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


Bill C-51: Removing protection of religious freedom

June 23, 2017

As your Member of Parliament, I wanted to write to express my concern over a recent Bill that the Liberal government has introduced into the House of Commons, Bill C-51. I would like to draw your attention to one clause in Bill C-51 that took me aback. Clause 14 of the new Bill proposes to […]


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Chinese officials pressure Christians to confess participation in ‘evil cult’ activities

June 22, 2017

Jardine Malado | Christian Times Chinese officials have allegedly forced Christians incarcerated in China’s southern Guangdong province to confess that they had participated in “evil cult” activities. According to China Aid, authorities arrested a Christian man named Ruan Haonan and took him to the police station on June 12. Ruan, a member of Fengle Church […]


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Cow ban in India faces backlash for restricting religious freedom

June 22, 2017

By Derek Welch | World Religion News The ban on cow-slaughter has been called for by Hindu extremists for a long time now and has finally happened under the regime of Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister, known for his endorsements of Hindu extremism. The cow is considered sacred to Hindus in India because the milk […]


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Vietnamese Bishops alarmed by the new religious law

June 22, 2017

By Joseph Nguyen Hung | Herald Malaysia Online “The government’s Law on Beliefs and Religions has some innovative and positive points. However, there are many aspects that worry us and alarm us,” say Vietnam’s Catholic bishops in a statement that raises doubts about legislation set to come into effect on 1st January 2018. Despite biases […]


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Eritrea arrests another 22 Christians

June 19, 2017

By World Watch Monitor The number of Eritrean Christians arrested since the beginning of May has risen to more than 120, according to charities Open Doors and Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). World Watch Monitor first reported on the fresh wave of arrests on 26 May, at which stage over 90 people had been arrested. Now […]


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Germany’s first liberal mosque opens in Berlin

June 19, 2017

By Stefan Dege | Deutsche Welle Opening its doors Friday on the third floor of St. John’s Church near Berlin’s Tiergarten, the Ruschd-Goethe mosque is named in honor of the Arabic Islam scholar, physician and philosopher Ibn Ruschd (1126-1198), and the German poet and philosopher, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). Women and men shall pray […]


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Mexico still ‘most dangerous country to be a priest’

June 15, 2017

By World Watch Monitor A bishop forced to pay protection money to use his own cathedral is the latest example of why, for the eighth year running, Mexico is considered the most dangerous country to be a Catholic priest. The Catholic Media Centre’s latest annual report says at least 15 priest have been murdered in […]


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Church destroyed, Christians detained in China’s Henan province

June 15, 2017

My Matt Hadro | Catholic News Agency SHANGQIU, China – Local authorities in China’s Henan province reportedly destroyed a Christian church building last month, beating parishioners who tried to stop the demolition and detaining 40, the group China Aid says. “The church was completely razed, and a church member likened the scene to the Japanese […]


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Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia intensifies and targets children

June 6, 2017

By Lauren Markoe | Religion News Service (RNS) Teachers have humiliated Jehovah’s Witness children in front of their classmates. Arsonists have burned Witnesses’ homes. Security forces have raided their meeting halls. Since the Russian Supreme Court on April 20 declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist group, its members have faced increasing harassment from both authorities […]


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Political stalemate holds US pastor ‘hostage’ in Turkish jail

June 5, 2017

By Barbara G. Baker | World Watch Monitor Comments this week from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan increased speculation that Turkey has been holding jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson hostage since last October in order to extract political concessions from the United States. Addressing the parliamentary assembly of his ruling Justice and Development Party on […]


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Beijing limiting freedoms, prohibits observance of holy month in Tibet

June 2, 2017

By Molly Lortie | Tibet Post International Dharamshala — Sources in Tibet have reported that Chinese authorities have further imposed restrictions to religious freedoms by denying students, teachers and faculty a holiday during Sakadawa, the holy month of the Buddha and prohibiting observance even at home. In new reports that echo tones of the Cultural […]


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Muslims protest closure of religious schools in Myanmar

June 2, 2017

By Kyaw Ye Lynn | Anadolu Agency Muslim residents in Myanmar’s largest city Wednesday protested the closure of their two religious schools as they have fewer place for worship in the month of Ramadan — the ninth and holiest month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Local authorities — following negotiations with local Muslim leaders — […]


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Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia intensifies and targets children

June 2, 2017

By Lauren Markoe | Religion News Service (RNS) Teachers have humiliated Jehovah’s Witness children in front of their classmates. Arsonists have burned Witnesses’ homes. Security forces have raided their meeting halls. Since the Russian Supreme Court on April 20 declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist group, its members have faced increasing harassment from both authorities […]


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Christian persecution in North Korea is ‘on Par With Nero’s Rome,’ says human rights activist

May 29, 2017

By Jardine Malado | The Christian Times A prominent human rights activist has said that the level of persecution experienced by Christians in North Korea is comparable to the persecution faced by the Early Christian Church in ancient Rome under Emperor Nero. At a conference organized by the religious freedom advocacy group International Christian Concern […]


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Azeris fined and detained for selling religious books

May 26, 2017

By World Watch Monitor New cases have emerged of Azerbaijanis facing heavy fines and imprisonment for trying to sell or distribute religious literature. The South Caucasus state, which supposedly allows religious freedoms under its secular constitution, has made it difficult in the past for Christians to practise their faith. In December 2016 two church leaders […]


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Myanmar failing to stop spread of religious violence, UN envoy says

May 26, 2017

By Poppy McPherson | The Guardian Myanmar must do more to prevent the drastic escalation of religious intolerance and violence following clashes between ultranationalist Buddhists and minority Muslims in Yangon, a senior United Nations envoy has said. Speaking to the Guardian, Yanghee Lee, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, called on the […]


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Jakarta’s Christian ex-governor drops blasphemy appeal ‘for sake of the people’

May 26, 2017

By World Watch Monitor Jakarta’s Christian ex-governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (also known as “Ahok”), has withdrawn his appeal against his two-year prison sentence for blasphemy in a controversial case that has challenged religious pluralism in Indonesia, with repeated clashes between Ahok’s supporters and radical Islamic groups. It was for this reason, said Ahok, that he […]


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Turkmenistan’s secret additions to already restrictive Religion Law

May 24, 2017

By World Watch Monitor It’s been over a year since the Central Asian state of Turkmenistan added further restrictions to its Religion Law, but the changes were introduced in such secrecy that few knew about them until well after the event. It wasn’t until January this year that regional news agency Forum 18 shed some […]


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Second church in 10 days torn down in Sudan

May 24, 2017

By World Watch Monitor A Sudan Church of Christ (SCOC) building has been demolished in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, ten days after the destruction of another SCOC building in nearby Soba, 12 miles south of the city Christian charity Middle East Concern (MEC) reports that the second demolition took place on 17 May in Khartoum’s Algadisia […]


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Egypt: Small signs challenging religious intolerance

May 24, 2017

By World Watch Monitor Recent developments in Egypt show that Pope Francis’ visit to its capital Cairo last month might have inspired a more vigilant approach to religious hate speech against Christians by religious leaders and the media alike. John L. Allen writes in the Catholic publication Crux that two recent signs suggest the visit […]


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