segunda-feira, 7 de janeiro de 2019

Global Issues: Religious Freedom

Are we free to believe in what we want?


It is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance without government influence or intervention. It also includes the freedom to change one's religion or belief.

  Freedom of religion is considered by many people and most of the nations to be a fundamental human right. In a country with a state religion, freedom of religion is generally considered to mean that the government permits religious practices of other sects besides the state religion, and does not persecute believers from other faiths.

Freedom of belief is different. It allows the right to believe what a person, group or religion wishes, but it does not necessarily allow the right to practice the religion or belief openly and outwardly in a public manner.





▪ Most and Least Religious countries
 
Do you live in a religious country?  Let us find out!
Here are the top ten most religious countries in the world (by percentage of the population):

Those are countries with the biggest amount of people that feel religious, it also helps us to identify the adherence to a certain set of religious beliefs.
(Check the complete list)
 
 Countries with the smallest amount of people that feel religious: In these places, religion is not an important part of daily life for most citizens; have you ever think how can it affect your life?
(Check out the list)

▪ Worst Countries for religious freedom

At its core, freedom of religion or belief requires freedom of expression. Both fundamental rights are protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, yet nearly half of all countries penalize blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion. In 13 countries, atheists can be put to death for their lack of belief.

The U.S. State Department names and shames eight “Countries of Particular Concern” that severely violate religious freedom rights within their borders. These countries not only suppress religious expression, they systematically torture and detain people who cross political and social red lines around faith. The worst of the worst are:


 ▪  Burma / Myanmar 
MaBaTha’s influence reportedly waned significantly following the government’s public denunciation of the group in July, although members of the organization continued circulating anti-Muslim materials in some villages and continued fanning religious tensions using social media. (Read more)



▪ China
The constitution guarantees freedom of religious belief, a principle that Beijing says it upholds. But an annual report from the US State Department released in August said that in 2016, China “physically abused, detained, arrested, tortured, sentenced to prison, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups”. (Read more)




 ▪ Eritrea
Another Eritrean Jehovah’s Witness dies after release from prison.
(Read more)




▪  Sudan
Sudan’s interim constitution partially protects religious freedom but restricts apostasy, blasphemy and defamation of Islam. Muslim women are also prevented from marrying non-Muslim men. The country’s vaguely worded apostasy law discourages proselytizing of non-Muslim faiths. Christian South Sudanese living in Sudan are subject to harassment and intimidation by government agents and society, but untangling the religious and ethnic motivations for this persecution can be difficult. Muslims generally enjoy social, legal and economic privileges denied to the Christian minority population. Government authorities have reportedly destroyed churches in recent years, and Christian groups have reportedly been subject to disproportionate taxes and delays in building new houses of worship. (Read more)


 

▪  North Korea
North Korea’s constitution guarantees religious freedom, but this right is far from upheld. The state is officially atheist. Author John Sweeney says the country is “seized by a political religion” and that it considers established religious traditions a threat to state unity and control. North Korea allow for government-sponsored Christian and Buddhist religious organizations to operate and build houses of worship, but political analysts suspect this “concession” is for the sake of external propaganda. A Christian group says it dropped 50,000 Bibles over North Korea over the past year. If caught with one, citizens face imprisonment, torture or even death. Given the government’s extreme control over the flow of reliable information, it is difficult to determine the true extent of religious persecution in North Korea.

Most Christians worship secretly. If discovered, they are “taken to political camps (kwanliso); crimes against them in these camps include extra-judicial killing, extermination, enslavement/forced labor, forcible transfer of population, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance, rape and sexual violence and other inhuman acts.” CSW reports documented cases of believers being “hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges, and trampled underfoot.” (Read more)




▪ Religious Persecution Cases

 Catholic Inquisition
In 12th century, torture became an integral part of all capital legal proceedings. Also, it was often practiced by the inquisition in most European countries in cases of heresy, blasphemy, adultery and many other similar ‘crimes against God’. Beside common means of torture like beating, suffocating and burning Roman-Catholic Church used others, more depraved ways of extracting confessions and execution of its victims… (Read more)


▪ Ku Klux Klan
The Ku Klux Klan, with its long history of violence, is the most infamous — and oldest — of American hate groups. Although black Americans have typically been the Klan's primary target, it also has attacked Jews, immigrants, gays and lesbians and, until recently, Catholics.
(Read More)

 
 ▪  Governmental persecution

In Eritrea, if you are Catholic, Muslim, or a member of the Orthodox and Evangelical churches in Eritrea then it seems you can breathe easy.
However, those who believe and practice minority faiths are routinely persecuted, according to human rights groups. (Read more)

A church in northern China had been demolished not long ago, this, not being the a case apart, which sparks fears of a wider campaigns against Christians as authorities prepare to enforce new laws on religion.
(Read more)




▪ Some Persecuted Religions
 
▪ Jehovah’s Witnesses
Anti-terror legislation is being used to target those whose faith is only ‘extreme’ in terms of its commitment to non-violence. It should be a warning to us all. (Read more)

From the Korean War period to the present, South Korea has relentlessly prosecuted young Witness men who refuse military service, and the government has not provided any alternative to resolve the issue. The result? South Korea has sentenced over 19,200 Witnesses to a combined total of more than 36,700 years in prison for refusing to perform military service. (Read More)


▪ Muslims
“Ultra-nationalist Buddhist group Ma Ba Tha has been spreading anti-Muslim rhetoric across Myanmar for years. Cosmopolitan Mandalay is at the heart of this hostility – which many fear is here to stay.” (Read more)




Read Even More:
▪ Another Blow To The Victims Of Religious Persecution
▪ Bangladesh: Runaway Muslim Persecution of Hindus
▪ Anti-Christian religious persecution on the rise

segunda-feira, 5 de novembro de 2018

Global Issues: Prejudice


Prejudice

Did you know?
▪ The word "prejudice" comes from the Latin roots "prae" (in advance) and "judicum" (judgment), which essentially means to judge before. When we "pre-judge" someone, we make up our minds about who they are before we actually get to know them. Prejudices or "pre-judgments" are not based upon actual real-life interaction with a person or group it is often born of stereotypes and forms the fertile soil of discrimination.
For instance, a person may hold prejudiced mentally towards a certain ethnic group or gender etc. (e.g. sexist).

▪ The word ‘stereotype’ comes from the French adjective ‘’stéréotype’’, which itself comes from the Greek στερεός (solid) and τύπος (type). The earliest example in the Oxford English Dictionary of this usage is from a 1922 essay by Walter Lippmann in the journal Public Opinion: “A stereotype may be so consistently and authoritatively transmitted in each generation from parent to child that it seems almost like a biological fact.”
For instance, a person may stereotype a certain group of people, by the pre assumption based on some members of that group etc.

▪ The word ‘’Discrimination’’  from the Latin ‘’discrīminātus’’, which means literate to separate, can be considered the culmination of both previous terms, it is the behavior or action to make a distinction in favor of or against an individual, a group of people or something (being also most of the time negative) especially based on sex, race, social class, etc.
 For instance: a person might discriminate another by their different way of dressing. 

▪ The effects of social norms on prejudice
According to McLeod, S. A. (2008) on Prejudice and discrimination, Minard (1952) investigated how social norms influence prejudice and discrimination. The behavior of Afro-descendants and Caucasian miners in a town in the southern United States was observed, both above and below ground. (Read more)

▪ Affirmative Action
 An Affirmative action is an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education; it is also known worldwide as a positive discrimination. Thinking like that it would be right to affirm that this kind of attitude or policy is for the best, isn’t it? Not so fast…

Ten myths about affirmative action:  In recent years, affirmative action has been debated more intensely than at any other time in its thirty-year history. Many supporters view affirmative action as a milestone, many opponents see it as a millstone, and many others regard it as both or neither, as a necessary, but imperfect, remedy for an intractable social disease. Here are some of the most popular myths about affirmative action, along with a brief commentary on each one. (Read more)

▪ Social media prejudice
Is it possible to be preconceived while networking, when we are comfortably set in our couches using smartphones or even during games online? Sadly but indeed it is. The social networking site as we probably know very well today, such as facebook, Instagram, twitter and many others, are formed by human beings, and being imperfect as we are, any tool we possess has the potential of being used as a tool for prejudice.
‘’Social networking as we know creates an "echo chamber" in which a network of like-minded people share controversial theories, biased views and selective news, academics found.
This means that any bias held is simply repeated back to them unchallenged and accepted as a real fact.’’
Says a study by The Telegraph journal
(Read more)

There is also a study about human behavior with and without social Medias: The study compared crowd-sourced and social media recruits to in-lab participants.  Check it out!



▪ Different types of prejudice
Different kinds of prejudice lead to different forms of discrimination. (Read more)

▪ Unconscious bias
Are you preconceived in any way? Do you know what unconscious bias is?
Find out at the videos below.




▪ Prejudice Consequences

Prejudice affects the everyday lives of millions of people across the globe. Prejudice held by individuals unnaturally forces on others who are targets of their prejudice a false social status that strongly influences who they are, what they think, and even the actions they take. Prejudice shapes what the targets of prejudice think about the world and life in general, about the people around them, and how they feel about themselves. Importantly, prejudice greatly influences what people expect from the future and how they feel about their chances for self-improvement, referred to as their life chances. All of these considerations define their very identity as individuals.


quarta-feira, 20 de junho de 2018

Game Library: Prey (2017)

Prey (2017)


System Requirements
Minimum:

Operating system: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit OS required)
Processor: AMD FX-8320/AMD Ryzen or Intel Core i5-2500 or better
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Hard disk space: 25 GB free HDD space
Video: AMD Radeon 7870 2 GB or NVIDIA GTX 660 2 GB or better


Recommended:

Operating system: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
Processor: AMD FX-8350/AMD Ryzen 5 1400 or Intel Core i7-2600K or better
Memory: 16 GB RAM
Hard disk space: 25 GB free HDD space
Video: AMD Radeon RX 470/RX 570 4 GB or NVIDIA GTX 970 4 GB or better



Watch the game trailer below:


terça-feira, 19 de junho de 2018

Game Library: Alien VS Predator (2010)

Alien VS Predator (2010)


Minimum:

Processor: Intel Pentium 4 - 3.2Ghz/ Athlon 64 3000+ or equivalent.
Memory: 1GB RAM (XP) / 2 GB System RAM (Vista)
Video: NVIDIA 6600 / ATI X1600 (128MB RAM)
Operating system: Windows 7/ XP/ Vista
DirectX: 9.0c

Recommended:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 or equivalent processor
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Video: NVIDIA 8800 series, ATI HD2900 PRO or better (512 MB RAM)
DirectX: 9.0c
Operating System: Windows 7/ XP/ Vista


Watch the game trailer below:



Game Library: Black Mesa

Black Mesa



Minimum:

Processor: 2.4 Dual Core Processor
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Video: 1 GB Dedicated Video Card
DirectX: 9.0c
System: Windows® 7 (32/64-bit)/Vista
HardDisk Space: 15 GB
Network: Broadband Internet connection

Recommended:

Processor: 3.0 Quad Core Processor or Greater
Memory: 6 GB RAM
Video: 2.5 GB Dedicated Video Card or Greater
DirectX: 9.0c
System: Windows® 7 (32/64-bit) or Greater
HardDisk Space: 15 GB
Network: Broadband Internet connection

Watch the game trailer below:


segunda-feira, 18 de junho de 2018

Game Library: Tomb Raider Survival Edition

Tomb Raider Survival Edition



Minimum:

Processor: 2GHz Dual Core (Intel Core 2 Duo, AMD Athlon X2)
Memory: 1 GB (Win XP), 2 GB (Win Vista/7)
Video: nVIDIA GeForce 8800 / AMD Radeon HD 2900 or better
DirectX: 9.0c
Operating system: Windoes XP, Vista, 7https://gamesystemrequirements.com/
Store: 12 GB HD space
Network: Broadband Internet connection

Recommended:

Processor: Quad core CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955, Intel Core i5-750
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Video: 1GB Video RAM: AMD Radeon HD 5870, nVidia GTX 480
DirectX: 11.0c
Operating system: Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
Store: 12 GB HD space


Network: Broadband Internet connection

Watch the game trailer below:


sexta-feira, 15 de junho de 2018

Game Library: Halo: Spartan Strike

Halo: Spartan Strike



Minimum:

Operation System: Windows 7, 8 and 8.1
Processor: Dual core processor
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: DirectX10 compatible graphics card w/ dedicated 512MB RAM (ATI Radeon 3670, NVIDIA 8600 GT or Intel HD 3000)
DirectX: Version 10
Storage: 2550 MB available space
Additional Notes: ** DirectX feature level 10 required **

Recommended:
Operating System: Windows 7, 8 and 8.1
Processor: Quad core processor or better
Memory: 2 GB RAM or better
Graphics: DirectX10 compatible graphics card w/ dedicated 1GB RAM or more
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 2550 MB available space
Additional Notes: ** DirectX feature level 10 required **

Watch the game trailer below: