Laos: Law on associations ‘skewed to target religious minorities’

Buddhists meeting in their temple in Laos are often exempt from meeting requirements under the Decree of Association. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A law that came into effect in Laos last November “has already been skewed to target religious minorities, especially in rural areas”, according to Mission Network News (MNN). The Decree on Associations requires all groups, whether religious or otherwise, to acquire government approval for holding meetings and other activities. It . . . Read More

Laos government agrees to religious freedom education

Vat That Khao, the Reclining Buddha, in Vientiane. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The government in the Southeast Asian nation of Laos has agreed to sponsor religious-freedom education in the country. The US-based Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) will roll out a series of seminars focusing on “religious freedom as a human right, Lao government policy on religious activity and encouraging dialogue between . . . Read More

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

Laos pastor murdered ‘in cold blood’

Christians in Laos are treating the killing of a Protestant pastor as a “cold-blooded murder” based on his profession. “Local Christians ruled out robbery as a possible motivation for this ruthless and cold-blooded murder,” reports Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF). “They believe that his death was the . . . Read More

Laos Christians arrested for attending church

UPDATE: Six of the seven Christians arrested at the end of September have been released from the detention center in the village of Boukham, in the province of Savannakhet on October 3 . Pastor Sompong Supatto and six other Christians were arrested for ‘exercising religious freedom in gathering for religious worship’ . . . Read More

‘Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians’

‘Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians’
This is a book designed to show that “Christians are the single most widely persecuted religious group in the world today” (p4). With that aim, three authors well known in the field of religious advocacy give the reader the ultimate global briefing on the causes, patterns and trends in the persecution . . . Read More