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.

  • 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

  • ERITREA | Church Raided, Christians Arrested                 6.25.19

    Eritrean security officers raided a gathering of members of the Faith Missions Church in Keren, Eritrea’s second largest city, on June 23 and arrested a number of people, including pregnant women, mothers, children and at least one entire family. They also confiscated property ... READ THIS STORY

  • PAKISTAN | CSW Calls for JUDGEMENT Implementation    6.25.19

    CSW calls on the government of Pakistan to strengthen protections for religious minorities, as directed in a Supreme Court judgement from 2014 which has not yet been implemented. The judgement broadens the scope of Article 20 of the Constitution ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Christian Families Forcibly Displaced                    6.21.19

    Seven Christian families were forced to flee their village in Jharkhand state after facing intimidation, harassment and threats from a local fundamentalist group, Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM). Three other families were forcefully converted to Hinduism ... READ THIS STORY

  • ERITREA | Concerns Raised Over Property Seizure           6.19.19

    CSW is deeply concerned by the seizure of health facilities belonging to the Catholic Church and the arrests of Orthodox priests in Eritrea, which occurred within a 24-hour period from June 12-13 and targeted faith communities that are supposedly permitted ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Denominations Launch New Alliance                      6.13.19

    Seven Protestant denominations in Cuba, including the five largest in terms of membership, joined together to launch a new Cuban Alliance of Evangelical Churches on June 11 in a show of inter-denominational unity unseen on the island since the 1959 Revolution ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Pastor’s Wife Released on Bail                                 6.12.19

    Jiang Rong, a member of Early Rain Church and the wife of Pastor Wang Yi, was released June 10 after six months in detention. Pastor Wang and several church members remain in detention. News of Jiang's release ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Christians Assaulted While Distributing Tracts  6.7.19

    Two Christian men were assaulted and driven away from outside the grounds of Murugaram theatre on May 31 in Ravana Nagar, Karaikal, Puducherry. The two men identified as R. Gunasekaran, 32, and K. Kumaravel, 33, were distributing Christian tracts in Karaikal for 10 days prior ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Councilor Imprisoned for Speaking for Baha’is    6.6.19

    Mehdi Hajjeti, a local councilor in Shiraz, a city of southern Iran, was arrested by Iranian authorities June 2 and given a one-year prison sentence after expressing empathy with Iranian Baha’is. He was on bail following an earlier arrest ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Government Cancels Church Permit                      5.31.19

    Baptist leaders in Cuba are calling on the government to fulfill its promise to allow them to build a new church after their building permit was arbitrarily cancelled by the Office of Religious Affairs (ORA) of the Cuban Communist Party. The leadership ... READ THIS STORY

  • VIETNAM | Prisoners of Conscience in Poor Health        5.29.19

    CSW is concerned for the safety and wellbeing of activists Nguyen Bac Truyen and Nguyen Van Hoa, who are both serving sentences relating to their peaceful defense of human rights in Vietnam. Legal expert Nguyen Bac Truyen, who is serving an 11-year prison sentence ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Kandhamal Accused Released on Bail                   5.24.19

    Garanath Challanseth, a Christian accused of the murder of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati on August 23, 2008, was released on bail by the Supreme Court of India on May 21 after 12 years of imprisonment. Despite the media citing police sources indicating Maoist involvement in ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Verdict Against Christians Upheld                           5.21.19

    An Iranian court has upheld a verdict issued against Iranian Christians Saheb Fadaie and Fatemeh Bakhteri, four months after their final appeal hearing on Jan. 15 in Tehran. Fadaie and Bakhteri were sentenced to 18 and 12 months in prison respectively on Sept. 22, 2018 ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Concerns Raised Regarding Violence                 5.16.19

    The Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP) released a statement raising concerns regarding ongoing violence in several states in Central Nigeria and calling on the government to ensure enjoyment of the right freedom of religion or belief for “all of Nigeria’s religious communities" ... READ THIS STORY

  • NORTH KOREA | China URGED to Allow Family Passage      5.15.19

    Seven North Koreans who escaped their country are currently facing forcible repatriation following their detention in China on April 28. The family includes a nine-year-old and a 17-year-old.  A relative of the family issued an appeal for help, and Justice for North Korea ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Families Denied Basic Services                                   5.10.19

    Five families belonging to the Believers Eastern Church in Bahardi, Latehar District, Jharkhand state, face being cut off from basic amenities and having their land confiscated if they do not become Hindus. Local sources report that the Christians have come under pressure from Hindu ... READ THIS STORY

  • BURMA | Journalists Released from Prison                         5.7.19

    CSW welcomed the news that Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were among 6,520 released from prison in Burma in a mass amnesty on May 7. In December 2017 the two journalists were arrested, and in September 2018, they were sentenced to seven years in prison ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Christians Beaten During Meeting                             5.7.19

    A Christian prayer meeting at Praise the Lord Church in Kanjappalli, Coimbatore District, Tamil Nadu was attacked by Hindu nationalists on May 3.  At approximately 1:30 p.m. on May 3, six men, who belong to a Hindu nationalist group known as Hindu Munani, disrupted ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Officials Apologize to Displaced Student         5.2.19

    A schoolgirl, who was unable to attend school since her family was forcibly displaced from their home because of their religion, met with government officials in Mexico City on April 30 to draw attention to religious minority children in the country whose right to education ... READ THIS STORY

  • NEPAL | Accused Christians Released Without Bail           5.1.19

    CSW welcomes the order of the Dang District Court to release without bail the four Christians who were arrested April 23 on false allegations of proselytism in Ghorahi, a city in the Dang Deukhuri District, Nepal. Initial reports suggested that the Christians were arrested on allegations ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Displaced Minority Girl to Raise Case                4.26.19

    A girl belonging to a displaced religious minority family will mark Mexico’s Children’s Day on April 30 by raising the cases of children who have been denied the right to an education ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Agreement Allows Access to Water                   4.25.19

    An agreement was reached in Chiquinivalvo, Chiapas state, permitting 12 Protestant Christians to receive basic services after access was denied following their refusal to take part in a traditional religious festival ... READ THIS STORY

  • NEPAL | Christians Arrested for Alleged Conversion   4.24.19

    Four Christians have been falsely arrested for alleged involvement in conversion in Ghorahi, a city in the Dang Deukhuri District, Nepal. Conversion is illegal in Nepal. Local police arrested two men and two women at their hotel ... READ THIS STORY

  • BURMA | Supreme Court Rejects Journalists' Appeal    4.23.19

    Burma’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, two Reuters journalists, who were sentenced to seven years in prison in September 2018 after being accused of breaching the Official Secrets Act ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Pastor, Wife Face Summary Trial                               4.19.19

    Rev. Ramon Rigal and his wife, Ayda Expsito, were detained earlier this week in Guantanamo because of their refusal to send their children to government-run schools. The family, who belong to the Church of God in Cuba, were given 30 minutes ... READ THIS STORY

  • EGYPT | Church Building Evacuated                                      4.17.19

    A church in the village of Naghaa Halaf Allah Jaber in Sohag governorate, Upper Egypt, was evacuated April 12 after it was surrounded by local Muslim villagers protesting about repairs to the building. At the time, approximately 200 Christian children were inside the building ... READ THIS STORY


  • INDIA | Christians from Adivasi Tribe Lynched                    4.17.19

    A Christian from an Adivasi tribe died when he and three Christians from his tribe were severely beaten April 10 for skinning an ox in Jhurmo village, Jharkhand. The owner of the animal, Adranish Kujur, reportedly sought help from local villagers to carve the ox ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Priest Beaten, Tortured in Robbery                     4.15.19

    A 78-year-old priest was admitted to the hospital with second degree burns to his hands and feet after being beaten and tortured during a suspected robbery attempt in the city ... READ THIS STORY

  • MALAYSIA | Police Responsible for Disappearances               4.3.19

    Malaysia’s Human Rights Commission named the Special Branch of the Malaysian police as the state actors responsible for the “enforced disappearances” of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat for their religious activities and called on the Malaysian authorities to respect freedom ... READ THIS STORY

  • VIETNAM | Human Rights Committee RAISES CONCERNS            4.2.19

    The UN Human Rights Committee urged Vietnam to prevent violence, discrimination and all acts of “undue interference with the freedom of religion” in the country. In its concluding observations following a review of Vietnam’s implementation of the ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Christians beaten, Bibles burnt at prayer meeting   4.1.19

    A prayer meeting in a home in India’s Tamil Nadu state was disrupted March 19 by approximately 15 people from the Hindu Munani (Hindu Front) and the Vishva Hindu Parishad, which is the religious arm of the RSS, a Hindu nationalist movement. The prayer meeting was being ... READ THIS STORY