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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 January – Turkey - Historic Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Istanbul reopens doors to prayers after seven years of restoration
  • January 2018 On the 7th of January, the leaders of two neighbouring countries, Turkey and Bulgaria, reopened the Bulgarian St. Stephen's Church in İstanbul after seven years of restoration. This church has a unique cast iron structure. Re-opening the Church for use is a remarkable turning (...)
  • 9 January – Italy - Italy and Islam. State-religion(s) relationship and de-radicalization programs
  • October 2017 In the last decades, the changes within Italy's cultural-religious scenario have been dramatic. The presence of Muslims and Islamic groups in the country is the best example of these changes, although they do not involve only Islam and Muslims. Nevertheless, given its specificity (...)
  • 4 January – Europe - The LawsAndFamilies Database
  • Same-sex couples are gaining legal recognition in Europe, with marriage and partnership rendered available to them in many European countries. However, the legal status of same-sex couples and families can be very different according to each nation. The LawsAndFamilies project aims to (...)
  • 4 January – France - Statistics and main surveys 2018
  • The French and the « Charlie spirit » three years after the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo IFOP for "Toujours Charlie", January 2018 Survey on conspiracy theory IFOP for Fondation Jean Jaurès and Conspiracy Watch, January 2018 The French and questions related to bioethics IFOP for La (...)
  • 22 December 2017 – Portugal - Religious assistance in educational centers
  • In Portugal, until 2009, there was no real service of religious assistance in educational centers. In fact, the Educational Tutelary Act of 1999 (law 166/99, amended by law 4/2015), regulating the tutelary proceedings on youngsters, under the ages of 12 and 16 and under tutelary educational (...)
  • 22 December 2017 – Portugal - Prison chaplaincy
  • In the early years of the Portuguese second democracy, we find the first guarantee of religious assistance in prisons. In fact, the decree 26.643 of 1936, on the organization of prison services, assured moral and religious assistance to inmates in accordance with their own religion (article (...)
  • 22 December 2017 – Portugal - Hospital chaplaincy
  • The Hospital Status of 1968, decree 48.357, is the first legal document promulgated by the Portuguese government that gave a generic guarantee of religious assistance to sick people, when requested (article 80/4) and a specific guarantee of Catholic religious assistance, also when requested (...)

Human Rights Without Frontiers International

  • 18 January – Why menstrual stigma continues to claim lives in Nepal
  • By Zaheena Rasheed & Roshan Sedha Al Jazeera (17.01.2018) – – In Nepal’s far western Achham, a remote arid region where farming villages dot the foothills of the Himalayas, government and aid workers have walked from door to door for nearly a decade to advocate against (...)
  • 18 January – Why Polish women are rallying for reproductive rights
  • By Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska Al Jazeera (17.01.2018) – – On Wednesday, women across Poland plan to protest against attempts to further restrict access to abortion. Polish Women’s Strike, the organiser, is a coalition of women’s rights groups, pro-democracy initiatives and (...)
  • 17 January – China bans Muslim children from Quran classes
  • Aljazeera (17.01..2017) – – Chinese government authorities have banned Muslim children from attending religious events during winter break, in a county in western China that is mostly populated by Muslims. The notification for the ban has been posted online by the education (...)
  • 17 January – ERITREA: Gravestones vandalized in Jewish cemetery
  • JTA (16.01.2017) – – Dozens of gravestones were toppled and broken in a Jewish cemetery in Eritrea. The damage at the cemetery located in the capital of Asmara is believed to have happened in recent days, according to two Jewish news outlets that received photos of the (...)
  • 16 January – CHINA: Church of Almighty God members fatally tortured while in custody
  • HRWF (17.01.18) – Since early 2017, the Chinese government has increased nationwide arrests of members of The Church of Almighty God (CAG), under an initiative they call “Door-knocking Action”. Security officials and police officers search from house to house, arresting, detaining and sometimes (...)
  • 16 January – SOUTH KOREA/ CHINA: Over 600 refugees of the Church of Almighty God persecuted in China threatened to be sent back by South Korea
  • 178 have already received a departure order; arrest, imprisonment and torture are awaiting them HRWF (18.01.2018) – Seoul has seemingly decided to deport over six hundred Chinese members of the Church of Almighty God seeking a safe haven in South Korea, despite the fact that there is a high risk (...)
  • 16 January – Russia’s hidden world of North Korean labor
  • By Emma Burrows & Matthew Chance CNN (16.01.2018) – – In pre-fabricated buildings, down a muddy track on the outskirts of St. Petersburg lies a world of hidden North Korean labor in Russia. On a construction site near their shabby living quarters, a group of laborers (...)

Forum 18 News Service

  • 12 January – Kazakhstan: Six await trial; cancer sufferer not freed
  • Three of six Muslims arrested in October 2017 have had pre-trial detention extended for two more months. All six face up to two years' imprisonment if convicted of involvement in missionary movement Tabligh Jamaat. A second United Nations body has called for Jehovah's Witness prisoner (...)
  • 19 December 2017 – Russia: Property sell-offs, alternative service denials follow Jehovah's Witness ban
  • Following the Supreme Court ban on all Jehovah's Witness activity - in force since July - Regional Justice Ministry branches are preparing to sell off their confiscated property. Military call-up offices have denied several army conscripts the option of alternative civilian service. (...)
  • 18 December 2017 – Azerbaijan: Four state agencies raid religious communities
  • Alongside police, secret police and State Committee for Work with Religious Organisations, a growing role in raids on religious communities and prosecutions seems to be played by Religious Affairs Commissions attached to local administrations. Fines of three months' average wages often (...)
  • 15 December 2017 – Azerbaijan: Fines follow police raids on worship
  • Azerbaijan continues to raid religious communities meeting without state permission, and large fines are normally then imposed. After one such raid an Aliabad Baptist has been told he must pay a fine of over three months average salary by the end of (...)
  • 13 December 2017 – Uzbekistan: No books allowed, Bible ordered destroyed
  • Uzbekistan still searches homes and fines people for meeting and having religious literature, claiming in one case to look for a gun. After one person admitted to reading Christian books at home, their home was raided and Bible confiscated. Elsewhere, a Bible was (...)