Two groups of Christians live under pressure in Tunisia: expatriate Christians and Christians who have converted from a Muslim background. It is the latter group that bears the brunt, often facing serious, or even violent, opposition from family members who discover their new faith. Society and culture remain anti-Christian, especially in rural areas. Expatriate Christians are relatively free to practise their faith, although public evangelism is not tolerated. Rising militant Islamism is also increasing pressure on Christians. The government is trying to move the country in a positive direction, including recent marriage-law reforms, but returning IS fighters and the influence of radical teaching makes progress difficult.
Non-Muslims in Tunisia have taken to the streets during this year’s Ramadan to protest the closure of many cafés and restaurants, saying they can’t be forced to fast, reports the New York Times (NYT). Around 100 protestors began Ramadan this year by drinking water and eating sandwiches in central Tunis in […]
Old laws and societal pressure pose the greatest challenges to religious freedom in Tunisia, concluded the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed, after a ten-day visit. Though Tunisia’s 2014 Constitution guarantees religious freedom, there is still work to be done to align its laws and […]
The UN’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief will assess whether security measures to combat terrorism in Tunisia are limiting freedom of religion. Ahmed Shaheed is scheduled for a 10-day visit the capital, Tunis, and the island of Djerba, where he will discuss human rights issues, including those […]
Women in Tunisia can now marry whomever they wish, even if their spouse is a non-Muslim, reports the BBC. The announcement today was made by the spokeswoman for President Beji Caid Essebsi. Previously, only men in the 99 per cent Muslim nation had the freedom to marry a non-Muslim, while, […]
Al-Zaytuna Mosque, Tunis.Christopher Rose / Flickr / Creative Commons Three years after the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ started in Tunisia, the country’s National Constituent Assembly is close to passing a new constitution which rejects Islam as the “main source of law”, but states it is the State’s duty to “protect the […]
Hamadi Jebali’s resignation as Tunisia’s prime minister has opened the door to Islamist hardliners in his Ennahda party to pick his successor. Jebali had wanted to form a government of non-partisan technocrats, but the plan has been stoutly opposed by Islamists who control the interior, justice and foreign ministries, and […]