Egypt – Indonesia – Iraq – Religious Freedom – Malaysia – Pakistan

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Religious Liberty Alert | Week ending Friday 06 March 2009 




Maher Ahmad El-Mo'otahssem Bellah El-Gohary is seeking to have his identification papers denote his religion as Christian after converting from Islam. Compass Direct reports in Egypt '...legal conversion from Islam to anotherfaith remains unprecedented.' Opposing lawyers have called for El-Gohary to be sentenced to death for 'apostasy' or converting from Islam to another religion. 

Egypt: Islamic Lawyers Urge Death Sentence For Convert Compass Direct | 26 February 2009





Islam Online depicts efforts to Islamise the province of Papua in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country. 'Christians make up nearly 78 percent of the population, Muslims 21 percent while the rest are Buddhists and Hindus.' 

Bringing Islam to Papua

Islam Online | 4 March 2009





The situation in Iraq is still tense for Christian despite apparent improvements in the region's security. 'As is the case in many Muslim countries today, those who dare to convert away from Islam face intense persecution and in some cases death. Northern Iraq has become a refuge for thousands of Christian families fleeing religious persecution in other parts of the country.' 

Iraq's 'Safe Haven' a Refuge from Torture Christian Broadcasting News | 23 February 2009





Religious Freedom continues to be curtailed in Kyrgzstan. 'In January, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed a law banning proselytism, private religious education, and the import or dissemination of religious literature. The law also requires that all religious communities register with the state.' And now the Kyrgyz Ministry of Education banned students from wearing headscarves to school. Cases in the US and France have also sought to limit when and where people are able to wear head coverings. Such laws affect observant Jews, Sikhs, Muslims, and in some cases Christians who wear religious headcoverings. 

Kyrgyzstan: Headscarf Ban Imposed At Schools Eurasia Net | 3 March 2009



Indian Sikhs take up French turban rights issue Reuters | 4 March 2009



USA: Religious freedom under attack in Oklahoma Muslim News | 3 March 2009





'The Malaysian government will issue a new decree restoring a ban on Christian publications using the word "Allah" to refer to God, officials said Sunday ... The about-turn came after Islamic groups slammed the government and warned that even conditional use of the word by Christians would anger Muslims, who make up the country's majority.' 

Malaysia to restore 'Allah' ban for Christians The Associated Press | Accessed 4 March 2009





In Waziristan, Pakistan, 'Three powerful warlords have settled their differences and come together under a grouping called Shura Ittihad-ul-Mujahideen, or Council of the Union of Holy Warriors.' The warlords are seeking to combat the international forces in Afghanistan. 'A Western military adviser said a Pakistani Taliban alliance would cement the grip of the militants over Waziristan. The region is also home to Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda, who use Waziristan and other parts of the tribal areas as a haven to regroup and launch attacks against Afghan and NATO forces.' This follows the regional government in Swat valley Pakistan agreeing to the imposition of Sharia Law. The insurgent leader in the Swat Valley, Mullah Fazlullah (33), 'has declared a holy war against the Pakistani Government and in effect established a parallel Islamic regime'.  

Rival Pakistani Taliban groups unite in Afghanistan The Age | 4 March 2009




Digest compiled by World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Religious Liberty Commission (RLC). All URL links were active when the digest was issued. Whilst the RLC has taken every care in selecting the items included, their authenticity depends on the original source.  

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