Maldives to EU: ‘Islam shall be the basis of all laws’

Only Muslims can be citizens of the Maldives is Muslim, and citizenship is revoked if one chooses another faith. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The Maldives government has told the European Union it will not consider amending its constitution to allow for religious freedom in the country, reports Maldives-based news site Avas Online. A report by the EU’s Electoral Follow-up Mission (EFM), published last week, said the Maldives had implemented none of the 22 . . . Read More

‘Unprecedented’ persecution of Egypt’s Christians heads 2018 World Watch List

‘Unprecedented’ persecution of Egypt’s Christians heads 2018 World Watch List
More Christians abused in India than in all other countries combined; Nepal enters list Islamic extremists driven out of Iraq and Syria are behind a new intensity of Christian persecution in surrounding countries, says global charity Open Doors in its latest annual survey of countries where it is most difficult . . . Read More

­Maldives activist investigated for ‘blasphemy’ over ‘religions other than Islam’ tweet

Shahindha Ismail (Photo: Twitter)
An activist in the Maldives has received death threats and is being investigated for “blasphemy” after posting a tweet in response to President Abdulla Yameen’s comment that his government would not allow any other religion in the country than Islam. Shahindha Ismail, executive director of the Maldives Democracy Network, tweeted: . . . Read More

Freedom of thought ‘regressing on a global scale’

There are many Pakistani Christian women like Aasiya Noreen who live in fear of the Blasphemy law in their country and the (potential of) abuse. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The 2017 Freedom of Thought Report, presented yesterday (5 December), should be alarming “to all who care about freedom of thought and expression”, as it shows “a pattern of regression on a global scale”, says its editor, Bob Churchill. The report, published by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) . . . 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

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

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