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News in the press : Jehovah's Witnesses, right of worship and secularism

JW.ORG - News Updates and Legal Developments

Eurel - Sociological and legal data on religions in Europe

  • 15 September – Spain - Reform of the law of religious freedom in Spain: an on-going and never-ending debate
  • June 2017 The update of the 1980 organic law of religious freedom has been an ongoing discussion in Spain over the last decade. Attempts to reform the law have taken place at different moments in time, not one of them, though, leading to any actual modifications. The modification of such a law (...)
  • 31 August – Czech Republic - Religious freedom in the workplace
  • In the Czech Republic, religious freedom in the workplace is guaranteed. The Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Charter) includes religious freedom in the catalogue of fundamental human rights and freedoms. Section 1 of Article 3 of the Charter declares that: “Everyone is guaranteed (...)
  • 28 August – France - Statistics and main surveys 2017
  • Emmanuel Macron : the candidate of the Protestant France ? IFOP focus # 166, September 2017 The French and welcoming migrants IFOP for Atlantico, July 2017 The murder of the priest Jacques Hamel: a shock wave for French Catholics français Ifop Focus #165, July 2017 The French and their (...)
  • 22 August – Croatia - Religions and prison
  • The religious rights of imprisoned people have been regulated by the Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Croatia on Legal Issues, signed in December 1996. According to this agreement, the Republic of Croatia guarantees to the Catholic Church the right of religious assistance to (...)
  • 22 August – Croatia - Religiously (mainly Catholic) inspired NGOs continue to oppose the so-called “gender ideology”
  • August 2017 Several religiously (Catholic) inspired non-governmental organizations initiated a vivid public debate and different actions to prevent the Government's intention to ratify the “Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence” (...)
  • 22 August – Croatia - Criteria for registration
  • The position of other religious communities had remained unregulated until the Law on Legal Status of Religious Communities was passed in 2002. The Law differentiated between the then existing religious communities which had a very simple registration process and the new ones, those which would (...)
  • 22 August – Croatia - Religious belonging according to the 2011 Census and 2015-2016 data, percentages
  • Religious belonging according to the 2011 Census, percentages Total (number) 4 284 889 Catholics 86.28 Orthodox 4.44 Protestants 0.34 Other Christians 0.30 Muslims 1.47 Jews 0,01 Oriental religions 0,06 Other religions, movements and life philosophies 0,06 Agnostics and sceptics 0,76 Not (...)

Human Rights Without Frontiers International

  • 19 September – IRAN: Baha’i leader released from prison in Iran after 10 years; six other Baha’i leaders remain behind bars
  • Mahvash Sabet, one of the Baha’i Seven prisoners for whose release HRWF campaigned, is finally free, but state-led persecution of the Baha’i community continues. Center for Human Rights in Iran (18.09.2017) – http://bit.ly/2hckIyX – The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) welcomes the release of (...)
  • 19 September – ANGOLA: Jehovah’s Witnesses victims of gas attack in Angola
  • By Derek Welch World Religion News (16.09.2017) – http://bit.ly/2ffWMdh – On Friday August 25, over 400 Regional Convention for Jehovah’s Witnesses attendees were rendered unconscious when unknown assailants spread a non-lethal gas through the main auditorium and restrooms of the Viana Assembly at (...)
  • 19 September – INDIA: Jharkhand becomes ninth state in India to pass anti-conversion law
  • Over a quarter of Indian states have adopted laws prohibiting changing religions without notifying the government. By Arvin Valmuci Sikh 24 (14.09.2017) – http://bit.ly/2jGTD7I – Jharkhand, in northern India, became the most recent state in the country to criminalize religious freedom when its (...)
  • 19 September – CHINA/NORTH KOREA: Shadowed children
  • By Soumin Shin HRWF (16.09.2017) – According to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, there are currently an estimated 4,000 unprotected children of North Korean mothers and Chinese fathers living in Northeast China and the eastern Jilin province. The Commission conducted a survey of (...)
  • 18 September – KAZAKHSTAN: State hostility to religious movements of foreign origin in Kazakhstan
  • HRWF statement at the OSCE/ODIHR HDIM in Warsaw HRWF (15.09.2017) – Human Rights Without Frontiers recommends that the Kazakh authorities Grant full religious freedom to Kazakh citizens adhering to the teachings of peaceful religious movements of foreign origin: freedom of association, freedom (...)
  • 18 September – CHINA: New regulations on religions: Annihilate underground communities, suffocate official communities
  • By Bernardo Cervellera AsiaNews (11.09.2017) – http://bit.ly/2ffp2gk – The new regulations on religious activities are aimed at annihilating underground communities and stifling official communities, making it impossible for any outward mission. This is evidenced by the recently published text on (...)
  • 18 September – WORLD: Dignity kits distribution begins for Barbuda women and girls impacted by Hurricane Irma and Jose
  • UN Women and UNFPA fast track funds to Antigua and Barbuda to help women and girls. UN Women (11.09.2017) – http://bit.ly/2xiV5T0 – A joint effort by UN Women and UNFPA started the distribution of “dignity kits” containing basic health and hygiene products for displaced women and girls from the (...)

Forum 18 News Service

  • 12 September – Tajikistan: Id al-Adha restrictions, haj returnee celebrations banned
  • Teachers were banned from attending mosque on Muslim festival Id al-Adha. They and children were forced to attend school, even though the state declared it a holiday. Officials banned haj pilgrimage returnees from holding celebratory meals. Traditions Law amendments and increased punishments (...)
  • 11 September – Uzbekistan: Religious freedom survey, September 2017
  • Freedom of religion and belief, with interlinked freedoms of expression, association, and assembly, remains severely restricted in Uzbekistan. Forum 18's survey analysis documents violations including: raids, fines, imprisonment and torture; education and worship meetings banned without (...)
  • 6 September – Kazakhstan: Worship banned
  • Courts banned worship by Almaty's Source of Life Protestant Church from April to July, Almaty's Jehovah's Witness Centre from August to November, and - if its appeal fails - Oskemen's New Life Protestant Church for three months. Jehovah's Witnesses described their ban as (...)
  • 31 August – Tajikistan: Conscientious objector's military trial imminent
  • 18-year-old Jehovah's Witness conscientious objector Daniil Islamov faces up to two years' imprisonment if convicted at Qurghonteppa Military Court. Forcibly conscripted in April, he has been detained in a military unit. Protestant Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov lost his appeal against his (...)
  • 29 August – Kazakhstan: 22nd known 2017 criminal conviction
  • Sunni Imam Abdukhalil Abduzhabbarov was jailed for eight years for inciting religious hatred "with serious consequences", charges he denied. He is the 22nd individual convicted in 2017. Seven others jailed have failed in their appeals. One of two criminal cases against atheist Aleksandr (...)