Religious Liberty Alert | Week ending Friday 11 July 2008

General July 13, 2008


* INDIA: Asia News reports that after Christians from the village of Tumudiband (Malikpada) butchered a cow and took the meat home the Sangh Parivar Hindu fundamentalist group 'went on a rampage, cutting down trees to burn to block streets, attacked a Jesuit home and destroyed the local church and the statue of Our Lady. The Protestant orphanage, the Bhagban Ashram, was also completely destroyed.'

NEW ATTACK AGAINST CHRISTIANS IN ORISSA, AN ORPHANAGE IS DESTROYED AND A PARISH CHURCH ATTACKED
Asia News | 9 July 2008
http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=12719&size=A


* INDIA: The Union of Catholic News reports that 'Christians in the state have witnessed increased incidents of violence since the BJP (pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party) came to power'. Recent comments by the BJP 'incited sectarian feelings in an already volatile region according to Archbishop Leo Cornelio. Church officials have demanded an apology for the defamation against Christians in India.

INDIA CHURCH THREATENS LEGAL ACTION AGAINST HINDU ALLEGATIONS OF CONVERSION
Union of Catholic Asian News | 2 July 2008
http://www.ucanews.com/2008/07/02/church-threatens-legal-action-against-hindu-allegations-of-conversion/


* INDONESIA: Reuters reports that moderates in Indonesia are alarmed at the rising influence of the PKS party and the increasing potential for Indonesia to incorporate sharia law more widely and become less tolerant of other religions.

INDONESIAN ISLAMIST PARTY EYES POLLS AND PRESIDENCY
Reuters | 9 July 2008
http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSSP24932120080710


* ITALY: Italian authorities are proceeding to take photographs of Roma children and adults as part of a 'racist' census despite UNICEF's protests that the action equates to discrimination. The Guardian reports the Catholic Church in Italy's concern about ethnic profiling.

ITALY'S CENSUS OF ROMA CAMPS IS RACIST
Guardian | 8 July 2008
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/08/italy.race


* IRAQ: 'Concern is growing that The Batallion of Just Punishment, Jihad Base in Mesopotamia which strongly opposes Christians entering the Iraqi police force, have begun an aggressive campaign to force Christians from the region once more'.

IRAQI CHRISTIANS FACE NEW PERSECUTION
Catholic Online | 10 July 2008
http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=28550


* KAZAKHSTAN: Cutting Edge News reports on developments to Kazakhstan's religion law. Kazakhstan's draft religion law 'discriminates against minority religious groups', violates international human rights law despite recently proposed amendments by a Kazakhstan parliamentary working group.

NEW KAZAKHSTAN DRAFT RELIGION RULES STILL VIOLATE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAWS
Cutting Edge News | 7 July 2008
http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=617


* UNITED NATIONS: Assyrian International News Agency reports 'A Congressional Task Force for International Religious Freedom (TIRF) will hold an off-the-record briefing to discuss the "defamation of religions" resolutions at the United Nations' Human Rights Council and their impact on the freedoms of religion and expression. Whilst Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Conference has sponsored these resolutions at the UN to counter "Islamophobia" since 1999, the effect has been a dangerous increase in restrictions on the freedom of religion and expression throughout the world that go beyond traditionally accepted international standards.'

RELIGIOUS DEFAMATION RESOLUTIONS ARE SETTING A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT
AINA | Posted GMT 7-9-2008 21:51:11
http://www.aina.org/news/2008079165111.htm


* USA: A peaceful demonstration in front of the White House will be conducted on Wednesday 16 July to highlight 'recent incidents of persecution, discrimination and marginalisation inflicted on Coptic Christians of Egypt by the Egyptian government and Muslim extremists'.

Rally in Support of Coptic Christians in Egypt
Christian News Wire | 10 July 2008
http://christiannewswire.com/news/884807140.html


* ZIMBABWE: Robert Mugabe continues to persecute his opponents. 'Pastor Lawrence Berejena, a Christian Alliance member now in hiding, told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that such persecution stems from allegations the [Anglican] clerics campaigned for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in March elections.'

CRACKDOWN DRIVES CLERICS OF ZIMBABWE'S CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE INTO HIDING
Voice of America | 09 July 2008
http://voanews.com/english/Africa/Zimbabwe/2008-07-09-voa44.cfm

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World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) has selected this digest of significant articles as a resource for the informed concern, prayers, support and advocacy of the Christian Church on behalf of its sisters and brothers who are suffering for their faith in Christ.

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