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US nominates new religious freedom ambassador

US nominates new religious freedom ambassador
US President Donald Trump intends to nominate Sam Brownback, a Republican Governor from Kansas, as Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom, the White House has announced. He will become head of the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom which is dedicated to monitoring religious freedom abuses around the world. Religious . . . Read More

DRC clergy call for ‘unconditional’ release of kidnapped priests

Catholic church leaders from the diocese of Butembo-Béni, in the volatile province of North-Kivu, in north-eastern DRC, have called for the release of their fellow priests, kidnapped by unknown armed men ten days ago. Fr Pierre Akilimali and Fr Charles Kipasa were kidnapped by about ten armed men in camouflage, . . . Read More

Maldives told to retract criticism of UN Special Rapporteur

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, has been accused by the Maldives' government of spreading "evil deeds" and of "irreligious activities". (Photo: Getty Images)
The Maldives should retract its accusations against the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) – its former Foreign Minister, Ahmed Shaheed – and condemn the calls for his beheading, says the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). USCIRF “strongly condemn[ed]” the accusations from the ruling . . . Read More

Egypt’s Copts face discrimination in football, too

Egypt’s Copts face discrimination in football, too
“Systematic discrimination” is preventing Coptic Christians from participating in professional sport in Egypt, according to a feature article on the Egyptian website MadaMasr: ‘Copts and Egypt’s national game – We’ll call you back later‘. Though Copts make up around 10 per cent of Egypt’s population, not one of the 122 . . . Read More

Vietnam government accused of stealing monks’ land

Catholic church in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Land belonging to Benedictine monks in central Vietnam has been appropriated by the government, according to Catholic news agency UCAN. Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh, head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, said the government has sold Thien An monastery’s land to local and foreign enterprises to help attract investment. At . . . Read More