First Report to Human Rights Council by U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief
The rise of hatred, hostility, discrimination and violence based on religion or belief was the subject of the first presentation by United Nations Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed to the U.N. Human Rights Council.
February 12, 2017 •
Violations of Rights of Religious Minorities in India, Report Says
A report released this week by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom details religious freedom violations in India against religious minorities and Hindu Dalits and offers recommendations for the Indian government and the U.S. government.
February 8, 2017 •
Pope to Media: End Constant Focus on “Bad News,” Concentrate on Solutions
In a message from the Vatican for World Communications Day, Pope Francis urged news organizations to change the lens through which they view “reality” and to move beyond reporting only “bad news” and instead to concentrate on solutions.
February 6, 2017 •
Appoint Religious Freedom Ambassador in First 100 Days, Letter Urges President
Religious freedom advocacy group 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative (21CWI) sent a letter to President Trump this week, signed by 715 human rights and religious liberty proponents encouraging the administration to swiftly nominate an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
February 3, 2017 •
Open Doors USA World Watch List shows record high persecution of Christians
Persecution of Christians worldwide hit an all-time high in 2016, according to Open Doors USA in its annual World Watch List . The nonprofit, nondenominational international organization released its 25th annual list at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
February 1, 2017 •
Editorial Urges U.S. to Take ‘Firm and Resolute Stand’ for International Religious Liberty
A recent Op-Ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer by U.S. State Department religious freedom leaders points to an important nexus in religious freedom abuses and other points of national security.
January 24, 2017 •
South African Minister of Police Says Faith Does Not Justify Human Rights Violations
In an address to a prayer service congregation at Alleluia Ministries in Sandton, Johannesburg, South African Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko challenged religious leaders in to do their part to end justification of unethical and even illegal acts in the name of religion.
U.S. Army Sikhs May Now Serve God and Country Under New Military Policy
The United States Army this week authorized religiously mandated beards and turbans for active-duty military personnel, ending discrimination against Sikhs and others.
Repressive Anti-religion Laws go into Effect in Kazakhstan
New controls on religious travel and literature ignore OSCE recommendations and violate Kazakstan’s international human rights commitments.
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Appoints New Executive Director
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has appointed Erin D. Singshinsuk as its new Executive Director.
December 30, 2016 •
Prince Charles Urges Religious Freedom and Respect Amid Diversity
In 2016 Christmas Thought for the Day, Prince Charles spoke out against religious persecution and urged respect for those of different faiths. Prince Charles opened his Christmas Thought for the Day broadcast for BBC Radio 4 with the story of a recent meeting with a Jesuit priest from Syria.
December 22, 2016 •
The Rights of Parents to Raise Their Children in Accordance with Their Religion
A recurring theme of extremists, governmental or private sector, who attack religions is that children should be separated from their parents to “protect” them from adopting their parent’s freely chosen religious beliefs.
December 20, 2016 •
Analysis of Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act
In 2011, Congressman Frank R. Wolf introduced the first bill to amend and strengthen the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA).
December 16, 2016 •
President Obama Signs International Religious Freedom Act Amendment Today
When President Obama signed the International Religious Freedom Act into law today, religious freedom received a significant boost in U.S. Government policy with impact around the world.
December 16, 2016 •
New Scientology religion blog wins Feedspot “Top 50” Award
Just three months since launch, the scientologyreligion.org religious freedom blog has been recognized by Feedspot as one of the 50 best religion blogs on the Internet.
December 8, 2016 •
Religious Freedom Bill Poised for Senate Approval
On December 7, 2016, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed HR 1150 , the Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, sending it to the full Senate for consideration.
December 3, 2016 •
Religious Freedom Symposium at Georgetown University
A symposium, Religious Freedom and the Common Good, was held November 15, 2016, at Georgetown University.
November 30, 2016 •
International Religious Freedom Roundtable: A Vital Nexus for Faith and Government Leaders
Continuing its mission to reduce global restrictions on religion, the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable met this month in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.
November 27, 2016 •
New Religion Law in Vietnam Contravenes Fundamental Right to Freedom of Religion
On November 18, 2016, Vietnam’s 14th National Assembly passed a new law on religion. Human rights advocates worldwide quickly denounced the law for its violation of Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) , which the Vietnamese government ratified in 1982.
November 22, 2016 •
Interview with Ambassador David N. Saperstein
David N. Saperstein is the United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. He is a principal advisor to the President and Secretary of State and serves as the country’s chief diplomat on issues of religious freedom worldwide.
November 14, 2016 •
Religious Freedom a Vital Factor in Economic Growth, Studies Show
Economic growth is driven by just three factors, experts say, and religious freedom is one of them.
November 10, 2016 •
Leader Receives Church of Scientology National Affairs Office Humanitarian Award
The Church of Scientology National Affairs Office bestowed a humanitarian award on Ms. Cynthia Roseberry , Project Manager for Clemency Project 2014 and member of the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections.
November 8, 2016 •
New Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Takes Office
Religious Freedom Mandate Extended Three Years to 2016 On 1 November 2016, Ahmed Shaheed assumed his mandate as Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.
November 5, 2016 •
Second Letter Demanding Release of Asia Babi Sent to Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States
How one mother’s defense of her religious beliefs has become a desperate fight for her life.
November 3, 2016 •
Outgoing UN Special Rapporteur Calls for State Vigilance Against Religious Persecution
In the final presentation to the UN General Assembly of his tenure on October 28, 2016, Mr. Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, urged member nations to guard against all forms of religious discrimination and intolerance.
November 1, 2016 •
EU Special Envoy on Religious Freedom in the Middle East
EU Special Envoy for freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union seeks to make religious freedom in the Middle East a focus of attention.
October 29, 2016 •
OSCE/ODIHR Guidelines on Registration and Recognition of Religious Communities
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) offers guidelines on the issues of registration and recognition of religious or belief communities.
October 27, 2016 •
International Religious Freedom Day
Today, October 27, is International Religious Freedom Day. This year it commemorates the 17th anniversary of the enactment of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA). The International Religious Freedom Act was passed by an overwhelmingly bipartisan initiative in the U.S.
October 20, 2016 •
Freedom of Religion and Belief: Problems and Perspectives
Government-sponsored anti-religious hate groups were spotlighted at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw in September 2016.
October 15, 2016 •
IRF Roundtable Urges Passage of Pending Religious Freedom Resolution
When members of the United States Congress return to Washington after the elections in November, religious freedom advocates are hopeful the Senate will pass H.R. 1150, the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act