Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) 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 – in fact, it’s one of the most widely-violated human rights in the world.
We think this is unacceptable. We’re working to change it. Our vision is of a world where everyone is free to choose their beliefs – to hold and practise any religion they like, or none at all.
We are specialists in freedom of religion or belief
We’re passionate about everyone’s right to complete freedom in their religious or non-religious beliefs. We believe this right is fundamental to the proper functioning of a democratic society. Almost every country in the world has promised to protect, respect and fulfil the right to freedom of religion or belief through the international human rights framework, yet it’s still one of the most widely-violated human rights. So we challenge world leaders, through our advocacy, to keep their promises to protect religious freedom. We support and stand with people facing violations of their religious freedom. And we train and equip hundreds around the world in how to advocate for their rights themselves.
Our team of international specialists in the field of freedom of religion or belief give us a unique expertise. We are a voice for justice, and we campaign for religious freedom for everyone – for people from all backgrounds of religion or belief. However, because Christians are globally the most persecuted religious group, we prioritise working for Christians of all denominations and traditions.
We are respected and trusted advocacy experts
Over three decades of advocating for religious freedom with politicians and world leaders, we’ve earned a reputation for providing trustworthy and reliable information.
Decision-makers at the UK parliament, United Nations, European Union and US Congress turn to us to provide them with accurate reports on the state of religious freedom around the world. We’re known for putting across a balanced view of each situation, without exaggeration. Thorough research and evidence-based analysis is the cornerstone of everything we do.
We build capacity at a local level
We speak up for millions of people around the world who are denied the right to religious freedom. But by itself, this won’t be enough. People need to be able to speak up for themselves more effectively.
That’s why a major part of our work is providing human rights advocacy training to communities and activists worldwide. We offer training in the basics of international human rights law, and in particular freedom of religion or belief, and how to document human rights abuses effectively, for example.
We engage and equip churches and supporters in the UK and overseas
As well as our advocacy work, CSW also seeks to engage churches and supporters in the UK and overseas.
- Encourage those who are in prison, under house arrest or being persecuted for their faith by writing letters and cards to them using our Connect and Encourage resource. The people we help consistently tell us that messages form CSW supporters keep them going in times of trial.
“A flood of letters and cards arriving from across the world…each caring, affectionate, supportive message is like water in a dry land.” Pastor Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso, Cuba, detained on numerous occasions because of his activities as a church leader
- Campaign for religious freedom. In 2013 our 10,000 people took part in our Operation 18 campaign which had a focus on the right for people to convert.
- Pray for individuals, communities and nations. Prayer is at the heart of all we do, and is often the first response when we meet people facing oppression or persecution.
We work hard to ensure that everything we do is going to be effective in fighting religious freedom violations.
This applies to our political advocacy and the campaigning actions we ask our supporters to take. We want to make the most of every resource we’re given and every partnership we’ve made, so we consider carefully how best to respond to each situation we work on, in order that we can make the biggest difference possible for people who suffer for their beliefs.
We have seen some amazing successes, not least the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry in to the human rights situation in North Korea. See our latest annual report to read more about our most recent work.
We have Christian values at our heart
As an organisation we are proud of our Christian heritage, identity and values. This means that we believe in the power of prayer to transform situations, and we encourage our supporters to join us in praying for the cases and issues we work on.
"CSW is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice."