Persecution
VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images

Uighurs on Twitter

China | Brewing anger over detention of a famous singer and other Uighur minorities sparks a new social media campaign
by June Cheng
Posted 2/14/19, 12:55 pm

Most Muslim countries have remained silent since reports began circulating last year about the Chinese government’s detention of 1 million Muslim Uighur minorities in Xinjiang, China’s semi-autonomous region in the Northwest. Many of those same countries have close trade ties with China. 

Yet on Saturday, Turkey condemned China for holding hundreds of thousands of Uighurs in re-education camps, where they face “torture and political brainwashing.” The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the reintroduction of internment camps a “great shame for humanity.”

Read more

Jens Kalaene/Picture-Alliance/DPA/AP

Prayer and protest

Europe | A draconian bill on religion goes down to defeat in Bulgaria
by Jenny Lind Schmitt
Posted 2/14/19, 11:40 am

In a dramatic turnabout rarely seen in formerly communist Eastern Europe, the Bulgarian parliament passed a law protecting the liberties of the country’s religious minorities on the final day of its 2018 session.

The original version of the bill threatened to restrict the rights of religious groups representing less than 1 percent of the population—which included at least 100 of the country’s growing evangelical churches. How the turnaround happened—through eight weeks of prayer vigils and organized protests—is a lesson for other threatened believers.

Read more

Mark Schiefelbein/AP

Holiday in jail

Persecution | While most residents of China celebrate Chinese New Year, 14 church members remain in state custody
by June Cheng
Posted 2/07/19, 11:36 am

The world’s largest annual migration is currently underway as Chinese people return home to celebrate Chinese New Year this week. Chinese citizens are expected to make a whopping 2.99 billion trips by train, plane, and automobile between Jan. 21 and March 1, according to Lian Weiliang, the deputy director of China’s National Development and Reform Commission. 

Read more