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Religious Freedom Faces Challenges Throughout the World Today PDF Print E-mail

 

Religious Freedom Faces Challenges Throughout the World Today

In this age of change when significant barriers to freedom have broken down, it is sobering to realize that religious freedom remains in serious jeopardy throughout the world.

  • In Russia and Eastern Europe, an unholy alliance between former communists and Orthodox authorities has resulted in a giant step backward for the religious freedom of Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists and new religions.
  • The French Parliament has issued a list naming 172 "dangerous sects." Included are the Mormon Church and the Catholic Charismatic renewal. One group's headquarters was bombed shortly after the list was published.
  • In Germany, members of Scientology are banned from the ruling political party and have been placed under official government surveillance.
  • Chinese officials smile among the glitterati of Washington and Wall Street, while Tibetan Buddhists, Chinese Christians, Muslims and other religious minorities face persecution at the hands of China's Marxist regime.
  • In the Sudan, Christian and animist tribes suffer violent suppression by an Islamic fundamentalist government.
  • Japanese police turn a blind eye while hundreds of Unificationists each year endure the ordeal of "deprogramming," a practice that has largely been discredited in western nations.
  • A Committee of the European Parliament has voted to investigate minority religions throughout the continent, and the Council of Europe is considering a resolution calling for all European nations to pass legislation limiting the activities of "the sects."

Clearly, religious freedom remains a pressing human rights issue throughout the world. The American statesman Thomas Jefferson taught that human rights are the gift of God and that the govenment's function is to secure these rights. If so, then religious liberty must be considered a primary right. It is with this in mind that the International Coalition for Religious Freedom undertakes to bring news and analysis to the public on this vital subject.