Religious freedom reduces terrorism, says US ambassador Brownback

Sam Brownback was confirmed as Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom in January.
If countries want less terrorism within their borders, they should give religious freedom to their people, says US religious freedom ambassador Sam Brownback. During a policy hearing in Washington DC on Wednesday (9 May), he said one country that had been a “bad actor” for a long time was now . . . Read More

Report: UN weakness on religious freedom undercuts its authority on human rights

Dressed in the saffron colour, groups such these are promoting the nationalist cause for India to be a Hindu-nation. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The UN cannot strengthen, promote and protect human rights if it does not prioritise religious freedom, a report published by the Washington-based human rights alliance, ADF International has argued. The 73-page report, titled “Anti-Conversion Laws and the International Response”, claims that “some UN entities, especially special rapporteurs, have highlighted the . . . Read More

USCIRF wants 6 more countries on US Govt’s religious-freedom watch list

USCIRF wants 6 more countries on US Govt’s religious-freedom watch list
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) wants six more countries to be added to the US State Department’s religious-freedom watch list. The Central African Republic, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, and Vietnam should become ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ (CPCs) – a designation the US government uses to describe countries . . . Read More

On trial for terrorism and espionage in a Turkish court

On trial for terrorism and espionage in a Turkish court
Just one prisoner, slightly built, came through a side door, escorted on either side by armed gendarmerie soldiers, walking him past rows and rows of empty seats. Dressed in a dark suit and white shirt, he glanced up at the impressive state-of-the-art courtroom, built to accommodate 650 people. Its walls . . . Read More

Erdogan demands Gulen extradition for US pastor’s release

Erdogan demands Gulen extradition for US pastor’s release
Responding over the weekend to public pressure from both US President Donald Trump and 66 members of the US Senate, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan repeated his demand that US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen must be extradited back to Turkey if Washington expects Ankara to release jailed US pastor Andrew . . . Read More

Turkish court puts trial of US pastor on hold for three weeks

Turkish court puts trial of US pastor on hold for three weeks
Andrew Brunson got his first day in a Turkish court today (16 April) to answer espionage charges. It will be three weeks until he gets his second. The American-born Brunson, pastor of a small Protestant church, told the court he denies any wrongdoing. He is accused of supporting the attempted . . . Read More

US installs Sam Brownback as religious freedom ambassador

Sam Brownback was confirmed as Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom in January.
The US Senate has confirmed Sam Brownback as the new head of the Office of International Religious Freedom. Brownback is the first ambassador under the US’s revised International Religious Freedom Act, which affirms a commitment to international religious freedom as a foreign relations policy. Brownback, 60, ran for president in . . . Read More