International

Adventist Pastor Abducted During Communion Service in Eastern Ukraine

On Sep­tem­ber 27, 2014, a Seventh-day Adven­tist pas­tor in east­ern Ukraine was abducted by gun­men as he was con­duct­ing a com­mu­nion ser­vice at a small church in Hor­livka. Accord­ing to parish­ioners, reports the Adven­tist Review, the gun­men refused to iden­tify them­selves or answer any ques­tions. They forced Pas­tor Sergei Litovchenko to close the church and get into a car. The church is try­ing to […]

 
 

Religious Liberty in China: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

People crowd famous Wangfujing snack street during National Day holiday on October 4, 2013 in Beijing, China - iStockPhoto / Getty Images

By Doug Bandow — Today China’s big cities look much like urban areas any­where in the world. There are lots of cars. What I didn’t expect was to see a Chris­t­ian “fish” on an auto.

Reli­gion is “on the rise,” one U.S. diplo­mat told me.

It also is under attack by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. As I wrote in the Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor online: “When it comes to reli­gious lib­erty in the People’s Repub­lic of China, there’s the (sur­pris­ingly fre­quent) good, (not so con­stant) bad, and (still too often) ugly.”

 
 

RUSSIA: “We still cry when we remember the burned books” (Forum 18)

RUSSIA: “We still cry when we remember the burned books” (Forum 18)

A Tatarstan court had to reject the prosecutor’s suit to have a fur­ther 18 books by or about the Turk­ish Islamic the­olo­gian Said Nursi declared “extrem­ist” as police had already burned them. Accord­ing to a police let­ter seen by Forum 18 News Ser­vice, police claim not to have received a court deci­sion order­ing their return to the owner, Nakiya Shar­i­ful­lina, who had con­tro­ver­sially been con­victed for “extrem­ist” activ­ity. “We still cry when we remem­ber the burned books,” a local Mus­lim told Forum 18, adding that they “asked God that these peo­ple repent for their actions, since in these books were verses of the Holy Koran”. Four fur­ther Nursi titles, plus more Jehovah’s Wit­ness pub­li­ca­tions, have been declared “extrem­ist” and banned. Web­sites or pages that host reli­gious mate­ri­als con­tro­ver­sially banned as “extrem­ist” have sim­i­larly been banned and added to Russia’s Reg­is­ter of Banned Sites.

 
 

Sudanese Christian Woman Detained at Airport after Release from Prison

Sudanese Christian Woman Detained at Airport after Release from Prison

Fox News is report­ing that 24 hours after she was released from prison, Miriam Ibrahim, the 27-year-old Chris­t­ian woman who had been arrested and sen­tenced to death for refus­ing to con­vert to Islam, has now been re-arrested. An Islamic court of apos­tasy had con­victed her for refus­ing to embrace Islam and for com­mit­ting adul­tery by mar­ry­ing her Chris­t­ian hus­band, Daniel Wani, […]

 
 

Prince Charles Writes on Plight of Christians in the Middle East

"Prince Charles" by Dan Marsh - Flikr - CC

By Prince Charles — For more than twenty years, I have tried to build bridges between Islam and Chris­tian­ity and to dis­pel igno­rance and mis­un­der­stand­ing between them. Islam is the sec­ond largest faith com­mu­nity in the world and the sec­ond largest in Britain, and so bridges between Islam and Chris­tian­ity are some­thing that must con­cern every respon­si­ble person.

 
 

North Korean Leader Reportedly Orders Death of 33 Christians

North Korean Leader Reportedly Orders Death of 33 Christians

Last week, North Korean dic­ta­tor Kim Jong –un report­edly ordered the deaths of 33 Chris­tians who received money for build­ing under­ground churches from a South Korean Bap­tist mis­sion­ary. The dic­ta­tor, who “won” his reelec­tion with 100% of the vote and 100% voter turnout has not spared his own rel­a­tives from his anger, killing his uncle and all of his uncle’s rel­a­tives, includ­ing chil­dren and grand­chil­dren, last year for allegedly “attempt­ing to over­throw the gov­ern­ment.” He is rais­ing these same charges against these Chris­tians and their fate, and that of their fam­i­lies and churches is unknown as of this writing.

 
 

Pew Research Reports Six-Year Peak in Religious Hostilities

Pew Research Reports Six-Year Peak in Religious Hostilities

Accord­ing to an in-depth study by the Pew Research Cen­ter, 33% of the 198 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries had high reli­gious hos­til­i­ties in 2012, which has increased from 20% as of mid-2007, with inter­val stud­ies demon­strat­ing a steady increase. The study indi­cates that the largest increase in hos­til­i­ties was in the Mid­dle East and North Africa which expe­ri­enced polit­i­cal upris­ings in 2010-11. […]

 
 

Reviewing 2013 — The Year in Religious Liberty

Reviewing 2013 — The Year in Religious Liberty

By Stephen N. Allred — Ulti­mately, 2013 was a rough year for Chris­tians in many parts of the world who were harassed, raped, mur­dered and per­se­cuted on account of their faith. In com­par­i­son, Amer­i­can Chris­tians, though they faced some chal­lenges, fared rather well.

 
 

U.S. President Discusses Imprisoned Pastor with Iranian President

U.S. President Discusses Imprisoned Pastor with Iranian President

On Sep­tem­ber 28, Pres­i­dent Obama picked up the phone and called Iran­ian Pres­i­dent Rouhani who was trav­el­ing back to JFK air­port after speak­ing at the United Nations in New York. In addi­tion to dis­cussing Iran’s nuclear-enrichment pro­gram, the pres­i­dents spoke about Pas­tor Saeed Abe­dini, an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen, who was arrested because of his faith while vis­it­ing Iran over a year ago. This was the first time since the Islamic rev­o­lu­tion of 1979 that a U.S. Pres­i­dent has spo­ken with an Iran­ian pres­i­dent. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry and the U.S. Con­gress have also been call­ing for Pas­tor Saeed’s release.

 
 

Quebec Government Takes Aim at Religious Expression of Public Workers

Quebec Government Takes Aim at Religious Expression of Public Workers

Though, in its cur­rent form, the char­ter is lim­ited to reg­u­lat­ing the reli­gious expres­sion of gov­ern­ment employ­ees there can be lit­tle doubt that given time, con­sid­er­ing the infla­tion­ary nature of state bureau­cracy to expand its influ­ence in citizen’s pri­vate lives, this pol­icy of “neu­tral­ity” will move fur­ther toward the pri­vate sec­tor employees.

 
 
 
 
 

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