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 | Concerns About Transferring Orphans       1.16.2021

    CSW received disturbing reports indicating that 15 of the children who were seized during police raids on Du Merci orphanages in Kano and Kaduna states in December 2019 are to be transferred from the government-run Nasarawa Children’s Home to unknown rural ... READ THIS STORY

  • SRI LANKA | Cremation Recommendations REJECTED      1.13.2021

    The government of Sri Lanka insisted it will proceed with the cremation of victims who have died from COVID-19, effectively rejecting the recommendations of its medical experts. The move has profound impacts for religious minorities in the country ... READ THIS STORY

  • SUDAN | Church Building Burned                                        1.8.2021

    A church building belonging to the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) in Tamboul, Gezira state, was burned down on Jan. 3. CSW sources report that a 13-year-old boy set fire to the church using petrol from a motorcycle after an adult instructed him ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Lawyer Faces License Revocation                         1.6.2021

    On Jan. 4, Ren Qiuanniu, the lawyer who defended Chinese human rights defender Zhang Zhan, received a letter from the Chinese authorities saying that his license to practice as a lawyer may be revoked. Zhang was sentenced to four years in prison ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Church Leaders Abducted                              12.24.2020

    Church leaders were abducted as farming communities in Kaduna state experience renewed violence and abductions by armed assailants of Fulani ethnicity. As international attention remains focused on events in northwestern Nigeria, following the release of over 300 ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Child Injured in Orphanage Fire                    12.21.2020

    CSW has learned that one of the children who was seized during police raids on Du Merci orphanages in Kano and Kaduna states in December 2019 suffered burns in a fire that broke out in the early hours of Dec. 20 in the government-run Nasarawa Children’s Home ... READ THIS STORY

  • EGYPT | Court Acquits Men of Assault                          12.18.2020

    A criminal court in Minya, Upper Egypt, acquitted three men accused of assaulting Suad Thabet, a Christian, in May 2016. The three men were accused of attacking, beating and stripping Thabet, 72, from the village of Al-Karm. They allegedly were part of a mob ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Action Called for in Expulsions                    12.11.2020

    CSW is calling on state officials in Guerrero, Mexico to intervene on behalf of a group of religious minority families who are under threat of forced displacement at the hands of community leaders belonging to the religious majority.  In addition to threats of expulsion ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Professor Released on Bail                            12.10.2020

    Professor Richard Solomon Musa Tarfa, the co-founder of orphanages for unwanted Christian children in Nigeria’s Kano and Kaduna states, was released on bail after nearly a year in pretrial detention. Professor Tarfa was detained by authorities on Dec. 25, 2019 ... READ THIS STORY

  • SYRIA | Extremist Group Arrests Villagers                   12.8.2020

    Armed men belonging to the Islamist group Faylaq Al-Sham (Al-Sham Battalion), which is affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood, launched a series of arrests in several Yazidi villages near Afrin in Northwest Syria on Dec. 4. CSW sources report that five men were arrested ... READ THIS STORY

  • SUDAN | Churches Granted Land                                      12.4.2020

    CSW welcomes the decision by the Governor of Sudan’s Gezira state, Abdalla Ali Ahmed Idriss, to authorize the construction of four church buildings on empty land. Three plots of land have been given to the Sudanese Church of Christ, with a fourth given ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Tribal Community Christians Assaulted          12.3.2020

    An estimated 100 Christians from the tribal community in Singawaram village, Sukma District, in India’s Chhattisgarh state were attacked in the early hours of Nov. 25. The Christians gathered on the night of Nov. 24 to organize festivities for the Advent season ... READ THIS STORY

  • SUDAN | Trial Begins for Arson Attacks                         12.1.2020

    The trial of nine defendants accused of setting fire to a church in Omdurman, Khartoum, commenced on Nov. 29 at Dar-Alsalam Criminal Court, marking the first prosecutions for damaging a church in the nation’s history. A total of 14 individuals are accused of the church ... READ THIS STORY

  • ERITREA | Calls Continue for Refugee Assistance     11.30.2020

    CSW has joined eight other organizations and individuals in writing to various officials of the United Nations (UN) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights urging them for urgent assistance for Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia’s ... READ THIS STORY

  • VIETNAM | Prisoners on Hunger Strike                           11.27.2020

    Vietnamese human rights defender Nguyen Bac Truyen and other prisoners of conscience held in An Diem prison in Vietnam are on hunger strike to protest unjust treatment by prison officials. Nguyen Bac Truyen’s hunger strike began Nov. 26 and will continue until the prison ... READ THIS STORY

  • EGYPT | Sectarian Violence Erupts                                 11.27.2020

    Sectarian violence broke out in the village of Barsha in Minya governorate, Upper Egypt, on Nov. 25 when hundreds of local Muslim villagers attacked the homes and properties of local Christians. The incident began after rumors circulated that a Christian man ... READ THIS STORY

  • PAKISTAN | Ahmadi Doctor Murdered                             11.26.2020

    An Ahmadi doctor was murdered in front of his family at his home in Murch Balochan, Nankana Sahib District, Punjab on Nov. 20. His murder is the latest in a series of killings of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan. The incident took place in the afternoon, just after ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Concerns Remain for Detained Activist         11.13.2020

    CSW has reiterated calls for the release of detained Chinese human rights defender Zhang Zhan, amid continued concerns for her health and well-being. Nov. 14 will mark six months since Zhang, a Christian and former lawyer, was detained by Chinese authorities ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Religious Minority Families at Risk                 11.13.2020

    Community leaders in a village in Hidalgo state are threatening to expel two Protestant families if they do not fully pay a fine levied against them because of their religious beliefs. The two families belong to a group of Protestant families ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Leaders Under Pressure to Sign Agreement    11.3.2020

    Cuban authorities in the city of Santiago de Cuba are pressuring religious leaders to sign an agreement regarding the demolition of their church. The Assemblies of God church, led by Pastor Faustino (Fausto) Palomo Cabrera, located in the Abel Santamaria neighborhood ... READ THIS STORY

  • PAKISTAN | Court Fails to Return Girl                           10.30.2020

    On Oct. 13, a 13-year-old Christian girl was kidnapped from the street outside her home in Karachi Railway Colony, Sindh Province. A 44-year-old man has since presented documentation to the police claiming that she is 18 years old and has willingly converted to Islam ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Pastor Arrested, Church Demolished             10.30.2020

    Early on Friday morning, Oct. 30, Cuban authorities in the city of Santiago de Cuba moved to demolish a church that has been under threat since 2015. A prominent pastor of another church, who was recording the demolition, was detained by Cuban police ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Crackdown Sparks Condemnation               10.22.2020

    CSW joins concerned organizations and individuals worldwide in condemning the killing of unarmed and peaceful protesters by the Nigerian security forces at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria, on Oct. 20. The attack took place among protests ... READ THIS STORY

  • VIETNAM | Nguyen Bac Truyen Awarded Prize             10.20.2020

    Imprisoned Vietnamese human rights activist Nguyen Bac Truyen has been awarded the Stefanus Prize 2020 for his work promoting human rights in Vietnam, including freedom of religion or belief. The Stefanus Prize was established by the Norwegian mission ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Fears Over Activist’s Health                              10.13.2020

    CSW has called on China to release Christian human rights defender and former lawyer, Zhang Zhan, who has spent over 150 days in detention, amid fears for her health since she began a hunger strike to protest her arbitrary ... READ THIS STORY

  • SYRIA | Extremist Group Constructing Mosque         10.12.2020

    A Jihadist group loyal to Turkey began to build a mosque on a Yazidi cemetery in Basofan, a Yazidi village in Syria’s Afrin region, on Oct. 6. Mesgin Josef, Chair of the Syrian Yazidi Council, told CSW. Mesgin Josef, Chair of the Syrian Yazidi Council, told CSW ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Priest Taken into Custody                                     10.9.2020

    Father Stan Swamy, 83, a Jesuit priest and long-time activist on tribal rights was arrested from his residence at a Jesuit owned Bagaicha social center in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state, and taken into custody by ... READ THIS STORY

  • PAKISTAN | Academic Shot, Killed                                       10.6.2020

    Professor Naeemuddin Khattak, a 56-year-old Ahmadi Muslim, was shot dead in Peshawar, northern Pakistan, on Oct. 5. While circumstances surrounding his death are still being investigated, initial information suggests that the murder was religiously ... READ THIS STORY

  • VIETNAM | CSW Calls on United States                            10.5.2020

    CSW called on the United States government to put human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, at the center of all bilateral relations with Vietnam ahead of the US-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue, expected to be scheduled ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Action Called for in Abduction                     10.5.2020

    CSW and CSW-Nigeria have called for action in the case of four school children and their teacher who were forcefully abducted by armed men from their school in Kaduna State in August. They continue to be held ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAQ | CSW Shares Condolences on Leader’s Death   10.2.2020

    CSW is saddened to learn that the Spiritual Leader of the Yazidi community, Baba Sheikh Khurto Hajji Ismail, passed away on Oct. 1 due to ongoing health problems ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Families Attacked by Mob                                      9.29.2020

    Christian families belonging to the Scheduled Tribe community located in five villages in Kondagaon District, Chhattisgarh had their homes ransacked and farmland and property destroyed by a large mob in attacks which took place over two days from ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Seven Christians Beaten                                        9.28.2020

    Seven Christians belonging to the Khariya tribal group in Bheri Kudar village, Simdega District, Jharkhand state were attacked Sept. 16 by a mob who were responding to allegations that the Christians were involved in the trade of beef ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | 11 Killed in Central States                                9.28.2020

    Attacks by armed men of Fulani ethnicity in Nigeria’s Kaduna, Plateau and Benue states between Sept. 20-26 claimed the lives of 11 people, including a community leader ... READ THIS STORY

  • VIETNAM | Pastor Released from Prison                         9.21.2020

    CSW welcomes the release of Vietnamese Pastor A Dao on Sept. 18 after more than four years in prison. He was not expected to be released until August 2021. Pastor A Dao was arrested in 2016 while on his way to visit some members of his church following ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Commissioner Adopts Prisoners                     9.21.2020

    Commissioner Frederick A. Davie of the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom has adopted imprisoned Nigerians Mubarak Bala and Yahaya Sharif-Aminu as part of the Commission’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Lawyer, Journalist Released                                9.15.2020

    Roberto Quiñones Haces, a Cuban journalist and lawyer, was released from prison in Guantánamo, Cuba, on Sept. 4 after spending nearly a year in prison for his work reporting on the trial of Cuban pastors Ramón Rigal and Adya Expósito Leyva ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Violence Continues Despite Peace Efforts 9.14.2020

    Attacks by armed men of Fulani ethnicity have continued to occur in southern Kaduna, Nigeria, despite the conclusion of several peace initiatives. Two people were burned beyond recognition in their homes in the early hours of Sept. 11 during an attack on Manyi-Mashin village ... READ THIS STORY

  • ERITREA | Conditional Release of Prisoners                  9.11.2020

    CSW has confirmed that 27 Eritrean Christians were released from Mai Serwa Prison near Eritrea’s capital, Asmara, on Sept. 4 and 8, possibly in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. According to CSW’s sources, the group consisted of 19 men ... READ THIS STORY

  • PAKISTAN | Christian Faces Death Sentence                   9.10.2020

    A Christian man accused of sending a blasphemous text message on Sept. 25, 2013 was sentenced to death in a ruling by the Additional Sessions Court in Lahore on Sept. 8. Asif Pervaiz, a father of four, has been in prison since Oct. 10, 2013 awaiting his sentence ... READ THOS STORY

  • SUDAN | Churches Targeted for Attacks                        9.9.2020

    A temporary straw church building belonging to the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) in Jabarona, Ombada, Omdurman, was set on fire on Aug. 14.  The church had previously been attacked by extremists four times between December 2019 and January 2020 ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Killing, Kidnapping Continues                            9.7.2020

    Three people were killed and seven were abducted during attacks by armed assailants of Fulani ethnicity on two Adara communities in southern Kaduna state in the early hours of Sept. 6.  Both attacks took place at around 2 a.m. ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Church Demolished by Nationalists                    9.7.2020

    A church in Khammam District in India’s Telangana state was demolished Aug. 31 at around 2 a.m. It is believed the perpetrators were Hindu nationalists. The Grace Prayer House is attended by an estimated 180 Christians, consisting of about 30 to 40 families ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Christian to Serve Internal Exile                          9.4.2020

    Iranian Christian Mohammadreza Omidi (Yuhan) was informed by his lawyer that he will have to serve two years in internal exile. Omidi is expected to serve the sentence in Borazjan in the south of the country, but details regarding the condition of his internal exile remain ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Mongolian-speaking Families Resist Language Policy   9.3.2020

    Thousands of ethnic Mongolian students and parents have boycotted classes in protest against the Chinese government’s decision to make Mandarin Chinese the language of instruction in three subjects in schools in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region ... READ THIS STORY

  • PAKISTAN | Christian Girl Escapes Abductors                9.3.2020

    A 14-year-old Christian girl who was abducted, forcibly married and raped repeatedly has escaped from her kidnapper. Maira Shahbaz fled from the home of Mohamad Nakash, an influential businessman, weeks after the Lahore High Court ordered her to be returned to the home ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Families Denied Electricity                                 9.3.2020

    CSW called on state authorities in Chiapas to intervene in the case of six Protestant Christian families in El Encanto village, Las Margaritas Municipality, Chiapas, who continue to face harassment over a month after they had their electricity cut off ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Families May Lose Services                                8.27.2020

    Two Protestant families, who were forced to sign an illegal agreement in which they renounce their right to hold religious services in order to have their access to water and other essential services reinstated, were informed at a community meeting ... READ THIS STORY

  • EGYPT | Christian Woman’s Criminal Case Delayed     8.27.2020

    The criminal court in Minya has refused to rule in the case of Suad Thabet for the second time this week, sending it back to the appeal court in Beni Suef on Aug. 26. Thabet, 72, was attacked, beaten, and stripped in public by a mob on May 20, 2016 after her son was accused ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Police Dismiss Murder Claim                                8.26.2020

    The Odisha Police Chief claims that Samaru Madkami was not killed because he had converted to Christianity. The Odisha Police Chief in South Western Range, Koraput, India claims that Samaru Madkami, the 14-year-old Christian who was murdered ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Gunmen Attack School, Abduct Students  8.26.2020

    One person was killed and others were abducted following an attack on the Damba-Kasaya Community in Chikun Local Government Area, Kaduna State, on Aug. 24. One person was killed and others, including several secondary school students, were abducted ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Christians Still Lack Justice                               8.25.2020

    This week marks the 12th anniversary of the violent attacks against Christians in Kandhamal District, Odisha, India. The targeted attacks claimed the lives of more than 90 people ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Christian Finally Released                                      8.18.2020

    Iranian Christian Mohammadreza Omidi (Yuhan) was released from prison Aug. 18. He had finished serving his 24-month sentence for national security-related charges in July. Omidi was one of four Christians arrested in Rasht on May 13, 2016 during a series of raids by ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Pastor, Wife Lose Appeal                                          8.17.2020

    Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz and his wife, Shamiram Isavi, were informed that they have lost their final appeal and have been summoned to begin their prison sentences for national security-related crimes. Pastor Bet-Tamraz received a 10-year sentence, while Shamiram ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Former Bank Official Interrogated               8.13.2020

    A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been released on bail from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Jos, Plateau State, following a 6-hour interrogation session on comments he had made during an interview ... READ THIS STORY

  • SYRIA | Kurdish Man Arrested for Apostasy                 8.13.2020

    CSW has learned that a 40-year-old Syrian Kurdish man was arrested and accused of apostasy by Failaq Al-Sham, an Islamist group loyal to Turkey, on July 30. Local sources report that fighters from Failaq Al-Sham arrested Radwan Muhammad at his home in the village ... READ THIS STORY

  • CSW Appoints New CEO                                                         8.10.2020

    CSW has announced changes to its executive leadership, with Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas starting a new role as Founder President and Chief Operating Officer Scot Bower becoming the new CEO. After dedicating over 40 years ... READ THIS STORY

  • SRI LANKA | Election Raises Human Rights Concerns   8.7.2020

    The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), led by Mahinda Rajapaksa, secured a two-thirds majority in Sri Lanka’s general election on Aug. 5, taking 145-of-225 seats in parliament. Human rights groups have raised concerns that the SLPP’s victory means amendments ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | 33 Killed in Kaduna State                                     8.7.2020

    At least 33 people are believed to have died in attacks on five communities in the Atyap Chiefdom in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA), southern Kaduna State, on Aug. 5 and 6. The attacks occurred despite the existence of a 24-hour curfew ... READ THIS STORY

  • CUBA | Authorities Asked to Lift Travel Ban                 8.5.2020

    CSW called on the Cuban authorities to lift an international travel ban on Cuban independent journalist, Yoel Suárez, which has hindered his freedom of movement for the past six month. Suárez, 30, has worked with non-state media outlets ... READ THIS STORY

  • IRAN | Christians Receive Prison Sentences                   8.4.2020

    Four Iranian Christians received prison sentences on Aug. 1 for “actions against national security,” “attending home churches” and “spreading Zionist Christianity.” Ramin Hassanpour was sentenced to five-years imprisonment, while ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Investigation Called for in Abduction          8.3.2020

    CSW calls on the Mexican government to renew investigations into the abduction of Protestant Pastor Aarón Méndez Ruiz and his co-worker, Alfredo Castillo de Luna, on the first anniversary of their forcible disappearance from the migrant shelter where they worked ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Christian Families Assaulted                                 7.31.2020

    Eight Christian families were attacked by a mob of Hindu nationalists in the village of Badaguda, Koraput District, Odisha at around midnight July 21. An elderly woman, Chachiri Muduli, 75, and her two granddaughters, 22 and 25, were among the victims ... READ THIS STORY

  • NEPAL | Roundtable Seeks Charges Dropped                 7.27.2020

    CSW has joined 24 other members of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable in signing an open letter to the Attorney General of Nepal calling for the immediate dropping of all charges against Christian Pastor Keshav Raj Acharya. The letter was sent ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | 21 Killed in Attacks                                               7.27.2020

    Ten people were killed, approximately 11 were seriously injured and five homes were burnt down during an attack by armed assailants of Fulani extraction on Zikpak, the seat of the Fanstwam Chiefdom in Jema'a Local Government Area (LGA), southern Kaduna state ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Video Released of Executions                         7.23.2020

    The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) released a video depicting the executions of four aid workers and a private security guard who were abducted June 8 on the Monguno-Maiduguri road in Borno State after ransom negotiations reportedly failed ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | Organizations Brands End Complicity            7.23.2020

    CSW joined 72 Uyghur rights groups and over 100 civil society organizations and labor unions from around the world in calling on apparel brands and retailers to stop using forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“Uyghur Region”) and end their complicity ... READ THIS STORY

  • SUDAN | Death Penalty Abolished for Apostasy          7.15.2020

    The Sovereignty Council of Sudan officially abolished the death penalty for apostasy on July 10 after the Chairman of the Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, signed several new laws ... READ THIS STORY

  • MEXICO | Court Rules in Favor of Minorities                 7.14.2020

    CSW welcomes a ruling by Mexico’s National Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) which grants reintegration and protection to a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses who were expelled from their homes in the state of Jalisco on account of their religious beliefs ... READ THIS STORY

  • NIGERIA | Attacks Kill 22                                                        7.13.2020

    At least 22 people were killed and an unknown number injured and displaced in a series of attacks between July 10 and 12 by armed assailants of Fulani ethnicity on remote communities in southern Kaduna state. The attacks occurred despite a substantial security ... READ THIS STORY

  • TURKEY | CSW Concerned with Cathedral Decision     7.13.2020

    CSW is deeply concerned with the decision of the Turkish government to turn the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to a mosque, which risks heightening religious tensions and intolerance. The decision was announced July 10 by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after ... READ THIS STORY

  • CHINA | CSW Marks 709 Crackdown Anniversary           7.9.2020

    July 9 marked the fifth anniversary of China’s infamous 709 Crackdown in which over 300 lawyers, human rights defenders, and their colleagues and family members were detained, interrogated or imprisoned. The 709 Crackdown, named after the date ... READ THIS STORY

  • ERITREA | Christians Arrested at Gatherings                 7.9.2020

    Reports have emerged of the arrest and imprisonment of 45 people at Christian gatherings in Eritrea’s capital city, Asmara, in April and June 2020. There were 15 Christians arrested as they attended a worship service in a home in the Mai Chehot area of Asmara ... READ THIS STORY

  • PAKISTAN | Christian Homeowner Shot                             7.8.2020

    A Pakistani Christian homeowner has died from injuries after being shot several times by his neighbor. Nadeem Joseph and his mother-in-law Elizabeth Masih were shot several times on June 4 in their new home, just days after the family moved into ... READ THIS STORY

  • INDIA | Prayer Home Ransacked                                            7.7.2020

    Two Christian families from Dassmora village, Azamgarh District, Uttar Pradesh, were forced to flee their village July 4, leaving their homes and livestock behind amid fears for their lives. Christians in the village began to experience harassment on July 2, when a mob... READ THI STORY

  • NIGERIA | Boko Haram Attacks Unreported                     7.3.2020

    The Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) reported that Boko Haram terrorists carried out over “50 different attacks on different communities between the end of 2019 to June 2020,” most of which were “unreported or under ... READ THIS STORY

  • SUDAN | Renewed Protests Call for Reform                   7.1.2020

    Protesters gathered in several cities, towns and villages across Sudan on June 30 to commemorate the first anniversary of a power-sharing deal between the military and civilians, and to demand an acceleration in democratic reforms and the transition towards civilian ... READ THIS STORY