Monday, 20 January 2014


As Egyptians began two days of voting in a referendum on a new constitution, the General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK issued a call for three days of prayer for peace and safety. 

In a statement released on 14 January, His Grace Bishop Angaelos said, “With Egyptians venturing out to proactively live this new spirit of ownership and citizenship, we pray they are safe in doing so and that they see Egypt move to the next stage of this constitutional and democratic process.” 

The Bishop’s call to prayer comes amidst continuing security concerns across the country, with masked gunmen shooting at a church in Fayoum, Cairo early on 14 January, and reports of several killed or injured in clashes with security forces. 

With Egyptians abroad having already voted overwhelmingly in favour of the constitution on 12 January, the referendum is widely expected to result in its acceptance.  Egypt’s army chief General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has hinted he may run for the presidency in the event of a strong “yes” vote.

Groups and individuals from across the political and religious spectrum have called for participation in the referendum, including the Grand Imam of al-Azhar University, Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the spokesman of the Salafi al-Nour Party, and representatives of the church, including Coptic Pope Tawadros II, Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, and Vice-President of the Protestant Community of Egypt, Andrea Zaki. However, some have boycotted the referendum, including the Muslim Brotherhood-led Anti-Coup Alliance and the Strong Egypt Party. In a continuation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s demonization of the Coptic community as being responsible for the removal of former President Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood website is focusing on the high turnout of Coptic voters.  

The period leading up to the referendum has been marred by the arrests of prominent activists, "No" campaigners, and journalists.

While the new constitution removes several controversial articles which would have paved the way for a restrictive interpretation of Shari’a law, the provisions for freedom of religion or belief remain applicable to Muslims, Christians, and Jews only. However, direct references to international human rights statutes would appear to illustrate a commitment to uphold this and other rights. 

Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christianity Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), said, “As the people of Egypt continue to vote, we join in prayers for a peaceful process. We welcome the positive signs of religious inclusivity shown by the interim leaders of Egypt, as illustrated by the unprecedented visit of the Interim President, Adly Mansour, to Coptic Pope Tawadros II on 5 January. There is consensus around the need to establish a stable society based on the rule of law, justice and tolerance for dissenting views. CSW encourages the Egyptian authorities to continue with the timely implementation of the rest of the transitional roadmap, and to facilitate the emergence of an inclusive and just society."
For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email or visit

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

CSW Nigeria: INDIA: ( capital – New Delhi )Population :   1.23...

CSW Nigeria: INDIA: ( capital – New Delhi )
Population :   1.23...
: INDIA : ( capital – New Delhi ) Population :   1.237 billion. Official Language:   Hindi Language ,   English Language. ...

Monday, 13 January 2014

INDIA : ( capital – New Delhi )

Population :   1.237 billion.
Official Language:  Hindi Language, English Language.
Religion : Hinduism, which makes up about 80% ,about 0.4% of the population identifies as a Jain and only about 0.7% of the population is Buddhist.   Another religion found in India is Sikhism, which makes up about 2% of the population.  Islam makes up about 12% of the population, which is the second largest religion in the country.  Christianity only makes up about 2.5% of the population.
Location : South Asia

1.       Pray for freedom of religion In India as the major religion is Hinduism as Christians could be arrested for as little as handing out Christian pamphlets.
2.       Christians in India continue to experience rising levels of persecution as Hindu nationalist gain influence in the country’s government and society.
3.        The Christian community in India continue to feel insecure and frustrated because of official discrimination especially  the  government of Orissa , who have proven in the past to  anti-Christian biases .
4.       Pray for our sisters in Christ who are being  abducted , raped , forced into conversion and marriage or even sold into sexual slavery.
5.       Pray for children as they are often left with scarcely enough provision to survive when their fathers and mothers are martyred or imprisoned for their faith.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

CUBA: Religious Freedom Violations Continued To Increase In 2013.

CSW has renewed its call for Cuban leader Raul Castro to ensure that significant improvements are made in upholding religious freedom in 2014, after research showed a steady increase in religious freedom violations across Cuba in 2013 as the result of an ongoing government crackdown on religious organisations and individuals. 

CSW documented 185 reported cases of religious freedom in 2013, up from a total of 120 in 2012. Many of the individual documented cases involved entire churches and denominations and large numbers of people. While Roman Catholic churches reported the highest number of violations, mostly involving the arrest and arbitrary detention of parishioners attempting to attend church activities, other denominations and religious groups were also affected. Baptist, Pentecostal and Methodist churches in different parts of the country reported consistent harassment and pressure from state security agents. Additionally, government officials continued to refuse to register some groups, including the large Protestant network the “Apostolic Movement”, threatening affiliated churches with closure.

Church leaders in different parts of the country reported ongoing violations in the final weeks of the year. On 20 December, six members of an inter-denominational protestant group were beaten and imprisoned for nine hours in a windowless cell with no ventilation or light after attempting to carry out open air evangelism in the city of Bayamo. A few days later, on 22 December, 60 women affiliated with the Ladies in White movement were arrested in the early hours of the morning and held in prisons, police patrol cars and police stations across the country to prevent them from attending Sunday morning Mass.

Based on the documentation and information received from church leaders, the Cuban government seemed most concerned with control over religious groups, some of the only established independent civil society organisations tolerated by the regime. Various denominations told CSW that they are under heavy pressure from the Office of Religious Affairs of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party to change internal governing structures, statutes and constitutions to make them less democratic and therefore easier to control. The government also announced that in 2014, bank accounts would be restricted to one per denomination or religious association; individual churches will no longer be permitted to maintain their finances independently.

The government continued to push religious groups to expel or bar Cubans associated with human rights or pro-democracy groups from their congregations. Religious groups that refused to comply with these government demands saw their bank accounts frozen and entire dominations found their requests to receive foreign visitors on religious visas denied.

There were some improvements, notably in the elimination of the need for Cubans to receive an exit visa, or ‘white card’ from the Cuban government in order to travel abroad. However, while many church leaders were able to travel outside Cuba for the first time some continued to see their right to travel curtailed. At least two leaders in the Apostolic Movement were informed in 2013 that they would not be permitted to leave Cuba with no reason given.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “We are deeply concerned by the continued deterioration in religious freedom over the past year in Cuba. Each Sunday the government continues to violate the most basic of rights: the right to freely participate in religious services and form part of a religious community without interference. We are particularly concerned at attempts by the government to exert control over the internal affairs of religious groups, and specifically at the new regulation that limits entire denominations and religious associations to one bank account. Given that the government runs the bank and regularly freezes the accounts of individual churches as a way to exert pressure or punish them, this is an extremely worrying development. The Cuban government’s claims of reform and respect for human rights cannot be taken seriously unless these violations are addressed and real protections for religious freedom for all put in place. Once again we urge Raul Castro to make this a priority of the government in 2014.”
For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email or visit

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

Monday, 6 January 2014

China: Harassment Of Lawyers, Church Members In Henan In Christmas Week.

Church members, lawyers and Christians visiting the family of detained Protestant Pastor Zhang Shaojie were beaten, harassed and detained by “hired thugs”, police and government agencies on 23 and 24 December 2013.

On 23 December, Pastor Cao Nan of Shenzhen, who had travelled to Nanle in Henan province to conduct a service to pray for and rally support for Pastor Zhang’s case, was dragged from his car by local police, who beat him. He was then taken to a police station where he had pepper spray sprayed into his eyes, according to an interview with Radio Free Asia and reports by Chinese Human Rights Defenders.

Then on 24 December, lawyers representing the Nanle church detainees, along with some Christians, were prevented from leaving Pastor Zhang Shaojie’s home. When one of the lawyers tried to leave the next day, a group of “hired thugs” surrounding the house forcibly took away his legal documents, mobile phone, identification papers and other items. Others were physically attacked when they tried to leave.

Pastor Zhang and over 20 members of Nanle County Christian Church, Henan, which belongs to the state-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement, were detained without formal documentation on 16 November 2013. Since Pastor Zhang’s detention, lawyers representing the detainees have repeatedly been prevented from meeting their clients and foreign journalists covering the case have also been intimidated and harassed. 

According to further reports from China Aid, Pastor Zhang’s family and the church itself are under constant surveillance, and government agencies have blocked church members and visiting Christians from entering the church building. In addition, China Aid reported several cases of harassment and restrictions against unregistered churches in other provinces, including warnings from authorities (Guangdong), pressure to cancel Christmas events (Shandong), and disruption of meetings using tear gas (Sichuan). 

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “The harassment, intimidation and physical attacks against lawyers and church members in Nanle is a clear violation of their human rights and further undermines the rule of law. Rather than responding swiftly to the lawyers’ requests to meet with their clients, local officials have used violence, threats and intimidation to attempt to silence them. We urge the relevant authorities to immediately cease all attacks on the Nanle church members’ lawyers, relatives and visiting Christians, to grant lawyers access to their clients, and to allow the church to meet together freely.”

New Year Greetings.

0n behalf of the Board of trustees, CEO,Staff and Volunteers of Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria, we send you warm wishes and usher you into the year with blessings from above .May God who cares about us and guides us shower you with more love and protection in 2014 and the years ahead.

keep partnering through prayers, funding and yes you could be a volunteer.

"Now the God of peace himself give you peace always"
2 Thessalonians 3:16