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- Volume 2, Issue 1, 2009
International Journal for Religious Freedom - Volume 2, Issue 1, 2009
Volume 2, Issue 1, 2009
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 5 –6 (2009)More Less
It gives the editors of the International Journal for Religious Freedom (IJRF) great pleasure to present our readers with the second issue of this interdisciplinary and scholarly publication. We hope that you will find the articles informative, thought-provoking, and of a high standard, and that the journal will equally serve religious freedom. For that purpose we have added some new rubrics.
Author Elizabeth KendalSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 13 –24 (2009)More Less
The Universal Human Rights Declarations protects the fundamental rights of human beings, e.g. of individuals. The Organisation of Islam Conference has for years pushed for the United Nations Human Rights Council to change its covenants to protect religions instead of individuals. This can be regarded as an attempt to make defamation of Islam or the incitement of Islamophobia a punishable offence. As earlier efforts along these lines have stalled, the OIC is seeking to legitimise the defamation of religions issue by re-casting it as an issue of incitement to religious discrimination, hatred and violence, which poses a serious threat to public order, national security and human rights.
Author Paul A. MarshallSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 25 –36 (2009)More Less
Religious freedom and religious persecution affect all religious groups and are not confined to any one area. There are large regional variations. North Africa and Asia generally tend to score poorly. Comparing countries according to religious background, historically Christian countries tend to score best, Buddhist countries either well or poorly, Hindu-majority countries don't score well, and Muslim-majority countries make up the areas with the largest current restrictions on religious freedom. Freedom of religion generally corresponds with civil liberties. The US Department of State reports on religious freedom are found to be exemplary, with some weaknesses and problems, which call for standardised criteria. [CS]
Author Brian J. GrimSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 37 –46 (2009)More Less
Based on extensive research the author demonstrates that social and governmental religious freedom as part of an overall 'bundled commodity of human freedoms' contributes significantly to the social well-being of a country's citizens. This because religious freedom positively impacts on stability, democracy, as well as religious tolerance within a society.
A biblical theology of persecution and discipleship : part 2 : the historical books : academic articleSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 47 –58 (2009)More Less
A truly biblical theology of persecution requires an understanding of a biblical view of history and of suffering. This article seeks to provide such an understanding through an examination of the Old Testament historical books, comparing the biblical view of history with Israel's surrounding cultures and an examination of suffering, discipline, and persecution as revealed in the historical books of Scripture.
Author Charles L. TieszenSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 59 –72 (2009)More Less
In this article, five misconceptions are surveyed that often attend to theological reflections on religious persecution. It will be argued that these misconceptions represent gaps in our perspectives of a proper theology of persecution and must be overcome if reflection is to adequately account for the way in which persecution occurs.
Between advocacy and readiness to suffer : religious liberty and persecution of Christians as topics at the World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly and its Mission Commission Consultation 2008 : event reportsSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 73 –91 (2009)More Less
The World Evangelical Alliance, which represents 420 million Christians, held its General Assembly in Pattaya, Thailand in October 2008, with a global consultation of its Mission Commission in its wake. At both gatherings the complementary emphases of advocacy for persecuted Christians on the one hand and readiness to suffer for Christ on the other hand played a major role. The General Assembly gave more prominence to advocacy, while the Mission Commission Consultation emphasised more the willingness to suffer with Christ in God's mission. The WEA Religious Liberty Commission and the International Institute for Religious Freedom played a major role in making advocacy one of the major issues at the General Assembly. A study process and small expert consultation on developing an evangelical theology of suffering, persecution and martyrdom for the global church in mission is in planning.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 92 –94 (2009)More Less
The World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly on 30 October 2008 affirmed human rights and religious freedom, explained its policy and theological rationale on the issue, voiced its concerns and appealed to those in a position to improve the situation. A narrative on the genesis of the resolution and an analysis of its contents can be found in the preceding report.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 95 –98 (2009)More Less
The following is an edited version of an interview conducted on 28 October 2008 at the World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly in Pattaya, Thailand, on the occasion of Johan Candelin's retirement after twelve years as Executive Director of the WEA Religious Liberty Commission.
Christians still second-class citizens under Turkish secularism : decades of experience of a Turkish Christian leader : case studiesAuthor Behnan KonutganSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 99 –110 (2009)More Less
As the Turkish government seeks entrance into the European Union, human rights, including religious freedom will be a key issue. The author, a Turkish Christian and Church leader for over 3 decades, after touching briefly on the past history of Christianity in Turkey, provides a first-hand glimpse into the present situation of believers in that Muslim country. He explores several arenas of persecution, discusses various causes and relates some of his first-hand experiences, evaluations and concerns about his home country.
Author Thomas SchirrmacherSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 111 –130 (2009)More Less
The article explores the situation of non-Shiite Muslims, non-Christian religions like Baha'i, and the different Christian confessions in Iran. It particularly examines their legal situation, asks for the ideological position of the Iranian leadership concerning other religions and then describes the actual problems, as the government rarely uses legal means against other religions, but uses allegations of espionage against them.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 131 –132 (2009)More Less
February 18, 2009: [The World Evangelical Alliance] strongly condemns the systematic and ongoing violations of religious freedom, including prolonged detention, torture, and executions based primarily or entirely upon the religion of the accused, especially for religious minorities such as Protestant Christians.
Author Thomas ZimmermannsSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 133 –139 (2009)More Less
Faith that endures. The essential guide to the persecuted church, Ronald Boyd-MacMillan : book reviewSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 149 –151 (2009)More Less
This book holds true to its title: It is indeed an essential guide to the persecuted church and it facilitates an encounter with the persecuted believers. The author has been visiting and reporting on persecuted Christians for more than 25 years. His degrees in political science and theology as well as his training as a journalist enable him to process his rich experience and thorough research, turning it into the currently best and most comprehensive handbook on facts, background and complexity of persecution of Christians today.
Human Rights a A Christian Primer. (The WEA Global Issues Series 1), Thomas K. Johnson : book reviewSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 151 –152 (2009)More Less
This small book is the first in a series of books in the recently started WEA Global Issues series. Johnson's text is a good start. It is, as the title suggests, a primer on a Christian view of human rights. This is a study close to my own heart, as an activist and theologian working with and on behalf of persecuted Christians around the world. When I began my own study on the subject several years ago, I found very little written on the subject, especially from an evangelical perspective. This scarcity of resources has been remedied to some degree in recent years, but Johnson's book fills a particular niche of being a primer or an introduction, while also dealing with the subject really quite satisfactorily.
Author Dietrich KuhlSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 152 –153 (2009)More Less
Re-Examining Religious Persecution : Constructing a Theological Framework for Understanding Persecution. (Religious Freedom Series 1), Charles L.Tieszen : book reviewAuthor Byeong Hei JunSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 153 –154 (2009)More Less
This book attempts to redefine the religious persecution of Christians by thoroughly examining it within a theological framework. First Tieszen deals with a number of misconceptions that confuse the issue, such as narrowing it to certain periods in history or geographical regions. He then develops definitions on three levels, starting with persecution in general and moving to religious persecution from a sociological perspective.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 154 –155 (2009)More Less
This is a short but highly knowledgeable introductory volume into the topic of the persecution of Christians today. It gives the basic facts, discusses controversial issues and offers practical suggestions for churches, individuals and politicians, and a good list of information sources. A number of answers are given to the question why Christians and Evangelicals in particular face so much persecution. The author discusses the right to change one's religion, unethical means of conversion, the right to publicly expressing one's opinion which includes the right to peaceful mission activity.
May a Christian Go to Court and other Essays on Persecution vs. Religious Freedom. (The WEA Global Issues Series 3), Thomas SchirrmacherSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2 (2009)More Less
The most important essay in this collection in my opinion is the Evangelical contribution to a code of Ethics for Christian witness, which is pursued together with the Christian world community, particularly the World Council of Churches and the Roman Catholic Church. Other important pieces include an argument why involvement in the cause of religious freedom should be a central political issue for everybody, a dictionary article on persecution and mission, and reflections on the relationship between human rights and Christian faith.
Hindutva agenda and minority rights - A Christian response. Study of Hindu fundamentalism and its impact on secularism in India from 1947-1997. (Studies in the Gospel Interface with Indian Contexts, 8), M. Thomas Cherian : book reviewAuthor Siga ArlesSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 156 –157 (2009)More Less
In the fifty years after independence, instead of a growth in communal harmony and national integration throughout India, there developed a tendency to factionalize and politicize religious identities and to exploit spirituality to divisive ends. Whereas the constitution promised liberty for all to practice and propagate their faiths, the insistence to demand India to become Hindu Rashtra was intensified by forces which were negative towards the pluralism that existed in the country. The concept of 'secular democracy' was not properly understood and its outworking suffered much hindrances. Ideological confusions were flaunted by forces that steadily developed superstructures to the extent of capturing political power and governance at the State and Central levels.