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

Nenhum comentário:

Postar um comentário