Latest Posts

March 20, 2024   •   

Disturbing Pattern of Mosque Demolition Continues Unabated in India

India’s historic Sunehri mosque is targeted for destruction

March 20, 2024   •   

Women’s History Month

To all the women who kept religious freedom alive

February 21, 2024   •   

Fuyang Maizhong Reformed Church Raided Yet Again

Hundreds of pastors protest CCP action to shut down all but government-controlled houses of worship.

January 17, 2024   •   

USCIRF Condemns China’s Egregious Religious Freedom Abuses

Systematic, ongoing violations of religious freedom

January 4, 2024   •   

China Tightens Its Grip on Christian Groups

Government requires adherence to the sinicisation of Christianity

January 4, 2024   •   

Rohingya Refugees Forced Out of Indonesian Shelter By Student Protesters

Hundreds of university students attacked a temporary shelter, demanding asylum-seekers be deported.

September 7, 2023   •   

The Devil’s Confession: Adolf Eichmann Tapes Released Posthumously

From beyond the grave, Eichmann freely admits to masterminding the Holocaust.

May 23, 2023   •   

Mob Kills Cleric Accused of Blasphemy

A cleric has become the latest victim in Pakistan where laws criminalize speech or actions deemed insulting or disrespectful toward the Prophet.

March 28, 2023   •   

China Introduces ‘Smart Religion’ App

Observant Chinese in Henan must register on a government app to attend religious services.

February 15, 2023   •   

World-Wide Persecution of Christians at an All-Time High

Heading the list of the top fifty offenders is North Korea.

September 18, 2022   •   

UN Reports Possible Crimes Against Humanity in China

High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet issued a report accusing China of violations amounting to crimes against humanity.

August 31, 2022   •   

5th Anniversary of Rohingya Flight From Myanmar

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya mark Genocide Remembrance Day.

August 12, 2022   •   

Pressure Mounts as Iran Steps Up Persecution of Baha'i Communities

More than 100 have seen their homes raided, been arrested, or both in recent weeks.

August 6, 2022   •   

Sikhs Observe 10th Anniversary of Mass Shooting in Wisconsin Temple

Honoring those who perished in the deadly attack.

July 8, 2022   •   

Former Vatican Envoy to Hong Kong Warns of China’s Crackdown

Catholic missions should brace for an even grimmer future, as civil liberties continue to crumble in the former British colony.

June 28, 2022   •   

Afghan Sikhs in the Crosshairs of Islamic State Terrorist Group

One dead and seven wounded in an attack on a Sikh temple in Kabul

June 24, 2022   •   

U.S. State Department’s Annual Report on International Religious Freedom

Report presents a bleak picture but the commitment to change this vital human right.

June 13, 2022   •   

Catholic Priests Denounce Police Mistreatment of Nicaragua Parishes

Catholic priest announces he will fast indefinitely “on water and whey” until persecution ends.

June 10, 2022   •   

A County in Xinjiang Province Suffers the World’s Highest Incarceration Rate

Nearly one in 25 Muslim residents of Konasheher County has been imprisoned on terrorism charges.

June 4, 2022   •   

Return of Precious Stone: Reparation to the Kaw Nation

When white settlers moved into their territory, it set in motion inequities that robbed the Kaw Nation of their lands and all but ended their existence.

May 31, 2022   •   

Hong Kong Cardinal and Critic Accused of Violating National Security

90-year-org cardinal arrested and charged for raising funds for Hong Kong activists.

May 21, 2022   •   

China’s Crackdown on Online Religions Heightens Fears of Digital Persecution

Government regulations forbid posting religious information on the internet without prior official permission.

May 12, 2022   •   

U.S. Panel Warns of Severe Violations of Religious Freedom in Annual Report

In its 2022 report, the USCIRF identified 15 countries where religious violations have raised “particular concern”

April 16, 2022   •   

Catholic Priests Abducted in Continuing Acts of Violence Against Nigerian Christians

One of three Roman Catholic priests kidnapped in March in Nigeria has been released by his abductors.

April 2, 2022   •   

Human Rights Abuse Against the Baha'is is Driven Directly by State Authorities, UN Report States

Report by U.N. Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed on increased risk to Bahá’ís

March 3, 2022   •   

The Last Remaining Sikhs in Afghanistan Face a Grim Future

The number of Sikhs in Afghanistan has dwindled to a fraction of what it used to be in the 1970s, and members of the minority community face an uncertain future in the strife-torn nation they call home.

February 20, 2022   •   

U.S. Ban of Imports From Xinjiang Province Seeks to Pressure China to End Abuse of Religious Minorities

In December 2021, with the Olympics on the horizon, U.S, Senate approved banning imports from China’s Xinjiang province.

February 19, 2022   •   

Eritrean Orthodox Patriarch Dies in Solitary Confinement at 94

His Holiness Abune Antonios, who spent the last 16 years in prison for refusing to bend to the government’s demands, has died.

February 4, 2022   •   

U.S. and Allied Diplomats Boycott Beijing Winter Olympics in Protest of China’s Human Rights Violations

The United States and nine diplomatic allies have boycotted the Beijing Winter Olympics protesting China’s repression of human rights. Washington has accused Beijing of detaining more than 1 million Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang detention camps. The U.S.

January 21, 2022   •   

Egypt Releases Prominent Coptic Christian Champion of Religious Freedom and Human Rights

Egypt has released Coptic Christian activist Ramy Kamel, held for more than two years in pretrial detention for drawing attention to the struggle of his minority community to achieve religious freedom and gain human rights protections.

November 19, 2021   •   

Campaign in Support of a Pastor Jailed in Cuba for his Peaceful Protest

A human rights organization calls on people to join the campaign to secure the release of a pastor in Cuba jailed for participating in peaceful protests.

September 27, 2021   •   

Soldier Turned Missionary Medic is on a Mission to Heal

A multiethnic humanitarian group that works in some of the world’s most dangerous conflict zones has a simple answer to what drives its efforts: Love.

July 8, 2021   •   

Six More Members of Iran’s Minority Bahá’í Faith Sentenced to Prison

A Revolutionary Court in Iran has sentenced six citizens of the minority Bahá’í faith to a total of 73 years and six months in prison for engaging in activities related to children’s education and promoting their religion on social media.

March 8, 2021   •   

Saving Oak Flat is a Holy War Says Apache Leader

“This country was founded on freedom of speech, religion and worship, which has been given away to a foreign mining company,” wrote Wendsler Nosie Sr., leader of Apache Stronghold, a Native American nonprofit.

February 9, 2021   •   

Christian Support Group Reveals Underground Network for Believers Fleeing North Korea

International organization that lists North Korea as the most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian provides vital support to Christians fleeing the nation.

January 25, 2021   •   

Global Persecution of Christians Continues, Worsened by the Pandemic

Open Doors USA’s annual report on the global persecution of Christians spotlights 50 countries where Christians are targeted for their faith.

January 12, 2021   •   

French Anti-Extremism Legislation Threatens Religious Liberty According to Scholars

The French bill to combat religious practice deemed “contrary to the country’s republican values” is a constitutional minefield, according to a white paper issued by European scholars

January 3, 2021   •   

12-Year-Old Christian Girl Freed After Forced to Convert to Islam and Wed Her Abductor

Acting under court orders, police in Pakistan rescued 12-year-old Farah Shaheen, a Christian girl, five months after she was kidnapped.

December 10, 2020   •   

Government Restrictions on Religion Reach Record High Worldwide

A report released by Pew Research Center last month shows that government restrictions on religion have been on the rise since the Center began tracking these statistics in 2007.

November 20, 2020   •   

Ahmadis, Persecuted for a Century, Respond Compassionately Despite Intolerance Amid COVID-19 Fury

Across much of the Muslim world, the Ahmadiyya have long been persecuted for their theological beliefs.

November 3, 2020   •   

Bahá’ís Have Been Ordered to Report to Prison Solely for Practicing Their Religion

Eight members of Iran’s banned Bahá’í community convicted of disrupting national security by practicing their faith have lost their judicial appeal to delay imprisonment.

October 26, 2020   •   

Report on ‘Nigeria’s Silent Slaughter’ Warns of Christian Genocide, National Collapse

Nigeria is in danger of becoming one of the world’s deadliest places to live according to a new report.

October 20, 2020   •   

House Passes Bill to Block Goods Made by Muslim Detainees in China

House of Representatives approves legislation to ban imports from Xinjiang, based on reports of more than 1 million Muslim Uyghurs and other minority Muslim ethnic groups being detained and subjected to forced labor.

October 9, 2020   •   

Human Rights Council Hears Request to Investigate Germany for Violations of Religious Freedom

The European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights calls on the UN to investigate Germany for its continuous and egregious violation of the rights of Scientologists.

September 27, 2020   •   

The State of Native American Religious Freedom on Native American Day

“Although our nation professes to cherish its first amendment enshrined religious liberty, our society persistently denies this right to America’s original inhabitants. Historically, the religious persecution of American Indians is undisputed.“—John Rhodes, Montana Law Review

July 17, 2020   •   

Iran Arrests Eight More Converts to Christianity in its Latest Act of Religious Persecution

Security officials have arrested eight converts to Christianity in Iran, bringing to 34 the total number of Christians arrested in the country so far this year.

June 13, 2020   •   

Persecution of Baháʼís in Iran Continues Unchecked

Prisoners of conscience of Iran’s banned Baháʼí faith, recently furloughed to alleviate overcrowding in the nation’s unsanitary jails facing COVID-19 outbreaks, are being summoned back behind bars.

June 11, 2020   •   

Bitter Winter: A Voice for China’s Oppressed

Bitter Winter, a cooperative enterprise by scholars, human rights activists, and members of religious organizations persecuted in China.

June 4, 2020   •   

Christians Denied Food Aid During COVID-19 Pandemic

As financial and food insecurity ravages much of the world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam and Pakistan governments and aid agencies are denying food aid to disadvantaged minority Christians because of their faith.

May 21, 2020   •   

Burma’s Human Rights Record Tied to Lack of Religious Freedom: USCIRF

Religious freedom violations in Burma (Myanmar) are highlighted in the USCIRF 2020 Annual Report.

May 15, 2020   •   

USCIRF Urges Sanctions Against Chinese Officials

USCIRF Annual Report calls for China to be once again be designated on the State Department’s list of “Countries of Particular Concern,” citing crimes against the Uygar, Kazakh and Kyrgyz Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners.

April 17, 2020   •   

UN Secretary-General Calls for Global Ceasefire in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic

War’s insecurities render the world’s poor, marginalized and displaced disproportionately vulnerable to the pandemic, said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, who has urged warring countries across the world to lay down their weapons in support of the biggest battle humanity has faced in the 21st century.

February 10, 2020   •   

Nigeria President Condemns the Killing of Christian Pastor Andimi

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari joins Nigerians of all faiths and beliefs who are mourning the recent killing of the Rev. Lawan Andimi, a Christian pastor, by members of the Islamist military group Boko Haram.

January 27, 2020   •   

10 Worst Countries to Live in as a Christian

North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are among the top 10 countries where the persecution of Christians is likely to recur this year, according to a leading Christian charity group’s World Watch List for 2020.

January 9, 2020   •   

Lecturer Sentenced to Death in Pakistan for Blasphemy

A university lecturer has been sentenced to death in Pakistan for blaspheming against Islam, drawing international attention to a verdict that independent United Nations human rights monitors have criticized as a “travesty of justice.”

January 8, 2020   •   

Egypt Holds Christian Coptic Activist in Pretrial Detention

Ramy Kamel, an Egyptian citizen noted for his work in documenting attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christian churches and defending the human rights of the minority faith, is in pretrial detention in Cairo on a charge of belonging to a terrorist group.

May 15, 2019   •   

The Plight of the Uyghur People in the Holy Month of Ramadan

Throughout the Islamic world, Ramadan is a time of contemplation and renewal. But in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, its observance has been outlawed.

March 9, 2019   •   

Is Religious Illiteracy at the Root of Anti-Semitism in France?

An alarming 74 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in France has focused the efforts of political and religious leaders to find a solution.

March 8, 2019   •   

Leaders Urged to Take Action to Protect Religious Liberty

A coalition of religious and civic organizations dedicated to protecting religious freedom and human rights have sent a joint letter to United Nations special rapporteurs and government officials.

February 6, 2019   •   

Propaganda: Its Role in Creating the Holocaust And Its Implications Today

Parallel between the events leading to Hitler’s Final Solution and today’s destructive force of anti-religious propaganda.

January 25, 2019   •   

Asia Bibi—Not Guilty But Not Yet Free

For nearly a decade “Free Asia Bibi” has been the rallying cry of human rights activists around the world protesting anti-religious extremism in Pakistan. Her case was finally heard by the Supreme Court in October 2018, where she was acquitted for lack of evidence.

September 8, 2018   •   

China Escalates the Pressure on Tibetan Buddhists

Through 60 years of occupation by China, Tibet has continued to assert its unique culture and Buddhist religion.

September 6, 2018   •   

USCIRF Calls for the Release of Pastor Nadarkhani

Iranian Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is serving 10 years in Iran’s notorious Ervin Prison. He and three members of his congregation were arrested in July.

August 26, 2018   •   

White House Increases the Pressure on Turkey Over Pastor Brunson’s Release

On Sunday, August 19, the White House refused to negotiate with Turkey over fines until pastor Andrew Brunson is returned home to the U.S.

July 23, 2018   •   

Extremist Groups are Campaigning in Pakistan Election

Pakistani extremist, leaders accused of spreading religious hatred and instigating sectarian violence, are among those running for seats 25 July in the Pakistani general elections.

June 18, 2018   •   

U.S. Urges Russia to Release Religious and Political Prisoners

The Trump administration is calling on Russia to release more than 150 political or religious prisoners and to cease suppressing dissent and peaceful religious practice.

May 30, 2018   •   

Crimes Against Humanity in Central African Republic

U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in the CAR Najat Rochdi says an upsurge of violence in April and May has sent many returning refugees fleeing to neighboring Cameroon and Chad. She says one in four people in the country is now displaced.

May 28, 2018   •   

Ambassador Sam Brownback Interviewed on the Fate of Pastor Brunson

Interview on CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) with U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback on the government’s views on the imprisonment of Rev. Andrew Brunson.

May 20, 2018   •   

American Hindus Demand Dvorkin End His Threats

In response to continued harassment of Hindu leader Shri Prakash Ji, his family and the Shri Prakash Dham Spiritual & Cultural Centre in Russia, the Hindu American Foundation is taking action.

April 30, 2018   •   

Interview with Germany’s New Anti-Semitism Commissioner

German government’s new commissioner for anti-Semitism voices concerns about current trends in his country.

April 27, 2018   •   

Extremists Spread Hate and Violence Through Social Media

An article in the Washington Post brings to light a brand of extremism running rampant through Facebook in India, driven by the catchphrase “love jihad.“

April 26, 2018   •   

Germans Rally in Solidarity With the Nation’s Jews

More than 2,000 wore skull caps at a rally in Berlin April 25 to show their support of the German Jewish community following last week’s attack on two Jewish men. Similar rallies took place in cities across Germany.

April 26, 2018   •   

USCIRF Reports Decline of Religious Freedom in 2017

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2018 Annual Report April 25, documenting violations and progress in 2017 on religious freedom issues in 28 countries.

April 20, 2018   •   

Iran Divided Over the Right of Non-Muslims to Hold Office

Muslim and non-Muslim Iranians took to social media to express their disagreement when Zoroastrian Sepanta Niknam was suspended from his city council seat because of his religion. Niknam defeated a Muslim candidate in the election last year in Yazd, a historic city in central Iran.

April 19, 2018   •   

FECRIS and the Erosion of Religious Neutrality in the French State

A video and the text of a paper by lawyer Dr. Patricia Duval titled “Anti-sect movements and State neutrality: FECRIS and its member associations in France” was presented at an international convention of held in Florence—Law and Freedom of Belief in Europe, an arduous journey.

April 19, 2018   •   

What the Faith Community Can Do About Online Hate Speech

An article by the United Church of Christ's media justice ministry published on explores online hate speech, how it is spread and what can be done to stop it.

April 19, 2018   •   

The Role of FECRIS in Russia’s Anti-Hindu Activities

An article in the Daily Caller titled “Russia is Waging War on Religious Minorities and Hindus are Their Next Target,” calls attention to FECRIS and especially Alexander Dvorkin as the force driving this repression forward.

March 29, 2018   •   

American Pastor, Jailed in Turkey, Now to Stand Trial

A Presbyterian pastor from North Carolina faces up to 35 years in Turkish prison for charges he asserts are untrue. Rev. Andrew Brunson, who has led a small congregation in Izmir, Turkey, for the past two decades, was arrested in October 2016 and held without charges.

March 27, 2018   •   

Incriminating German Government Files Exposed in New Book

In a public forum March 21 at the Church of Scientology Berlin, former sect commissioner Dr. Peter Schulte, author of Dei Akte Scientology (The Scientology File), described German government collusion to violate the rights of Scientologists and the Scientology religion.

March 5, 2018   •   

Baha’i Leader Believes People Can Live Together in Peace

Saeed Rezaei, 61, spent time with his family for the first time in a decade on being released from Iran’s Rajaei Shahr Prison after serving 10 years of a 20-year sentence.

March 5, 2018   •   

Religious Freedom Defender Jailed in Cuba

Leonardo Rodríguez Alonso, a prominent Cuban advocate for freedom of religion or belief, was released from detention March 2.

February 10, 2018   •   

Newsweek: Alexander Dvorkin Accused of Harassing Hindu Guru

In a Newsweek article February 6, staff writer Cristina Maza reports on a concerted campaign of harassment against popular Hindu religious leader Shri Prakash Ji that he claims is the work of anti-cultist Alexander Dvorkin.

February 4, 2018   •   

Kazakhstan: A Bleak Year for Religious Freedom

As reported in Forum 18, there were 279 known administrative prosecutions in Kazakhstan to punish the exercising of freedom of religion or belief in 2017.

January 29, 2018   •   

Baha’i Refugees Find Religious Freedom in Arizona

Praying in a private home is customary for members of the Baha’i faith. That is because in their native Iran, practicing their religion in any visible place of worship could lead to their death.

January 11, 2018   •   

After Nine Years in a Pakistan Prison for Blasphemy, Free at Last

Mohammad Mansha (58) is a happy man today. The Punjab resident is home after serving the last nine years in prison on a life sentence blasphemy conviction on a charge that Mansha had desecrated a copy of the Quran. In late December 2017, a two-judge panel ruled that Mansha was falsely accused.

January 4, 2018   •   

New Violence Kills Coptic Christians in Egypt

Two attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt December 29 have taken the lives of at least nine. Egypt’s Interior Ministry reported six civilians and a policeman died when a gunman tried to storm a Coptic church after carrying out an attack at a Coptic-owned shop in the same area, killing two.

December 28, 2017   •   

Myanmar Blocks UN Investigation of Rohingya Crisis

The United Nations human rights investigator assigned to look into the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar claims she has been barred from entering the country.

December 18, 2017   •   

Russian Persecution of the Crimea’s Tartars Intensifies

When Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, it marked the beginning of intense persecution of the indigenous Muslim Tartar population of Tartars in that land.

December 6, 2017   •   

Blasphemy Laws and Their Threat to Religious Freedom

According to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), more than one-third of the world’s countries criminalize blasphemy—speaking ill of things sacred to indigenous religions. In some countries, blasphemy carries a death sentence.

November 29, 2017   •   

Tillerson Urges Myanmar to Investigate Rohingya Attacks

On November 15, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Myanmar to meet with Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the civilian head of the country, to discuss “credible reports of widespread atrocities” by the country’s security forces against the minority Muslim Rohingya population.

November 12, 2017   •   

Understanding Hungary’s Repressive Religion Law

The U.S. Department of State International Religious Freedom Report for 2016 includes a summary of the 2011 Hungary religion law and an overview of the country’s practices in violation of the freedom of religion or belief, which includes the following key information.

November 8, 2017   •   

Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar Draws Top U.S. State Department Officials

Muslim Rohingya militants, responding to the religious persecution of their people in Myanmar (the former Burma) August 25, attacked police in that country’s strife-torn northern state of Rakhine.

November 7, 2017   •   

Fariba Kamalabadi is the Second of the Imprisoned Baha’i Seven To Be Freed In Iran

One day, Roxana Saberi may show off the pink-and-rose colored bracelet she’s cherished for years to the woman who wove it. The bracelet had to travel through many hands and halfway across the world for four years just to get to its recipient—the most precious gift Roxana has ever received.

October 24, 2017   •   

As the Baha’i Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Faith, Baha’i Leader Mahvash Sabet is Free, Released Last Month From Iranian Prison

Human Rights Without Frontiers covers the release lasts month of Baha’i leader Mahvash Sabet from prison in Iran, where she served 10 years behind bars because of her faith. She is the first of seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders to be released.

October 22, 2017   •   

Scientologists protest violation of their right to religious freedom in Hungary

Article republished courtesy of the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom Today in Budapest, several hundreds of Scientologists gathered peacefully with candles before their Church in Budapest to protest what they called an outrageous and wholesale violation of the human rights of all

October 19, 2017   •   

Blasphemy Laws: Religious Suppression and Political Authoritarianism

Elizabeth Cassidy and Andrew Kornbluth from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) presented the Commission’s findings on the world’s blasphemy laws October 17 at a conference held at the Newseum’s Knight Conference Center in Washington D.C.

October 18, 2017   •   

USCIRF Vice Chairwoman Testifies Before the House That Religious Freedom Violations Have Security Implications for the United States

Kristina Arriaga, Vice Chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), testified before the National Security Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee October 18 on the “government’s role in protecting international religious freedom.

September 18, 2017   •   

Scientology Presentation to Working Session 9 at the OSCE – ODIHR Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of 2017

Warsaw, Poland • Oral presentation at the OSCE - ODIHR Meeting of 2017, Working session 9 — discussions concerning tolerance and nondiscrimination.

September 17, 2017   •   

Scientology Presentation to Working Session 6 at the OSCE – ODIHR Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of 2017

Warsaw, Poland • Oral presentation at the OSCE - ODIHR Meeting of 2017, Working session 6.

September 8, 2017   •   

China Enacts New Regulations That Restrict Faiths Practiced Outside Organizations Not Approved by the State

China’s cabinet has passed new rules to regulate religion to bolster national security, “fight extremism” and restrict faith practiced outside organizations approved by the State.

August 12, 2017   •   

Attacks Against Christians in India on the Rise

Last year India was listed at number 15 on the World Watch List of the 50 most difficult countries for Christians to live in. In 2017, the country has seen nearly as many attacks against Christians so far as in all of 2016.

August 5, 2017   •   

Syriac Christian Properties Expropriated by Turkish Government

Some 100 Syriac Christian properties including monasteries, churches and cemeteries have been liquidated and transferred to the Treasury: Two functioning monasteries and lands adjacent to the 4th-century Mor Gabriel Monastery belonging to Turkey’s oldest indigenous culture.

August 4, 2017   •   

European Court of Human Rights Complaint on the Right to Share One’s Beliefs

Human Rights Without Frontiers reports that Donald Jay Ossewaarde, an American national who has lived in Oryol, Russia, since 2005, filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights March 30, 2017, based on his arrest and conviction of violating Article 5.

July 25, 2017   •   

The State of Religious Tolerance in Kazakhstan: Fact vs. Fiction

In opening the Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in June 2015, a convocation held every three years in Astana, Kazakhstan, the country’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev presented his nation as “a successful model of coexistence between 18 religions living in peace, harmony and mutual understanding.

July 20, 2017   •   

U.S. State Department Tells Russia to Cease Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses

In a statement issued July 19, the U.S. State Department called on Russia to end its persecution of minority religions. This was prompted by the Russia Supreme Court’s decision upholding an April ruling labeling Jehovah’s Witnesses “extremist.”

July 13, 2017   •   

Human Rights Without Frontiers Censures Russian Ban of Jehovah’s Witnesses

In the first of a video series titled "FoRB in Five"—Freedom of Religion or Belief in Five Minutes or Less—Human Rights Without Frontiers executive director Willy Fautré speaks out on Russia’s criminalizing of a peaceful religion under the 2002 Extremism Law.

July 2, 2017   •   

Vietnam’s Catholic Bishops Criticize Law on Belief and Religion

Vietnam’s Catholic Bishops Criticize Law on Belief and Religion Set to Go Into Effect January 1, 2018.

June 22, 2017   •   

When Belief Is A Crime

We need to wake up, all of us, and realize that every time we allow someone’s religious rights to be kicked aside, we are putting our own at risk. If a group as large and established as the Christian church can be discriminated against and criminalized, what is safe?

June 17, 2017   •   

Kazakh Sunni Muslim Given 5-Year Sentence for Talking About Islam

Sunni Muslim Nariman Seytzhanov was convicted in Almaty, Kazakhstan, of “inciting religious hatred or discord” under the broadly framed Criminal Code Article 174, Part 1.

June 11, 2017   •   

Russia: Fines, Vandalism Follow Jehovah’s Witness Liquidation

Victoria Arnold, Moscow Correspondent for Forum 18 News Service, a human rights organization based in Oslo, Norway, filed this report on actions against Jehovah’s Witnesses since the Russian government liquidated the religion across Russia in April 2017.

June 9, 2017   •   

Alexander Dvorkin Comes Under Attack for Targeting Hindu Beliefs

Some 1,000 gathered in Delhi to protest Russian anti-cultist Alexander Dvorkin and his denigration of Hinduism.

May 29, 2017   •   

U.S. Rep Frank Wolf (Ret.) Urges Church Leaders to Speak Up on International Religious Persecution

Western church leaders have not been outspoken enough about religious persecution and human rights violations around the world, said U.S. Congressman Frank R. Wolf (Ret.) at a recent luncheon in McLean, Virginia.

May 24, 2017   •   

‘For the Good of the Nation and the State’ Former Jakarta Governor Withdraws Appeal

Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, has withdrawn his request for appeal of a two-year sentence for blasphemy. His wife, Veronica Tan, read his handwritten announcement May 23.

May 23, 2017   •   

Forced Evictions of Tibetan Buddhist Sichuan Enclave

Chinese authorities are carrying out a campaign to dismantle dwellings in Larung Gar, a mountainside settlement in southwestern Sichuan province that is home to some 10,000 Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns. Some estimate the population at 20,000.

May 18, 2017   •   

“Grave Concerns” about Russia’s Repressive Policies Prompts Action

The U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom has added Russia to its list of “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPC) for the first time in two decades, prompted by the country’s recent repression of the rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

May 13, 2017   •   

Violent Anti-Semitic Crime Down, Hate Speech and Harassment Up, Study Shows

A Tel Aviv University study covering data from 40 countries found violent anti-Semitic incidents, including attacks with and without weapons, arson, and vandalism or desecration, have been on a downward trend in the past few years.

May 12, 2017   •   

Former Jakarta Governor Jailed for ‘Blasphemy’ in Alleged Quran Insult

Former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, was jailed May 9 after being found guilty of blasphemy. He was sentenced to two years in prison despite prosecutors recommending two years’ probation on a lesser charge.

May 8, 2017   •   

USCIRF Urges Designation of Russia as Country of Particular Concern

When the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2017 Annual Report April 26 on the state of religious freedom in selected countries, USCIRF Chair Thomas Reese, S.J., said “the state of affairs for international religious freedom is worsening in both the depth and breadth of violations.”

May 8, 2017   •   

Senate Judiciary Committee Hears Testimony on Need to Stem Rising Anti-Religious Hate Crimes

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony May 2 from representatives of the Anti-Defamation League, the Sikh community, and the Justice Department. The subject was the dramatic increase in religion-based hate crimes, up 23 percent from 2014 to 2015.

April 27, 2017   •   

Tibetan Buddhists Mark 28th Birthday of Abducted Panchen Lama

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was born April 25, 1989, in Lhari County, Tibet. Six years later, shortly after the Dalai Lama named him the 11th incarnation of the Panchen Lama, the boy was abducted and has not been heard from again.

April 24, 2017   •   

Armenians Demand Turkey Admits Genocide in Killing of 1.5 Million Armenians from 1915-23

Armenian communities around the world march in remembrance April 24 of the Armenian Genocide and in protest that Turkey still denies genocide in the killing by the Ottoman Empire of 1.5 million Armenians from 1915‑1923.

April 20, 2017   •   

New York Times Reports on Russia’s Supreme Court Ban of Jehovah’s Witnesses

New York Times Moscow correspondent Andrew Higgins wrote about today’s action by the Russian Supreme Court labeling the Jehovah’s Witnesses an Extremist Group: “Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday declared Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian denomination that rejects violence, an extremist organization.“