Vietnam: Church told to take down Christmas nativity scene

St Joseph's Cathedral in Vietnam's capital Hanoi also faced challenges over ownership of the land next to the church which led to protests in 2008. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
One of the highlights at this time of year for the citizens of Communist Vietnam is to go to see often highly elaborate temporary ‘constructions’ showing the Nativity scene of Christ’s birth which local Christians build onto their churches or homes. There are, for instance, whole streets of such scenes . . . Read More

Kazakhstan’s new restrictions to ‘flagrantly’ violate religious rights

At the facility of one of the presbyterian Churches in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is set to pass a new set of restrictions on freedom of religion or belief that violate international human rights obligations, according to regional news service Forum 18. The proposed amendments to Kazakhstan’s religion law are currently with the Prime Minister and are expected to be signed into law . . . Read More

Vietnam’s religion policy and practice – contradictions continue

St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi
Optimists are hard to find ahead of Vietnam’s impending introduction of its new Law on Belief and Religion, scheduled to come into effect on 1 January, 2018. Vietnam’s Catholic and Evangelical leaders, as well as Buddhists and Caodaists, say the main benefit of the law, two years in the making, . . . Read More

The ‘remarkable religious transformation’ of Vietnam’s Hmong

The ‘remarkable religious transformation’ of Vietnam’s Hmong
Christianity started spreading among the Hmong in the highlands of northwest and central Vietnam in the late 1980s through a Hmong-language Christian radio program broadcast from Manila and has led to “a remarkable religious transformation … in the past three decades”, according to academic Seb Rumsby, writing for The Diplomat. Among . . . Read More

Algeria: ‘unjust law’ still denying churches their ‘right to worship’

Algeria: ‘unjust law’ still denying churches their ‘right to worship’
Churches in northern Algeria continue to clash with the authorities over permission to hold services in non-religious buildings. Authorities in Tizi Ouzou province – 100km east of the capital, Algiers – have said a 2006 law that regulates non-Muslim worship is breached by churches meeting in houses meant only for . . . Read More

Kazakhstan proposes further restrictions on religion

The Presidential Palace, the official work place of Kazakhstan's president, in the capital Astana. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Kazakhstan has drafted amendments to its religion laws that will further tighten restrictions on religious freedoms, reports regional news agency Forum 18. The changes focus on the religious freedom of children and parents and could reach parliament for ratification as early as December. The latest October draft states that one . . . Read More