ASEAN nations told to ‘end blasphemy laws that inspire violence’

A right for all - USCIRF report on ASEAN nations
On its 50th anniversary, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should repeal blasphemy laws, release prisoners of conscience and strengthen interfaith relationships, says the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). In a new report, USCIRF highlights regional “arrests, detentions, and imprisonments based on religious belief, practice, or activities, . . . Read More

Somalia, Brunei ban Christmas

Somalia, Brunei ban Christmas
Somalia has banned the celebration of Christmas – for the first time since the last central government collapsed in 1991. “We alert fellow Muslims in Somalia that some festivities to mark Christian Days will take place around the world in this week,” Sheikh Ali Dhere told a press conference. “It . . . Read More

EU ‘must do more’ to stop religious freedom abuses

Left to right: MEP Dennis de Jong, USCIRF’s Katrina Lantos Swett, EEAS’s Silvio Gonzato, and MEP Peter van Dalen at the report’s launch in Brussels on 3 June.Courtesy European Parliament Intergroup   The new European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, said in October 2014 that upholding the . . . Read More

Sharia postponed in Brunei

Brunei’s all-powerful Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has postponed the introduction of tough Islamic criminal punishments that were due to begin on April 22. Brunei said in October that it would introduce Islamic law (Sharia) punishments including flogging, death by stoning and the severing of limbs for theft. No new date was given . . . Read More