Religious Liberty Alert | Week ending Friday 12 December 2008

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'THE APPALLING treatment of religious minorities by many Arab regimes is another reason for skepticism concerning the Saudi plan. Coptic and Assyrian Christians, Baha'is, Armenians, Yazdis and other minority religious group have experienced persecution, expulsions and genocidal mass atrocities in ... notably Egypt, Iraq, Sudan and Iran.'

The Saudi plan: 100 years of dhimmitude?
The Jerusalem Post | 10 December 2008



A US court has found that for an Egyptian Christian, facing deportation to Egypt, claims of religious persecution are well founded. Samuel Khouzam if returned to Egypt 'fears torture for what he calls a trumped-up murder charge that he attributes to his minority religious beliefs'.

US court lets Egyptian Christian fight deportation
Times Leader | Accessed 11 December 2008



David and Fiona Fulton, British missionaries in the Gambia, have been arrested on accusations of writing letters of hatred and contempt towards Gambia. The couple's adopted two-year-old daughter is now being cared for by friends after being with Fiona Fulton in custody at a police station. It is believed that now David and Fiona Fulton are both in different jails.

Child removed from Gambia Britons
BBC News | 8 December 2008



'Europe ... is increasingly grappling with the legal quandary stemming from Shari'a and a Muslim population that totals some 50 million. Some European courts, religious leaders, and officials have shown a willingness to defer to Muslim rules in the private sphere -- on marriage and divorce or finance, for example. The main challenges from Islam have been on women's rights, freedom of association and religion, torture, and the death penalty for children.

On the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Sabatina James (a pseudonym), a convert from Islam to Christianity, reflects not on why '... Muslim states have sought their own Shari'a-based rights charters ...' but why '... in some Western countries she sees a willingness to have Shari'a applied to Muslim citizens at the expense of their tutelage under national and international laws' such as the UDHR.

Islam's Challenges To 'Universal Human Rights'
Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty | 9 December 2008



Dr Jim Elmslie of Sydney University's Centre for Peace and Conflict studies has called on the upcoming US administration to apply pressure to Indonesia to improve the human rights condition in the Papua region and to restrict US military assistance until abuse by the Indonesian military towards the people living in Papua stops.

Obama administration called to recognise opportunity to advance human rights in Indonesia
Radio New Zealand | 8 December 2008


A teacher who allegedly insulted Islam has been taken into police custody. Approximately 500 protesters have called for the teacher to 'be dismissed and face the law'. A smaller group regrouped later and began to riot. 'Dozens of homes were reportedly set ablaze, along with a church and a village hall. Civil servants were sent home early and traders at the Binaya market shut their shops. Two cars and a motorcycle inside the Binaya bus terminal were also set alight. Major thoroughfares were deserted because of the chaos.'

Church, homes burned in Masohi blasphemy riot
The Jakarta Post | 10 December 2008



Persecution of evangelical Christians in Southern Mexico continues. 'According to Open Doors USA, most of the persecution against Christians comes from traditionalist Catholics in southern Mexico who believe they have the right to force others to conform to their religion.'

Traditional Catholics persecute Christians in Southern Mexico
One News Now | 10 December 2008



Compass Direct reports, 'The murderous rioting sparked by Muslim attacks on Christians and their property on Nov. 28-29 left six pastors dead, at least 500 other people killed and 40 churches destroyed, according to church leaders.'

Nigeria: Six Pastors Killed, 40 Churches Razed In Jos Violence
Compass Direct News | 11 December 2008


VIETNAM (Follow up to RLA w/e Fri 28 Nov 2008)

Eight Catholics who took part in the prayer vigils earlier this year were scheduled to face trial this month. Asia News reported, 'All of them are accused of "destruction of property" and "disturbing public order."' The Vietnamese Catholics were found guilty but received suspended prison sentences, '... seven of the Catholics receiving suspended jail terms of 12 to 15 months, minus time already spent in custody, and administrative probation of up to two years.' The trial was preceded by thousands of Catholics gathering for mass and then attending the court house where they were confronted by police. Protesters who escaped the police using stun guns staged a peaceful sit-in at the front of the court house whilst others remained outside.

Catholics on trial in Vietnam receive suspended jail time
Catholic News Agency | 8 December 2008

Thousands of Catholics confront police outside the court house
Viet Catholic News | 8 December 2008

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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