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Freedom of Religion

Kenya: Religious leaders oppose anti-abortion clerics

September 17, 2011

Two clerics yesterday dismissed doctors and religious leaders opposed to safe abortion as enemies of women rights. The christian and muslim clerics said the abortion debate in Kenya was demeaning to women. “In this society we are all at the mercy of men,” said Rev Timothy Njoya.

Oxfam Discussion Document: Learnings and analysis about religion, culture, diversity, and development

August, 2011

Religion is a significant force that shapes attitudes, practices, policies, and laws across the world, North or South, developed or developing, whether the state is secular or theocratic. For many people (including some development actors), religion is an essential part of their personal well-being and identity; and, as an institution, it can provide networks and services that ensure practical survival in times of economic stress and national crisis. Many religious organizations have significant resources available for service-delivery and for influencing policy advocacy. However, religion is also used to justify discrimination and conflict. To summarize, religion and religious organizations evidently need to be taken seriously in rights-based development analysis and practice.

Pakistan: Women Advocates Aid Religious Minorities

August 25, 2011

(WNN) ISLAMABAD: In spite of real dangers for those working as advocates with Pakistan’s religious minorities, a number of people have been speaking out against religious discrimination and the misuse of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws inside the country.

As internal divisions, casualties and conflict on the northern border and a growing hatred and distrust of ‘the West’ expands, a dedicated group of Pakistani women and men are leading the way on issues of human rights and religious freedom inside the country.

Report: Rising Restrictions on Religion

August, 2011

Pew Forum Executive Summary (12.08.2011) - Restrictions on religious beliefs and practices rose between mid-2006 and mid-2009 in 23 of the world's 198 countries (12%), decreased in 12 countries (6%) and remained essentially unchanged in 163 countries (82%), according to a new study by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. Direct Link to Report:http://pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Issues/Government/RisingRestrictions-web.pdf

Anti-blasphemy and defamation laws curtail free speech

July 28, 2011

Anti-blasphemy laws and defamation laws against public officials and Heads of State seriously restrict free speech.

That’s according to the Human Rights Committee, which has issued a commentary on freedom of expression.

Some countries, such as Pakistan, regard blasphemy towards holy personages or their religion, as a serious offence punishable by death.

Australia’s Honour killings – In the end, they’re just as dead

July 11, 2011

James Ramage was released from prison last Friday, after only eight years following his conviction for strangling and bashing his wife, Julie, to death in their house and burying her in a shallow grave. The details of the case reveal a textbook case of a controlling, abusive spouse who killed his wife rather than let her leave.

Women leading change in the Muslim world: Islamic jurisprudence, human rights norms and CEDAW

May, 2011
Ferdous Ara Begum

The concept of nondiscrimination and equal rights for both men and women in all spheres of their lives as enshrined in the CEDAW Convention (1979) and all other Human Rights Frameworks generated a new realization and discourse in the Islamic world. The Universal Declaration on human Rights (1948) states in Article one that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’. By ratification of these International human rights frameworks States parties are in obligation to domesticate these human rights standard in their own legal system.

Domestic Violence in Muslim Communities

June, 2011
The Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence (API-IDV)

The Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence has organized resources for Muslim communities in the United States because so many Muslim immigrants living in the U.S. come from various regions in Asia: Central, East, South, Southeast, and West Asia, i.e. the Middle East. You can download them via the API IDV website here; or follow the links below. All links are to research conducted by API IDV.

 

Nigeria: House of Rainbow church offers underground prayer to Christians ostracised by homophobia

April 24, 2011

 


When Ade's aunt learned he was gay, the then 16-year-old Nigerian was made to go through an exorcism to expel "the demon of homosexuality".

"The priest came to the house with candles, holy water and anointing oils. I had to kneel down, holding candles in my hands," recalls Ade, now 25, as he sits in a cafe in Lagos. He does not wish to reveal his full name. "He kept shouting 'Come out! Come out! Come out!' in a fevered voice … I was allowed to go back to church after that but I had to pretend to be straight."

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