International

State Department Reports on Serious Freedom Abuses Abroad (CenterForLiberty.org)

Since its creation in 1998, the USCIRF has been controversial, both at home and abroad. At home, criticism typically focuses on the charge that the US should be more willing to assist CPC nations to improve their record rather than just putting them on a “blacklist” for the world to see. Abroad, nations have frequently criticized the US for its attitude of “arrogance” in thinking that it is superior to other sovereign nations and entitled to criticize them for religious freedom abuses when the US hardly has a spotless record itself. Nevertheless, after 15 years of activity, there is little doubt that the USCIRF reports have often motivated CPC nations to improve their religious freedom records. USCIRF's work has also exposed serious religious freedom abuses that should be brought to the world's attention.

 
 

Religious freedom under global threat, Canadian ambassador says (ANN)

“We are deeply concerned about the situation in various parts of the world where individuals, including Ahmadiyya Muslims, Bahá'ís, Chaldean Catholics and Coptic Orthodox, Tibetan Buddhists, Jews and Muslim Rohingyas, among others, experience difficulty in their ability to worship and practice their faith in peace,” Bennett told approximately 150 guests at the annual Liberty Religious Freedom Dinner, co-sponsored by Liberty magazine, the North American Religious Liberty Association and the International Religious Liberty Association.

 
 

ROMANIA: Hamilton Promotes Importance of Legislation to Protect Religious Freedom

Conscience and Liberty Association, Romania in partnership with Lugoj City Hall, organized Monday, March 11, 2013 a symposium entitled Religious Liberty or Religious Tolerance.

Gregory Hamilton, president of the Northwest Religious Liberty Association and a member of the ReligiousLiberty.TV advisory panel, spent most of the month of March traveling throughout Romania, a formerly communist country where church members experienced severe religious persecution throughout much of the last century, meeting with religious and government leaders to discuss trends in religious liberty and to urge constitutional reform.

 
 

In Pakistan, mob burns homes in anti-Christian violence (ANN)

Residents of a Christian community in eastern Pakistan, among them Seventh-day Adventists, are reeling after a mob torched their homes and businesses in response to alleged insults against Muhammad.

 
 

Hungary: Constitution Changes Warrant EU Action (Human Rights Watch)

Parliament Palace, Budapest, Hungary. Public Domain - Wikicommons

New Hungarian legislation will limit religious freedom by giving parliament the sole right to decide which religious organizations are considered ‘churches' for the purpose of domestic legislation. (Human Rights Watch)

 
 

Atheists Face Severe Discrimination in Several Countries, says Report to UN

The Human Rights Council, an organization of people who reject religion, has issued a report that indicates atheists face severe discrimination and persecution because of their beliefs in many nations around the world.

 
 

Praise in Midst of Torture: Letter from Pastor Imprisoned in Iran

Praise in Midst of Torture: Letter from Pastor Imprisoned in Iran

It is interesting that because I am a Christian pastor, I am carefully watched. I am expected to smile at them despite what is being done and to understand why they are doing all of these things. But, of course, I can clearly see what is going on and because I want to serve God, I see all of these difficulties as golden opportunities and great doors to serve. There are empty containers who are thirsty for a taste of the Living Water and we can quench their thirst by giving them Jesus Christ. Maybe you are also in such a situation, so pray and seek God that He would use you and direct you in the pressures and difficulties of your lives.

 
 

John Kerry Calls for Release of American Pastor Imprisoned in Iran

John Kerry Calls for Release of American Pastor Imprisoned in Iran

ncoming U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry called for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini, American citizen who was sentenced last week to eight years in an Iranian prison on charges of threatening Iran's national security because of his Christian activities in Iran. During the Senate Confirmation hearings yesterday, Kerry said that working for Abedini's release would be one of […]

 
 

Pew Forum Reports "Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion"

The Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life has on September 20, 2012 released the third in a series of reports analyzing the extent to which governments and societies around the world impinge on religious beliefs and practices. The new report looks at the extent and direction of change in religious restrictions from the year ending in mid-2009 to the year ending in […]

 
 

Adventist Pastor in Togo Imprisoned on Dubious Charges (ANN)

Antonio dos Anjos Monteiro is currently in a Togo prison on what Adventist legal and human rights experts say are unsupported charges.   Sep. 27, 2012 Silver Spring, Maryland, United States Elizabeth Lechleitner/ANN eventh-day Adventist lawyers and human rights advocates are calling for the immediate release of an Adventist pastor imprisoned in Togo on what they say are spurious charges. […]