More than 80 countries ‘favour’ one religion over others – Pew Research Center

More than 80 countries ‘favour’ one religion over others – Pew Research Center
Over 80 countries favour a specific religion, either officially as a state religion or tacitly through special treatment, according to a new report by the US-based Pew Research Center. Islam is the most common state religion – 27 countries have it as their official religion, including 16 of the 20 . . . Read More

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

Cambodia to repatriate 13 Montagnards after failed asylum bids

Cambodia to repatriate 13 Montagnards after failed asylum bids
Thirteen Montagnards are being sent back to Vietnam, after they were refused asylum in Cambodia. Thousands of Montagnards have fled their country to seek asylum in neighbouring countries since 2001, citing land expropriation and religious persecution. Many of the indigenous group, from Vietnam’s highlands, are Christians. The 13 were part of . . . Read More

Vietnamese pastor punished for ‘reports’ to US diplomats; Catholic blogger to be expelled to France

Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh was released early in a deal that saw him leave the country. (Photo: USCIRF)
A pastor imprisoned in south-east Vietnam is being further punished for telling a visiting U.S. diplomatic delegation about abuses he has suffered. Nguyen Cong Chinh, serving an 11-year sentence for “undermining national solidarity” by religious activities with ethnic groups in the Central Highlands, met US consular officials in Ho Chi . . . Read More

No solution for Vietnam’s persecuted Montagnard-people

The Montagnard-people are persecuted because of their faith but getting asylum in neighbouring countries is difficult. Photo: Open Doors International
The number of Montagnard-people fleeing their native Vietnam, because of persecution of their Christian faith, is growing, reports Al Jazeera. They initially end up in surrounding nations like Cambodia and Thailand, where they face a stateless future as their refugee status is not recognized. Thailand and Cambodia are not signatories . . . Read More