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


AZERBAIJAN: Fines follow police raids on worship

December 15, 2017

By Felix Corley | Forum 18 Azerbaijan continues to raid religious communities meeting without state permission, and large fines are normally then imposed. After one such raid an Aliabad Baptist has been told he must pay a fine of over three months average salary by the end of 2017. Despite never receiving a written decision […]


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Over 800,000 call on UN to protect Christians in Middle East

December 15, 2017

By World Watch Monitor A petition signed by more than 800,000 people will be presented at the United Nations in New York today (12 December), calling for the protection of Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria, and recognition of the key role faith leaders can play in rebuilding efforts post-Islamic State. The ‘Hope […]


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Mali: ‘Christians can simply be slaughtered’

December 15, 2017

By World Watch Monitor Sory* was threatened by Islamists when they heard about his work at a church in Djalloube, central Mali, and fled, leaving his family traumatised. “I started to face serious problems when the Islamists heard about me and the conversion of some of the people [from Islam to Christianity],” Sory says. “They […]


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Is Putin’s ‘education to patriotism’ bill another endorsement of Russian Orthodox Church?

December 1, 2017

By World Watch Monitor A new law on “education to patriotism” set to be introduced in Russia on New Year’s Day is a further sign of Russia distancing itself from the West, but is not necessarily a sign of President Vladimir Putin favouring one Church over another, according to an analyst for the Christian charity […]


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Pakistan army called on to stop ‘blasphemy’ clashes in Islamabad

December 1, 2017

By BBC News Pakistan’s government has called for troops to be deployed in the capital, Islamabad, after violence broke out during protests by Islamists. About 200 people were injured when security forces tried to disperse an Islamist sit-in at the Faizabad Interchange – a key highway. Several deaths have been reported. The protesters have been […]


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Kidnapped British missionary was shot dead by Nigerian gang after singing Amazing Grace to lift fellow captives’ spirits

November 29, 2017

By Iain Burns | Daily Mail A British optician kidnapped in Nigeria was murdered after playing ‘Amazing Grace’ on guitar to cheer up his fellow captives. Ian Squire, 57, was among four Christian missionaries seized by a gang during a raid in the early hours of October 13 in the country’s southern Delta state. Details […]


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Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy protests showcase minorities’ plight

November 29, 2017

By Asif Aqeel | World Watch Monitor Anti-blasphemy protests in Pakistan have once again highlighted the fragile position of the country’s religious minorities. Life in various parts of Pakistan virtually came to a halt on Saturday (25 November) after the police, paramilitary and other law enforcement agencies clashed with rioters in the capital, Islamabad, resulting […]


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Analysis: Cardinal Rai begins strategic call for Saudi religious freedom

November 29, 2017

By Andrea Gagliarducci | Catholic News Agency Vatican City, Nov 28, 2017 / 08:00 pm (CNA).- The first cardinal to be officially invited to visit Saudi Arabia, Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, has begun a strategic call for religious tolerance among the Saudi Arabian royal family. “I mentioned the importance of the […]


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Pope Francis calls on Myanmar to improve human rights, without mentioning Rohingya

November 29, 2017

By Thu Thu Aung | Reuters Pope Francis on Tuesday urged the leaders of majority-Buddhist Myanmar, mired in a crisis over the fate of Muslim Rohingya people, to commit themselves to justice, human rights and respect for “each ethnic group and its identity.” The pope avoided a diplomatic backlash by not using the highly charged […]


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Algerian church closed for ‘illegally printing Bibles and material intended for evangelism’

November 22, 2017

By World Watch Monitor A church in Algeria’s north-western town of Aïn Turk (15km from Oran city) has been closed down by local authorities. The church, affiliated to the Protestant Church of Algeria (known as EPA, its French acronym), was sealed off by police on 9 November. Authorities in Oran claimed the church had been […]


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US tells Sudan to ‘immediately suspend’ church demolitions

November 22, 2017

By World Watch Monitor The US Deputy Secretary of State has called on Sudan to “immediately suspend” its demolition of churches and to hold a roundtable discussion with Christian leaders to resolve disputes. John J. Sullivan, speaking at the Al-Neelain Mosque in Omdurman on Friday (17 November), said “the treatment of members of religious minorities […]


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KAZAKHSTAN: Six more arrests for sharing faith

November 17, 2017

By Felix Corley, Forum 18 Six more Sunni Muslims were arrested in a “special operation” in the central city of Karaganda [Qaraghandy] on 30 October. All six are being investigated on criminal charges of participation in the activities of the Muslim missionary movement Tabligh Jamaat, which was banned in Kazakhstan in 2013. A court ordered […]


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Vietnam wrestles with Christianity

November 17, 2017

By Seb Rumsby | The Diplomat Upland Vietnam has witnessed a remarkable religious transformation within one marginalized ethnic minority in the past three decades. Since the 1980s, where Protestant Christianity was virtually unheard of in Vietnam’s northern highlands, an estimated 300,000 out of the 1 million ethnic Hmong in Vietnam are now Christians. Over time, […]


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‘We are going to kill you’: Villagers in Burma recount violence by Rohingya Muslim militants

November 17, 2017

By Annie Gowen | The Washington Post SITTWE, Burma — The Hindu woman wept as she vowed never to return home, where she said Rohingya militants slaughtered her son, daughter-in-law and three granddaughters in August. “They killed my family,” Halu Bar Hla, 70, said through tears at a camp for internally displaced people in western […]


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Pakistani Christian sent to prison for ‘insulting Islam’ despite mental ill-health

November 14, 2017

By Asif Aqeel | World Watch Monitor A Christian man was arrested on the day of his son’s funeral in Pakistan last weekend, and charged with insulting Islam – blasphemy – despite being recognised as mentally ill. He is now in prison. Iqbal Masih, 65, a retired father of nine, is from the Fazlia Colony […]


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China deports hundreds of South Korean Christians for helping persecuted North Koreans

November 14, 2017

By Veronica Neffinger | Christian Headlines China’s government is not only cracking down on its own Christian citizens, it is also targeting South Koreans who are in the country and allegedly helped persecuted North Koreans who escaped Kim Jong-un’s oppressive regime. According to The Christian Post, the Chinese provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang have […]


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Yazidis in Iraq: ‘The genocide is ongoing’

November 10, 2017

Samira Shackle | Al Jazeera Khanke camp, northern Iraq – Wahda cannot sleep. During the day, she and her husband are busy caring for their 10 daughters and two sons inside Khanke camp for displaced Iraqis, located in the country’s north. It is at night that the memories come. “I stay awake just thinking, and […]


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Why is Burma driving out the Rohingya — and not its other despised minorities?

November 10, 2017

By Navine Murshid | Washington Post Why is Burma attacking only the Rohingya? As the Burmese military drives out upward of 600,000 Rohingya in what one United Nations official called “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” most media analyses correctly highlight ethno-religious discrimination and economic motives. But that leaves us with the question: Why only […]


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Concerned Canadians successfully force Liberals to back down on Bill C-51

November 9, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Ottawa, ON – David Anderson, Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills—Grasslands and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Human Rights and Religious Freedom, today congratulated concerned Canadians for their efforts in pressuring the Liberal government to maintain Section 176 of the Criminal Code. “It appears that the Liberals have backed away from a troubling […]


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Sudan: Two church leaders fined, trial of five others postponed

November 8, 2017

By World Watch Monitor Two Sudanese church leaders have been found guilty of criminal misappropriation and trespass, following a long-running dispute over church land and property. Rafat Samir, chairman of the Lands and Buildings Committee of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC), and Daniel William, the deputy chairman, were each fined 5,000 Sudanese pounds (approximately […]


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