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- Volume 2, Issue 2, 2009
International Journal for Religious Freedom - Volume 2, Issue 2, 2009
Volume 2, Issue 2, 2009
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 5 –6 (2009)More Less
This issue of the International Journal for Religious Freedom was born in the tension between a lot of excitement and deep pain. That is true both on a global as well as on a personal level. The editors, staff, associates of the International Institute for Religious Freedom, and the authors of this IJRF issue have had many opportunities to contribute to the upholding of religious freedom, some of which are reflected in this journal. However, researching and documenting the abuse of human beings and the restriction or denial of their religious freedom, do not pass lightly. Some of us have seen moments of breakthrough and triumph as well as various degrees of personal suffering.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 7 –9 (2009)More Less
This rubric provides a platform for organisations working in the area of religious liberty to introduce themselves. In this way the editors seek to raise among our readership awareness of and appreciation for the various players in the field, in the hope so to ultimately serve the persecuted. In this issue we introduce the Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance (RLC). In October 2008 its new executive director Godfrey Yogarajah was induced. [MS]
Author Thomas K. JohnsonSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 10 –12 (2009)More Less
In the last few days we have begun to hear the various international protests against the actions of Swiss voters, to not allow the construction of future minarets in their small alpine nation. Very few thoughtful readers should be surprised that Aljazeera is complaining about 'intolerance,' 'extreme Islamophobia,' and 'religious hatred.' In this context, Aljazeera seems to agree with Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, who called the ban an "example of growing anti-Islamic incitement in Europe by the extremist, anti-immigrant, xenophobic, racist, scaremongering ultra-right politicians who reign over common sense, wisdom and universal values." Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey has been quoted as saying that religious minorities in Turkey (who are often Christians) enjoy greater liberties than religious minorities in Switzerland (who are often Muslims). And the claims that the Swiss referendum violates the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights have not been surprising. Are we entering a new phase in the so-called "Clash of Civilizations?"
Christian suffering and martyrdom : an opportunity for forgiveness and reconciliation : academic articlesAuthor Richard HowellSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 13 –27 (2009)More Less
Dealing with the recent killings of Christians in Orissa, the Indian author maintains that forgiveness and reconciliation are proper Christian responses to suffering and martyrdom. The Early Church lived this by God's superhuman power and was marked by holiness. Unfortunately, from the time of the medieval church a merger between violence and holiness has led to crusades, post-Reformation religious wars, the Conquista in Latin America and the shedding of blood of Christians by Christians eg. in Rwanda. However, there were Christians strongly objecting this. A brief survey of other religions also shows a merger between violence and holiness. Christians must not let evil succeed by responding with violence and retribution but must try to overcome evil with good by letting the cross of Christ shape their relationships with others. How should the Church remember and respond to the suffering experienced? The memories must be interpreted within the Christian world view, the wrongdoing must be publicly and truthfully remembered, condemmed and forgiven. In the battle against evil, even against evil in one's own culture, the Church needs inter-church community.
The role of government and judicial action in defining religious freedom : a Sri Lankan perspective : academic articlesAuthor Roshini WickremesinheSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 29 –44 (2009)More Less
This study examines the role of government policy, judicial action and politics in the context of the fundamental right of religious freedom and religious persecution with emphasis on the experience of Sri Lanka. In 2004 the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) National Heritage Party, the first Buddhist political party, sought to amend the constitution of Sri Lanka, making Buddhism the state religion. There were also three attempts to introduce anti-conversion laws, both by the government and this party. While there is no legal requirement for registration of religious bodies, there are tendencies to harass churches on the basis that they are not registered. Three court rulings denying registration to Christian bodies effectively closed the door to incorporation of Christian ministries. There are arbitrary moves to restrict legitimacy of Christian religious institutions by state machinery.
"The religious other as a threat :" religious persecution expressing xenophobia - a global survey of Christian-Muslim convivienceSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 45 –71 (2009)More Less
This article examines xenophobia as a significant factor in religious persecution in contexts where Christians and Muslims live together, because "the religious other" is often perceived as a threat, resulting in restriction of religious freedom and social discrimination. The article explores a deeper understanding of the interplay between religion, xenophobia and religious persecution by examining the relevant data in the most extensive scholarly surveys on religious freedom / persecution in the world and draws on a new hermeneutical model of understanding the stranger.
Author Thomas SchirrmacherSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 73 –85 (2009)More Less
The author traces the relationship between religious, and especially Christian, thought and ethics on the one hand and secular democracy on the other. While he concedes that the relationship between Christianity and democracy is and has been ambivalent, he demonstrates the significant contribution made by particularly the radical Reformations as well as religious minorities such as Judaism, towards the development of secular democracy. Majority religions, including the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and especially Islam, however, lagged and still lag behind in this regard, partly because of their more regimented internal structures.
Author Charles L. TieszenSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 87 –97 (2009)More Less
Author Mirjam ScarboroughSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 98 –102 (2009)More Less
This is a personal testimony of someone who has experienced significant suffering for the sake of her love for Christ. She is the wife of theologian Josef Ton, a renowned Romanian Christian leader and theological educator. The editors met her on the occasion of the Bad Urach Consultation on "Developing an evangelical theology of suffering, persecution and martyrdom," held on 16-18 September 2009 in Germany. They were impressed by her deep spirituality and felt it would not be adequately captured by the consultation statement. Mirjam Scarborough conducted and edited the interview.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 105 –118 (2009)More Less
Ten human rights organisations and Christian mission agencies met in Schwäbisch-Gmünd/Germany for a congress "Remember the martyrs - persecution of Christians today". For Germany this was unprecedented and it has succeeded in uniting mainly evangelical Christians in advocacy. The participants issued a call, addressed to the German government, to maintain and strengthen religious freedom in foreign policy. The call is predominantly positive and affirmative rather than demanding. The congress indicates that German evangelicals are starting to take an increasing number of political concerns seriously. Political initiatives developed in American evangelicalism are being contextually emulated in Germany.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 119 –122 (2009)More Less
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 123 –125 (2009)More Less
Two years after the first outbreak of mob violence against Christians in Kandhamal district, Orissa state, India, the Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP) remains deeply concerned for the situation. As a collaborative effort of Christian organizations focused on religious liberty, the RLP is urging its members to call upon Christians to unite in continued prayer for justice, reconciliation and peace in the area, and to encourage the Indian government to do all in its power to bring this about.
Author Paul A. MarshallSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 127 –138 (2009)More Less
The compiling of country profiles for the reference work Religious Freedom in the World required a clear concept of what they should contain and an instrument to retrieve this information equitably in vastly different situations. As this work is setting the benchmark in the field, IJRF considers it of interest to reproduce the criteria for country profiles as well as the checklist with questions for assessing the situation in a country.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 139 –146 (2009)More Less
While the focus of this feature is on the latest substantial reports and research pertaining to religious freedom we also endeavour to introduce sources not covered in earlier editions. The noteworthy items are structured in three groups : Annual reports and global surveys, regional and country reports (sorted alphabetically), and specific issues. They are preceded by an item of current concern. Though we apply serious criteria in the selection of items noted, it is beyond our capacity to scrutinise the accuracy of every statement made. We therefore disclaim responsibility for the contents of the items noted. The compilation was produced by Dr Byeong Hei Jun with additions made by Dr Christof Sauer.
Featured topic : freedom to believe for Muslims who leave Islam
Secret believers. What happens when Muslims turn to Christ?, Brother Andrew & Al Janssen
No place to call home. Experiences of apostates from Islam, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (Ed.)
Freedom of religion, apostasy and Islam, Abdullah Saeed & Hassan Saeed
Married to a Martyr, Jonathan Carswell & Joanna Wright
Religious freedom in the world, Paul A Marshall (Ed.) : book reviewsSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 2, pp 147 –152 (2009)More Less
There are increasing numbers of Muslims leaving Islam. And there have always been laws against and penalties for "apostasy" in Islam, up to the death penalty, applied in varying degrees of harshness in history by the respective state, families or society, in order to keep people from leaving Islam. Some Muslims are leaving Islam because they have discovered Christ. Usually, once they confess their new found faith openly and witness about it, they encounter the severest repression.