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.

  • 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


  • INDIA | Men Lynched in Mob Violence                                    9.26.19

    Three men were lynched after being accused of cow slaughter Sept. 22 in Khunti District, Jharkhand, India. The victims were identified as Kantus Barla and Fagu Kachhap, both of whom are deceased. A third surviving victim was identified as ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Couple Threatened for Distributing Tracts        9.19.19

    On Sept. 15, two Indian Christians, Leo Johnson and his wife Jenifa, were intimidated and threatened in the residential area of Bombay Castle, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu state. The couple had spent the day in the area distributing Christian tracts to homes. As they were making their way ... READ THIS STORY

  • PAKISTAN | Christian Dies in Police Custody                        9.16.19

    CSW learned that Amir Masih, a Christian man from Lahore, Pakistan, died in the hospital Sept. 2 after he was allegedly tortured in custody by police. Masih, who was employed as a gardener in PAF Colony, a local neighborhood in Lahore, was accused of theft after his employer ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Lawyers, Families harassed                                       9.11.19

    Tang Jingling, a Chinese human rights lawyer, was arbitrarily detained for 10 days after being reported missing on Aug. 30. His whereabouts remained unknown until his release Sept. 8 ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Bill Introduced to Restrict Conversion                 9.6.19

    The Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, on Aug. 30, passed a new bill criminalizing conversion in Himachal Pradesh, India. The bill is an attempt to replicate and extend a law restricting religious conversion ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Pastor Summoned to Police Station                       8.27.19

    Apostle Alain Toledano Valiente, a prominent leader in the Apostolic Movement in Cuba, has received three police summons in less than a week. Toledano Valiente, who leads Emanuel Church in Santiago de Cuba, was initially summoned to appear ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Pastor Killed After Service                                    8.19.19

    A pastor from the Fraternidad Cristiana church was shot and killed in Oaxaca, southwest Mexico Aug. 18. Alfrery Líctor Cruz Canseco was waiting in his car after a church service at the Fraternidad Cristiana church in the municipality of Tlalixtac de Cabrera when he was shot ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Priest Kidnapped for Protecting Migrants       8.13.19

    A Mexican priest was kidnapped Aug. 3 after blocking an attempt by an organized criminal group to kidnap Cuban migrants from a migrant shelter in north-eastern Mexico. Father Aarón Méndez Ruiz is the director of the Casa del Migrante AMAR migrant shelter ... READ THIS STORY

  • COLOMBIA | Pastor Killed at Home                                          8.12.19

    CSW has learned that an evangelical pastor died on Aug. 10 after being shot multiple times in his home in Bajo Cauca Antioquia, northern Colombia. The body of Pastor Plinio Rafael Salcedo was discovered at his home in the village of La Caucana ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Pastor Threatened with Imprisonment                    8.9.19

    Alain Toledano Valiente, a leader in the Apostolic Movement, was summoned to appear at the La Motorizada Unit #3 Police Station on Aug. 7, where he was told by the police station commander that if his church went ahead with a planned ... READ THIS STORY

  • PAKISTAN | Joint Report Launched on Refugees                  8.6.19

    The International Human Rights Committee launched its latest report “Fact Finding Mission to Thailand and Malaysia - From Persecution to Desperation” at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s 53rd annual Jalsa Salana, in Hampshire on Aug. 3 ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Christians File Case Against Hindu Nationalists  8.6.19

    Several Christian families have filed a case against Hindu nationalists at the High Court at the Madras Madurai Bench in Tamil Nadu, India, to prevent further mistreatment due to their Christian faith. The case was filed on July 15 by Christian families belonging ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Catholic Public Celebrations Cancelled               8.2.19

    The Cuban government has withdrawn permission for the Catholic Church to hold planned public celebrations and activities for National Youth Day Aug. 4. In a video posted on Facebook earlier this week, Father Jorge Luis Pérez of the Havana Catholic Youth Ministry ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Guizhou Christians Forced to Stop Activities      8.1.19

    Authorities in China have accused Christians in Guizhou of carrying out “illegal religious activities” and forced them to stop meeting together with immediate effect. Authorities also confiscated furniture, a projector ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Protestants Forcibly Displaced                             8.1.19

    Four protestant Christians were forcibly displaced July 28 by leaders in the village of Cuamontax Huazalingo in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. Community leaders told the victims that the expulsion was the consequence of their failure to sign an agreement that bans ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Judge Calls Christian Defendants “Apostates”    7.29.19

    CSW has learned that four members of the Church of Iran denomination who are charged with endangering state security and promoting Zionism were tried July 28 after their court hearing July 24 was postponed ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Judge Delays Christians’ Trial                                   7.25.19

    On July 24, an Iranian Revolutionary Court judge adjourned the trial of nine Christians charged with endangering state security and promoting Zionism, after detaining five of them for refusing to exchange their lawyer for a court-appointed ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Second Kandhamal Accused Released on Bail    7.25.19

    The Supreme Court of India granted bail on July 23 to Bijaya Sanaseth, one of the seven Christians accused of the murder of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati which tool place Aug. 23, 2008. The murder sparked the most severe outbreak of anti-Christian violence in the country’s ... READ THIS STORY

  • SYRIA | Christian Woman Killed                                               7.23.19

    CSW has learned that a Syrian Christian woman was murdered in Idlib Province after being repeatedly raped, tortured and stoned. The body of Susanne Der Krykor was discovered July 9 at her home in the Christian village ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Religious Freedom Defender Released                   7.22.19

    Ricardo Fernandez Izaguirre, a Cuban religious freedom defender, was released from prison July 19 after spending four out of seven days in incommunicado in detention in Havana. Fernandez Izaguirre was arbitrarily detained by state security agents ... READ THIS STORY

  • ERITREA | Renewed Concerns About Leader                        7.20.19

    There is renewed concern for the well-being of the legitimate leader the Eritrean Orthodox Church (EOC), Patriarch Antonios, following a move by pro-government bishops to excommunicate him. A statement dated July 17, ostensibly from six bishops ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Pastor Charged Amid Continued Pressure           7.19.19

    The lawyer of Pastor Wang Yi has learned that he is facing a new charge of “illegal business activity.” Pastor Wang Yi’s lawyer has been barred from seeing the pastor since his detention in December 2018. A message issued by the lawyer confirmed that Pastor Wang had been charged ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Evangelical Leaders Banned from Travel             7.15.19

    Three evangelical leaders were prevented from boarding flights from Cuba to the United States on July 13 and 14. They were attempting to travel to Washington, DC to participate in the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, taking place this week ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Religious Freedom Defender Missing                       7.13.19

    A Cuban religious freedom defender was arbitrarily detained on July 12 and is being held incommunicado. Ricardo Fernandez Izaguirre, an independent journalist based in Camaguey, was taken off the street by state security agents after leaving the headquarters ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | States Call to End Arbitrary Detention               7.12.19

    Twenty-two United Nations (UN) Member States have co-signed a letter calling on China to end the arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwest China. The letter, dated July 8 and addressed ... READ THIS STORY

  • ERITREA | Nuns Evicted from Health Centers                       7.5.19

    Several Catholic nuns were evicted and their belongings removed from health centers where they worked and lived in Eritrea’s central zone on July 2. Photographs of the evictions emerged on Facebook on July 3. The pictures, which according to local sources largely depict ... READ THIS STORY