Religious Liberty Alert | Week ending Friday 9 January 2009

General January 10, 2009




The secular Awami League (AL) has won Bangladesh's election and Sheikh Hasina Wajed will be the prime minister-elect. Her party won 230 of a possible 300 parliamentary seats. The opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) which is pro-Pakistan, pro-Islam has admitted defeat.

Sheikh Hasina all set to become Bangladesh PM
AFP | Accessed 5 January 2009


UPDATE: Two British Christian Missionaries to Gambia have been sentenced to a year's hard labour for writing critical comments about Gambia in 'e-mails related to their Christian missionary work in the predominantly Muslim state'. The couple have appealed to President Jammeh for clemency and have publicly apologised for their comments.

Jailed British couple asks Gambian president for clemency
AFP | Accessed 5 January 2008


A breakaway faction of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) 'has threatened to kill one Christian on the 23rd of every month' in order to avenge the murder of Hindu leader Swamy Laxmanananda Saraswati on 23 August 2008.

Kandhamal killings split Orissa Maoists on religious lines
The Hindu News Update Service | 30 December 2008


Concerns have been raised by friends in Australia about the health of Anike Wainggai, a seven-year-old girl, who left Australia in November. Anike and her father Yunus Wainggai, West Papuan asylum seekers, returned to Indonesia last year with assistance from the Indonesian Embassy amidst claims they were coerced to return. Anike's mother, Siti Wainggai, has been living in Vanuatu whilst applying for permission to come to Australia. She too has returned to Indonesia to be reunited with the family.

Concerns for 7yo asylum seeker forced back to Indonesia
ABC | 8 January 2009

Wife of Papuan asylum seeker follows him back to Indonesia's Papua
Radio New Zealand | 18 December 2008


Update: Compass Direct News reports, 'Malaysia's Ministry of Home Affairs has ordered the Catholic weekly Herald to cease publishing its Malay-language section pending the outcome of a court case over the newspaper's right to use the Arabic word "Allah" for God. The government also included two other conditions: The newspaper can be sold only in churches, and it must be printed clearly on the cover that it is meant for Christians only ... A hearing in the court case is scheduled for Feb. 27.'

Compass Direct News | 5 January 2009


Ethiopian troops supporting the UN-appointed government of Somalia are withdrawing from Mogadishu. Whilst Ethiopia has said it seeks to ensure there is no 'security vacuum' after their withdrawal the 'lack of international and regional military assistance to help stabilise Somalia has allowed the Islamists to be in the ascendant once again. Attacks on humanitarian aid workers and Christians are escalating in frequency and barbarity'(Elizabeth Kendal - RLP No. 504 | Wed
12 Nov 2008).

Somali police stations taken over
BBC | 4 January 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.