Religious Liberty Alert | Week ending Friday 19 September 2008

General September 19, 2008

AUSTRALIA - INDIA - INDONESIA - VIETNAM - UNITED KINGDOM

http://www.ea.org.au/ReligiousLiberty/Alerts.aspx

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AUSTRALIA

The ABC reports the Human Rights Commission race discrimination commissioner, Tom Calma, believes 'there is evidence of a growing fundamentalist religious lobby' operating in Australia in areas such as stem-cell research and abortion. Australians will be invited to make submissions to a national review of what Australians think about religious freedom.

National religious freedom review to be launched
ABC | 17 September 2008
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/09/17/2366511.htm?section=justin

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The ABC's Religion Report invites Dr Mervyn Bendle of James Cook University in Townsville to discuss his views on a new academic field 'Critical Terrorism Studies', 'which treats terrorism ... As a rational ... Response to Western evil'. He also warns about the 'dangers associated with Saudi Arabian funding coming into Australian universities'. [Audio or transcript]

Critical Terrorism Studies
17 September 2008
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/religionreport/stories/2008/2366575.htm

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INDIA

'Orissa government on Monday said religious conversion was one of the factors behind the unrest in tribal-dominated Kandhamal district and promised to change the state's law relating to religious freedom.' (Press Trust of India) Many states in India, despite claiming to have freedom of religion, have previously outlawed conversion or made it extremely difficult.

Orissa to change law relating to religious freedom
Press Trust of India | 15 September 2008
http://indiatoday.digitaltoday.in/index.php?option=com_content&issueid=71&task=view&id=15389§ionid=4&Itemid=1

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Conversions are an integral part of communal tensions following riots by Hindus in India after the death of a local leader.

Disclose details of conversions: Gowda
Accessed 18 September 2008
http://www.hindu.com/2008/09/18/stories/2008091860921200.htm

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BBC News reports arrests have been made in relation to attacks on churches and clergymen by activitists of the radical Hindu group Bajrang Dal who claim 'Hindus are being illegally converted to Christianity'. The violence continues.

Arrests over India church attacks
BBC News | 15 September 2008
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7616314.stm


PLEASE PRAY for God to still this growing, spreading storm of Hindu anti-Christian violence (Matthew 8:25,26) and enlighten Indians to the dangers of Hindu nationalism.

* Selected scenes of this devastation in India may be viewed on a webpage -- click on
< http://www.ea.org.au/ReligiousLiberty/India.aspx >.

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INDONESIA

Following up from the RLA (Fri 22 Aug 2008)

Compass Direct News reports Charles Hutahaen, chairman of the Indonesian Christian Students' Movement was kicked last week by Public Order officials who 'threatened to kill' other staff members over a land dispute between the Indonesian Christian Students' Movement and a private company. The group's land was sold without their permission and demolition of their office building has begun.

INDONESIA: PASTOR ASSAULTED, THREATENED
Compass Direct News | 18 September 2008
http://www.compassdirect.org/en/display.php?page=news&lang=en&length=long&idelement=5595

BACKGROUND: Attack forces Indonesian Christian theology students off campus
ASSOCIATED PRESS JAKARTA | 22 August 2008
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1219218616072&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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Survival International reports, 'Two hundred and ninety one Papuan tribal people have died from cholera since April this year in West Papua, Indonesia, according to local church officials, sparking fears of a major epidemic.' West Papuan rights groups claim the outbreak has been aggravatated by a lack of government services and attention. The indigenous population are predominantly Christian Melanesians.

Papua cholera deaths spark fears of major epidemic
Survival International | 17 September 2008
http://www.survival-international.org/news/3713

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Religious minorities and ethnic groups in Indonesia reports Asia News are increasingly concerned about by the introduction of Islamic law. A new law, seeking to legislate dress and conduct codes, would enforce Islamic values on Hindu and Christian Indonesians throughout the country. 'But what is most worrying to the minorities and ethnic groups is the danger that the law on pornography is concealing an attempt by the more fundamentalist branch of Islam to introduce sharia, Islamic law.'

Indonesia, sharia behind anti-pornography law
Asia News | 17 September 2008
http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=13247&geo=5&size=A

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UNITED KINGDOM

Times Online reports 'ISLAMIC law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases... Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.'

Revealed: UK's first official sharia courts
Times Online | 14 September 2008
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article4749183.ece

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Religious Intelligence reports a British MP has called for the 'Single Equality Bill' to outlaw discrimination on grounds of religion. If such legislative changes are made religious organisations would be restricted in their ability to hire staff who comply with and affirm the organisation's belief systems, e.g., Christian Schools would be unable to discriminate between Christian and non-Christian teaching applicants.

British MP calls for religious equality to be made law
Religious Intelligence | 17th September 2008
http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=2794

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VIETNAM

Following Vietnamese prayer vigils this week and government retaliation as propaganda through state-run media, 'Church leaders have visited and comforted family members of Catholics police have arrested or interrogated for involvement in a land dispute between a Ha Noi parish and the government.'

Ha Noi Archbishop Visits, Consoles Catholic Detainees' Relatives
VietCatholic News 17 September 2008
http://www.vietcatholic.net/News/Html/58629.htm

BACKGROUND TO THE SITUATION IN VIETNAM:
Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | No. 496 | Wed 17 Sep 2008 VIETNAM: PRAYER VIGILS CONFRONT GOVERNMENT
http://www.ea.org.au/ReligiousLiberty/PrayerPostings.aspx

World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty News & Analysis | Tuesday 16 September 2008
VIETNAM: PRAYER VIGILS PUSH GOVERNMENT TO BREAKING POINT
http://www.ea.org.au/ReligiousLiberty/NewsAnalysis.aspx

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Hmong National Development denounces the Vietnamese and Laos Communist regimes for their attacks against Christians stating, 'The Lao and Vietnamese military and communist party officials responsible for these religious freedom violations, human rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity, that include the high-priority targeting of Hmong Catholics and Christians in Laos and Vietnam, need to be held accountable by the international community.'

Hmong National Development Denounces Vietnam, Laos Communist Regimes For Attacks Against Christians
Press Zoom | 18 September 2008
http://presszoom.com/story_145876.html

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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.

Contact email: < owner-religious-liberty@hub.xc.org >

PLEASE NOTE: All URL links were active at the time this email was issued but may have since been removed by the respective owners. Whilst the RLC considers the items included are credible, the RLC has not necessarily verified them. Therefore anybody quoting an item should be satisfied about its accuracy as well as attribute its original source to fulfil copyright law.