.2020

    Three Christian families in the tribal village of Salepal, Bastar District, Chhattisgarh were beaten and threatened with death when they refused to participate in worship associated with the animist religion, which is practiced by the majority of villagers there.  The incident happened ... READ THIS STORY

  • SYRIA | Christian Families Return to Kharaba             5.13.2020

    CSW has learned that approximately 100 displaced Christian families have returned to their homes in the village of Kharaba, in the vicinity of Daraa governorate in Southwestern Syria. Kharaba was home to nearly 1,200 Christians before it was taken ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Family Attacked, Injured                                      5.7.2020

    A family of four was shot and injured on the evening of May 5 by armed assailants who invaded their home in Ghana Ropp, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area (LGA), Plateau state, Nigeria, and opened fire at close range ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Pastor’s Appeal Verdict Expected                          5.7.2020

    CSW has learned that a verdict on the appeal by Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and three other members of the Church of Iran denomination will be issued on May 11. The four Christians are currently serving 10-year prison sentences on charges of “acting against national ... READ THIS STORY

  • EGYPT | Activist’s Detention Extended                             5.6.2020

    The Egyptian authorities have extended the detention of prominent Coptic human rights defender Rami Kamil for a further 45 days. The extension occurred on May 4 and in the absence of Kamil and his lawyers. CSW's sources report that Kamil’s lawyers are preparing ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Church Members Injured, Property Damaged 5.4.2020

    Authorities in China’s Xiamen shut down a Sunday service at Xingguang Church on May 3, injuring several church members and damaging property during the process. Witnesses report that police violently dispersed church members, removing those ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Members Injured During Raid                               5.4.2020

    Authorities in China’s Xiamen shut down a Sunday service at Xingguang Church on May 3, injuring several church members and damaging property during the process. Witnesses report that police violently dispersed church members, removing by force those who resisted ... READ THIS STORY

  • CAR | Armed Groups Withdraw from Government     4.30.2020

    Five armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) have resigned from the country’s government of national unity, raising questions over the future of the peace agreement signed in February 2019. The groups issued a press release on April 25 criticizing ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Harassment of Journalist Continues           4.24.2020  

    Cuban independent journalist, Yoe Suárez, was “visited” in his home by two State Security agents on April 22 who proceeded to question and threaten him. According to Suárez’s Twitter page, the two officials came to his house and asked to talk with him ... READ THIS STORY

  • GLOBAL | CSW Asks for Rights Upheld                            4.22.2020

    In a statement issued April 22, CSW has urged states around the world to adhere to rule of law and protect fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to freedom of religion or belief, as they adopt unprecedented measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Bakhteri Released from Prison                             4.14.2020

    Iranian Christian Fatemeh Bakhteri (Aylar) was released from prison April 12. Bakhteri, 35, from the city of Rasht, is from a Muslim background, and is a member of the Church of Iran denomination. She was sentenced to 12 months in prison on Sept. 22, 2018 after being found guilty ... READ THIS STORY

  • BURMA | Military Bombs Village                                          4.9.2020

    The Burmese military bombed a village in Paletwa Township, Chin State on April 7, killing seven civilians including two children, a mother and infant. At least eight other civilians were injured and eight houses burned ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Release of Christians Welcomed                            4.7.2020

    CSW welcomes news that two Christians from the northern city of Karaj, Pastor Amin Khaki and Rokhsare Ghanbari (Mahrokh), were asked not to return to prison to complete their sentences following their temporarily release amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19 ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Lawyer Released into Quarantine                      4.6.2020

    Chinese human rights lawyer, Wang Quanzhang, was released from prison April 5 and immediately placed into quarantine for 14 days, hundreds of miles from his family. According to Wang’s wife, Li Wenzu, who has continuously called for his release, Wang was released ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Journalist Threatened with Imprisonment      4.2.2020

    Yoe Suárez, a Cuban independent journalist, was summoned to Siboney Police Station in Havana on March 27, where he was interrogated by police and threatened with imprisonment and unspecified “repercussions” for his family ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Pastor Leyva Released                                           3.3.1.2020

    Cuban Pastor Adya Expósito Leyva, who was imprisoned along with her husband Ramón Rigal on April 16, was released from detention March 29. Pastor Expósito Leyva and Rev. Ramón Rigal are representatives of the Abundant Faith Ministry International ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Hindu Nationalists Disrupt Prayer Meeting   3.26.2020

    A private prayer meeting at the home of a Christian pastor in India’s Tamil Nadu state was disrupted March 21 by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Hindu Munani, a Tamil Nadu-based Hindu nationalist group which is ideologically aligned ... READ THIS STORY

  • TURKEY | Body of Catholic Priest’s Mother Found    3.25.2020

    The body of Simoni Diril, 65, was found March 20 in a mountainous place near the village of Mehre (Kovankaya) in the Beytüssebap District of Sirnak Province in south-eastern Turkey, where she was abducted along with her husband, Hurmuz, who remains ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Bishop’s Wife Released                                       3.23.2020

    The wife of the Bishop of Bari Diocese in Kano State, who was abducted by gunmen on March 10, was released. The release of Saratu Zubairu was confirmed by the Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), The Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Children Escape Government Orphanage    3.18.2020

    Six children from the Du Merci Centers in Kano and Kaduna States, Nigeria, temporarily escaped the government-run Nassarawa Children’s Home in Kano, where they have been held since December 2019, to attend church for the first ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | CSW Calls for Police Investigation                    3.16.2020

    CSW called on police in Tamil Nadu, India, to take action to investigate an incident on March 5 in which a Christian couple from Pakkam village, Gudiyatham, Vellore District in the state were assaulted and humiliated for sharing Christian gospel ... READ THIS STORY


  • NIGERIA | Bishop’s Wife Abducted                                    3.11.2020

    The Secretariat of the Anglican Church in Nigeria confirmed that the wife of the Bishop of Bari Diocese in Kano state has been abducted. Saratu Zubairu and a diocesan secretary, identified as Deborah, were kidnapped on the morning of March 10. They were taken ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Sentence Against Pastor Upheld                           3.4.2020

    A five-year prison sentence delivered to Pastor Matthias Haghnejad was upheld Feb. 25 without a hearing, after Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamanei reportedly permitted the judge to bypass court procedures, according to CSW’s ... READ THIS STORY

  • PAKISTAN | Laborer Killed for Allegedly Polluting     3.3.2020

    Saleem Masih, a 22-year-old Christian laborer from the city of Kasur, south of Lahore, Pakistan, died of injuries sustained when he was beaten by four men who accused him of “contaminating” a well of water by bathing ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Police Assault Christians                                     2.28.2020

    Nine Christians were beaten by the police Feb. 21 after being accused of “forceful conversion” in the town of Sathankulam, Thoothukudi District, in India’s Tamil Nadu state. On Feb. 18, Pastor Shajin from Devasabai church led a team of seven pastors ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Sharibu’s Mother Joins Protest                      2.19.2020

    Rebecca Sharibu, the mother of 16-year-old schoolgirl Leah Sharibu, joined a protest outside the Nigerian High Commission in London which was organized by CSW to mark the second anniversary of her daughter’s abduction and calling on the Nigerian ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Christians Attacked While Traveling                 2.17.2020

    A group of 70 Christians were attacked Feb. 5 while travelling home from the Third National Congress of the Synod of Pentecostal Churches in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Three men on motorcycles targeted the bus and minivan in which the group was travelling ... READ THIS STORY

  • EGYPT | Detention Extended for a Second Time           2.10.2020

    Coptic activist Rami Kamil had his detention extended after his court hearing was postponed for a second time. Kamil was supposed to appear before the Supreme State Security Prosecution on Jan. 19. However, on the day of the hearing, and after waiting for ... READ THIS STORY

  • TURKEY | Priest Indicted on Terrorism Charges          2.10.2020

    Assyrian Christian Priest, Father Sefer Bileçen (known as Father Aho), was charged with joining a terrorist organization. Father Aho was indicted Jan. 16; however, the authorities withheld the information until Feb. 8 ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Kidnappers Execute Hostages                           2.4.2020

    Michael Nnadi, one of four Catholic seminarians abducted by armed men from the Good Shepherd Major Seminary in Kaduna state on Jan. 8, was murdered by his captors. The death of the 18-year-old philosophy student was announced in a statement issued  ... READ THIS STORY

  • SUDAN | Christian Prevented from Leaving Country  2.3.2020

    Sudanese Christian businessman, Ashraf Samir Mousad Obid, was informed by Sudan’s Ministry of the Interior on Jan. 30 that he is not allowed to leave or enter the country. Obid had been detained at Khartoum airport three days ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Association Launches Prayer, Fasting         1.30.2020

    The Christian Association of Nigeria has called on churches in Nigeria and abroad to join in three days of “Special Fasting and Prayer,” beginning Jan. 31. The initiative is being launched in response to “the gruesome murder of the Chairman of CAN ... READ THIS STORY

  • SUDAN | Businessman Detained at Airport                     1.28.2020

    Sudanese Christian businessman, Ashraf Samir Mousad Obid, was detained at Khartoum Airport on Jan. 27, under the orders of the General Intelligence Service. Obid was returning to Sudan for the first time since fleeing the country in 2015, following a campaign of harassment ... READ THIS STORY

  • SUDAN | Churches Attacked Twice                                   1.24.2020

    Three churches in Blue Nile State were each burned down twice in the three weeks leading up to Jan. 16. The news comes amid criticism from local human rights defenders of the decision by the United States State Department to remove Sudan from its list of ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Terrorist Executes Christian Student         1.23.2020

    The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), an offshoot of the Boko Haram terrorist group, released a video showing the execution of a 22-year-old Christian student from Plateau State, Nigeria, by a minor ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Prayer Meeting Disrupted                                      1.23.2020

    A private prayer meeting was disrupted Jan. 18 in Pogulur village, Coimbatore District, in India’s Tamil Nadu state. Christians at the meeting were threatened, insulted and intimidated. As a meeting of approximately 250 pastors and their families drew to a close ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Released Hostage Reports Sharibu Alive    1.20.2020

    One of five aid workers released by the Islamic State West African Province faction of Boko Haram on Jan. 15 said that Leah Sharibu, the 16-year-old schoolgirl abducted from her school in northeast Nigeria in February 2018, is alive ... READ THIS STORY

  • EGYPT | Coptic Activist’s Detention Extended            1.17.2020  

    The detention of Egyptian Coptic activist, Rami Kamil, who is facing terrorism charges, was extended by 15 days after he was interrogated in prison by prosecutors. He was reportedly been told to stop writing about violations of freedom of religion or belief if he wants ... READ THIS STORY

  • TURKEY | Assyrian Christian Priest Released                 1.15.2020

    CSW sources have confirmed that Assyrian Christian priest, Father Sefer Bileçen (known as Father Aho), was released on bail Jan. 14 and is awaiting trial. Father Aho, who has been taking care of the 1,500 year-old Mor Yakub Monastery in Mardin province ... READ THIS STORY

  • TURKEY | Assyrian Christians Arrested                           1.14.2020

    Three Assyrian Christians were arrested on Jan. 9 in the province of Mardin in Southeast Turkey. CSW sources report that Turkish Gendarmerie in the Assyrian town of Üçköy (Arkash in Syriac language) arrested Father Sefer Bileçen ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Abducted Chairman Makes Video Plea             1.7.2020

    The Shekau faction of the terrorist group Boko Haram released a video of the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Adamawa state, who was declared missing following a raid on Michika town Jan. 3. In the video, sent to Nigerian journalist ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Orphanage Founder Detained                            1.4.2020

    Professor Richard Solomon Musa Tarfa, co-founder of an orphanage for unwanted children, who had been detained since Christmas Day, was granted bail Jan. 3 by a court in Kano state, northern Nigeria. The professor will be released upon payment of $13,800 ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Pastor Sentenced to Prison                                   12.30.19

    Pastor Wang Yi, who leads the Early Rain Church in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China, has been sentenced to nine years in prison following his conviction on charges of “inciting to subvert state power” and “illegal business operations" ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Jewish Child Beaten                                                12.23.19  

    A 12-year-old boy has been forbidden by Cuban educational authorities from entering his school while wearing the Jewish kippah since Dec. 11. He has been prevented from continuing his education. His younger brother has also been prevented from entering school ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Official Denies Religious Intolerance             12.20.19

    A government secretary in the state of Hidalgo made public claims that there are no cases of religious intolerance in the Huasteca region, despite evidence from Protestant Christians who were forcibly displaced in July and others who are currently under threat of forced ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Advent Celebrations Marred by Intolerance     12.19.19

    A private Christmas carol gathering Dec. 17 in Permuapalayam, Erode District, Tamil Nadu in India, was disrupted by five men who assaulted the people present, including a 17-year-old boy. Pastor Joshua, who leads the Apostolic Fellowship Tabernacle ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Muslims Singled Out in Citizenship Bill                  12.11.19

    On Dec. 9, India’s Lok Sabha (Lower House) passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 (CAB), which will grant citizenship to religious minorities from neighboring countries but controversially excludes Muslims ... READ THIS STORY

  • SUDAN | Concern Remains Regarding Criminal Code       12.6.19

    CSW welcomes the repeal of Sudan’s repressive Public Order Laws, announced Nov. 29, but remains concerned the country's Criminal Code has not been amended and can still be ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Church Elder Sentenced to Prison                        12.3.19

    An elder of Early Rain Church in Chengdu was sentenced to four years in prison Nov. 29, four days after he stood trial at the People’s Court of Qingyang District, Chengdu. ChinaAid reports that Elder Qin Defu has been charged with “illegal business operations,” which the authorities ... READ THIS STORY

  • VIETNAM | Priest Prevented From Attending Mass          11.28.19

    A Vietnamese priest was prevented from travelling to Japan to attend a mass celebrated by the Pope. The priest, Father Nguyen Dinh Thuc, believes he was prevented from travelling as a reprisal for his activism on behalf of fishermen ... READ THIS STORY

  • EGYPT | Detained Coptic Activist Faces Charges             11.26.19

    Coptic activist Rami Kamil, who was arrested when police raided his house in Cairo during the early hours of Nov. 23, is facing terrorism-related charges. The police who arrested him refused to allow him to change his clothes, carry his medications ... READ THIS STORY

  • TURKEY | Pastor Stabbed to Death                                       11.26.19

    A church leader from South Korea was stabbed to death Nov. 22 in Southeast Turkey. Pastor Jinwook Kim had been living in Turkey for the last 5 years and moved to Diyarbakir last year where he led a small congregation ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Religious Freedom Defender Released                   11.15.19

    Ricardo Fernández Izaguirre, a prominent religious freedom defender in Cuba, was released after being arbitrarily detained incommunicado for 29 hours. State security agents warned him he will still likely face criminal charges ... READ THIS STORY

  • SYRIA | Catholic Priest Assassinated                                   11.13.19

    Father Hosseb Bedoyan, a priest from the Armenian Catholic Church in the city of Qamishli in Northeast Syria, was assassinated Nov. 11 near the city of Deir Ezzour in Eastern Syria. CSW sources confirmed that ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Religious Freedom Defender Detained                   11.13.19

    A prominent religious freedom defender in Cuba was detained and is being held incommunicado. Ricardo Fernández Izaguirre presented himself at the Camagüey police station on Nov. 12 after he received ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | No Development in Fate of Kidnapped Pastor   11.4.19

    There have been no developments in the case of a protestant pastor and a co-worker who were forcibly disappeared Aug. 3 in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Pastor Aarón Méndez Ruiz and Alfredo Castillo de Luna were kidnapped from the AMAR migrant shelter, in Nuevo Laredo on ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Priest Held at Gunpoint                                         10.31.19

    Father Alberto Ruiz Pérez, a priest who runs a migrant shelter in the Mexican state of Jalisco, was assaulted, extorted and threatened at gunpoint on Oct. 24 in an attack that those who work closely with him believe to be linked to his work as a human rights defender ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Christian Released, Faces Exile                                10.29.19

    Iranian Christian Ebrahim Firouzi was released from prison in Karaj, Iran, on Oct. 26, where he was serving a five-year sentence. It is expected that he will be sent to serve a two-year sentence of “internal exile” in a remote part of the country ... READ THIS STORY


  • SUDAN | Confiscated Land Ordered Returned                10.25.19

    CSW welcomes a ruling by Sudan’s Court of Appeal for land belonging to the Baptist Church, which has been confiscated by the National Intelligence and Security Service, to be returned. In 2012, NISS seized the land in Khartoum Bahri, preventing the Baptist Church ... READ THIS STORY

  • ERITREA | Orthodox Churches Protest Imprisonment  10.24.19

    The Eritrean Orthodox Church Tewahdo (EOC) has planned two peaceful demonstrations in the United States calling for the release and reinstatement of the church’s legitimate leader, Patriarch Antonios, who has been under house arrest for over a decade ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Pastor Sentenced to Prison                                       10.18.19

    Iranian church leader, Matthias Haghnejad, and eight members of the Church of Iran denomination who were on trial with him have each been sentenced to five years in prison following a short trial Sept. 23. Pastor Haghnejad was arrested ... READ THIS STORY

  • ALGERIA | Three Churches Closed                                          10.17.19

    Algerian police closed the Light Church (L’eglise TAFAT or Lumière) in the city of Tizi Ouzou in northern Algeria on Oct. 16. Worshippers were ordered out of the church, and those who resisted were forcibly evicted. On Oct. 15, two other churches ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Pastor Nadarkhani Ends Hunger Strike                 10.15.19

    Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, a church leader from the Church of Iran denomination who is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in Evin prison in Tehran, ended a three-week hunger strike on Oct. 13. The pastor began his hunger strike on Sept. 23 to protest against ... READ THIS STORY

  • SUDAN | Criminal Charges Against Leaders Confirmed 10.15.19

    CSW has learned that criminal charges against eight leaders of the Sudanese Church of Christ were confirmed on Oct. 7, a worrying development in the continuing judicial harassment of the SCOC. The elected president and senior leaders of the SCOC were charged ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | CSW Supports Travel Ban                                           10.11.19

    The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has called for the head of the Office of Religious Affairs of the Cuban Communist Party and other CCP officials responsible for violations of freedom of religion or belief to be prohibited from entering the United States ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Pastor’s Wife Killed                                                  10.3.19

    Details have emerged of the circumstances surrounding the death of a pastor’s wife who was abducted by armed assailants from her home in Kaduna state, central Nigeria, on Sept. 14. Esther Katung, whose husband is the minister in charge of the Evangelical Church ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Pastor Nadarkhani on Hunger Strike                       10.1.19

    Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor from the Church of Iran denomination is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in Evin prison in Tehran, began a hunger strike on Sept. 23 to protest against his children being prohibited from continuing with their education ... READ THIS STORY