Malaysia’s ‘deep-seated tensions’ exposed by MP’s call for religious freedom

Kasthuri Patto (Twitter)
A Malaysian Catholic MP’s call last month for the government to sign the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief has highlighted the “deep-seated tensions between ultra-conservative Muslims and the new government”, says the director of Malaysia’s Religious Freedom . . . Read More

China: Cultivate ‘patriotic’ clergy, Henan officials told

China: Cultivate ‘patriotic’ clergy, Henan officials told
Local government officials in China’s central Henan province are being encouraged to cultivate “patriotic” clergy for leadership positions in the Catholic Church, according to a document outlining how to implement the new religion regulations. The guidelines, published in a confidential document titled ‘Supervision and Self-Inspection Framework for Implementing the Central . . . Read More

Eritreans still suffering despite peace deal with Ethiopia, says priest

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Cathedral in Asmara, Eritrea. (Photo: David Stanley)
An Eritrean priest has called on the international community not to close their eyes to the reality of what is happening in his country, reports the Catholic news site Agenzia Fides. While bilateral relations with countries in the region are improving, the harassment of religious groups at home continues, Fr. Mussie . . . Read More

‘If the UN does not stand for Asia Bibi, what does it stand for?’

Asia Bibi is finally free, almost one decade after she was first imprisoned. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
An opinion piece published in the Washington Examiner has criticised the United Nations for failing to speak out against Pakistan’s treatment of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman on death row for blasphemy against Islam since 2010. The article, written by New Jersey-based William Mahoney, contrasts the UN’s response to France’s . . . Read More

China’s Internet guidelines a ‘serious violation of people’s freedoms’

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China’s new draft guidelines on religious activities on the Internet, published last month, will curtail Christians’ freedom even further, writes Hong Kong-based professor Ying Fuk-tsang for UCAN “This is a serious violation of people’s freedom of speech and freedom of expression. It proves once again that the ‘Orwellian Empire’ is . . . Read More

‘Eliminate’ blasphemy laws, says US commission chief on International Blasphemy Day

In some countries blasphemy is a very sensitive topic and often leads to riots and violence, like in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November 2017.(Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Blasphemy laws are “dangerous” and should be “eliminated”, the chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) told Newsweek yesterday on International Blasphemy Day. The freedom to criticise or mock religion should not be decided by governments and their interpretation of laws, said Dr. Tenzin Dorjee. And it . . . Read More

Religious freedom a prerequisite for sustainable development, expert says

Poverty cannot be eradicated through government intervention alone but it needs the help of "innovative faith-based initiatives", says Brian Grim. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
As half a million people in 900 cities around the world campaign today for “sustainable” development goals, Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, argues that this cannot be achieved without religious freedom. “There is a strong and positive relationship between religious freedom and sustainable development as . . . Read More