Religious Freedom News Clippings

With the advancement of social media, the internet news allows us to see the immediate effects of religious intolerance. Suicide bombings, attacks on individuals, and recent debates on the role of religion in society spotlight that this is an issue for many countries.

Please note that the news clippings listed here and the religions they represent are not exhaustive but will grow as we add more articles. If have a link to a story that you would like us to consider including on this page, please email it to us at david.anderson.a1@parl.ca.ca.


MOST RECENT NEWS CLIPPINGS ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM


Respecting Rights: Measuring the World’s Blasphemy Laws

August 17, 2017

By (UK) All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief 71 of the world’s 195 countries have blasphemy laws. Penalties for violating blasphemy laws in these countries can range from fines to imprisonment and death. USCIRF’s latest report examines and compares the content of laws prohibiting blasphemy worldwide. Blasphemy is defined as “the […]


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USCIRF Welcomes the State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2016

August 17, 2017

Press Release by USCIRF USCIRF chairman describes the report as “an important resource on religious freedom conditions globally” WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) commended the State Department for its release of its annual International Religious Freedom Report. Covering 2016, this publication documents religious freedom conditions in almost 200 countries, […]


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Ethiopia: church attacked, then told to close and member arrested for ‘inciting religious clashes’

August 15, 2017

By World Watch Monitor A Pentecostal church in Ethiopia has been ordered to stop meeting in a residential area, in the wake of a mob attack on the church, after which a church member was arrested for “illegal activities” that “incited religious clashes”. The Full Gospel Church in Tikil Dingaye, 20km from the historic city […]


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Protestant pastor jailed for 3 years for extremism in Tajikistan

August 15, 2017

By Interfax Religion A pastor of the Korean Christian Church Sonmin Sunbogym was sentenced for three years of imprisonment on charges of extremism in northern Tajikistan. The sentence had been handed down to the pastor in late July, but it became known only now, local media said. Bakhrom Kholmatov, aged 42, was detained, following an […]


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Another Indian state criminalizes religious conversion

August 15, 2017

By Saji Thomas | UCA News The eastern Indian state of Jharkhand has passed a law criminalizing religious conversions despite similar laws in six other states being used by hard-line Hindu groups to target Christians. The bill passed the state legislative assembly on Aug. 12. Critics see irony in the title of the Religious Freedom […]


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Update: Freedom of Religion or Belief in Cuba

August 10, 2017

By Christian Solidarity Worldwide Between January and July 2017 Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) continued to receive multiple reports of violations of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) in Cuba. Christians across a wide range of denominations have been affected, including members of the Roman Catholic Church, the Apostolic Movement, the East and West Baptist Conventions, […]


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The Toxic Impact of Indonesia’s Abusive Blasphemy Law

August 10, 2017

By Andreas Harsono Donald Ignatius Suyanto, a chef living on the Hindu-majority island of Bali, on March 21, 2016 uploaded a video to YouTube in which he questioned the integrity of the Islamic shahada, or statement of faith. That prompted complaints from some Muslim bloggers and on July 27, 2017, police arrested Suyanto for blasphemy. […]


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Facebook was where Pakistan could debate religion. Now it’s a tool to punish ‘blasphemers’

July 28, 2017

By Sune Engel Rasmussen and Julia Carrie Wong | The Guardian Taimoor Raza, a 30-year-old Shia Muslim from a “poor but literate” family, was sentenced to death in June by an anti-terrorist court in Pakistan. His crime? Allegedly insulting the prophet Muhammad on Facebook. It occurred during an online debate with a man who turned […]


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Crimea: One year of Russian “anti-missionary” punishments

July 26, 2017

By Felix Corley | Forum 18 One year on from the introduction of penalties in Russia for ill-defined “missionary activity” – which the Russian authorities also impose in Crimea, which they occupied in March 2014 – Forum 18 found 13 such administrative cases brought in Crimea against individuals (Article 5.26, Part 4). Eight of these […]


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Turkey: Malatya murderers’ 39-year prison sentences upheld

July 26, 2017

By Barbara G. Baker | World Watch Monitor Six months after five Turkish men were convicted of the grisly murders of three Christians in southeast Turkey ten years ago, an appeals court has upheld their three consecutive life sentences in prison. The regional Gaziantep 3rd Criminal Court of Appeals decision on 18 July confirmed the […]


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C-51 Call to Action: Defend Religious Freedom in Canada

July 14, 2017

  I would like to take the time to reiterate my concerns with Liberal Bill C-51 and provide Canadians with ways in which they can voice their concerns. For those who have not heard, Bill C-51 would, among other things, remove Section 176 from Canada’s Criminal Code – the only provision that specifically protects the […]


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UAE slams Al-Jazeera for anti-Semitism, inciting hate

July 14, 2017

By Al-Monitor A top UAE official on Wednesday accused Qatari broadcast giant Al-Jazeera of anti-Semitism, discrimination and inciting religious hate, in a rebuttal to UN accusations of attacking freedom of expression. The United Nations has warned that demands that Qatar close Al-Jazeera by a rival Saudi Arabian-led alliance, which includes the UAE, violate basic freedoms. […]


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Malaysian state introduces public caning for sharia crimes

July 14, 2017

By Rozanna Latiff | Reuters KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A Malaysian state amended its Islamic laws on Wednesday to allow public canings, sparking criticism that the change was unconstitutional and could infringe on the rights of religious minorities. Ethnic Malay Muslims make up more than 60 percent of Malaysia’s 32 million people and attempts to […]


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India Supreme Court suspends cattle slaughter ban

July 14, 2017

By BBC News India’s Supreme Court has suspended a law that would have banned the sale of cattle for slaughter nationwide. The government order aimed to “prevent uncontrolled and unregulated animal trade” at livestock markets. For the first time the sale for slaughter of buffaloes and camels as well as cows, which Hindus consider holy, […]


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Rash of sentences ‘shows government’s fear of growth of Christianity in Iran’

July 12, 2017

By World Watch Monitor Four more Christians received lengthy jail sentences in Iran last week, it has emerged, taking the total number sentenced in the last month to 12. Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie, Mohammad Reza Omidi and Youcef Nadarkhani were each sentenced to ten years in prison. Omidi and Nadarkhani – a pastor who previously […]


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Mexico a ‘case study in government inaction’ as third priest killed this year

July 12, 2017

By World Watch Monitor A third Mexican priest this year has been killed following a violent attack at his parish just outside Mexico City. Luis Lopez Villa, 71, was killed by intruders at his San Isidro Labrador parish in Nezahualcóyotl on 5 July. An initial police report said his hands and feet were bound with […]


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At least 6 Hindu pilgrims killed in militant attack in Indian Kashmir

July 12, 2017

By Fayaz Bukhari | Religion News Service SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) — Six Hindu pilgrims, most of them women, were killed in a gunbattle that erupted in Indian Kashmir on Monday (July 10) after two militant attacks on police. The pilgrims were in a bus on their way back from the Amarnath shrine deep in the […]


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Iran sentences four more Christians to 10 years in jail for ‘missionary activities’

July 7, 2017

By World Watch Monitor One Iranian and three Azerbaijani Christians have been found guilty of “missionary activities” and “actions against national security” in Iran and sentenced to 10 years in prison. World Watch Monitor understands that the three Azerbaijanis – Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov – are unlikely to serve their sentences because […]


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TURKEY: Turkey seizes 50 Assyrian churches and monasteries, declares them state property

July 7, 2017

By Patrick Poole | Assyrian International News Agency The Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has seized control of at least 50 Syriac churches, monasteries, and cemeteries in Mardin province, report media sources from Turkey. The Turkish-Armenian daily Agos reports: After Mardin became a Metropolitan Municipality, its villages were officially turned into neighbourhoods as per […]


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Hungarian Jews ask PM Orban to end ‘bad dream’ of anti-Semitism

July 7, 2017

By Marton Dunai | Reuters Hungarian Jews said on Thursday Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s billboard campaign against migration and foreign influence, using the image of U.S. financier George Soros, was a proxy for anti-Semitism. They urged the nationalist Orban to halt the campaign. “Please make sure this bad dream ends as soon as possible,” Andras […]


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