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- Volume 4, Issue 2, 2011
International Journal for Religious Freedom - Volume 4, Issue 2, 2011
Volume 4, Issue 2, 2011
Author Stephen K. BaskervilleSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 5 –6 (2011)More Less
"Civil society" is a concept that dates back to the late eighteenth century, as Silvio Ferrari points out in these pages, and it entered the vocabulary of political philosophy largely through Hegel and Marx. But it became newly fashionable following the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. It emphasizes the importance to freedom of autonomous social groups and institutions below the state and not controlled by it. More recently, it has become controversial and the original meaning diluted by being adopted as the mantle for groups that are sometimes funded and supported by governments and international organizations. This is a significant potential pitfall when confronting problems of church and state.
Author Fernando PerezSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 7 –9 (2011)More Less
Author Thomas SchirrmacherSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 9 –13 (2011)More Less
For many years one number has been provided every year to report on the annual number of Christian martyrs. This is provided by the "Status of Global Mission." The number is quoted by various institutions but only produced by one institution. At present it is most frequently quoted by the papal missions agency "Aid to the Church in Need". It reports 130,000 - 170,000 martyrs per year but does not conduct any of its own investigations.
Contents and limits of assistance and self-help for persecuted Christians - an exegetic-theological examination in a field of New Testament and early Christian ethics : research in progressAuthor Daniel RothlisbergerSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 15 –16 (2011)More Less
From the beginnings of Christianity until the present time "suffering for the sake of belief" has been an integral component of being a Christian. For many Christians it belongs quite often to their everyday experience. If harassment and persecution are one side of the coin, assistance and self-help to their benefit form the other side. These emanate from the persecuted themselves or from non-persecuted third parties. Their interventions include preventative measures.
Author Rik TorfsSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 17 –27 (2011)More Less
Today, unlike in the past, religious freedom is often interpreted in a narrow way. Yet, three deeper issues also influence the position of religion in current legal thinking. Firstly, human rights are interpreted less formally than they used to be in the past. Secondly, the notion of freedom finds itself more restricted than in previous times. Finally, religion is often rejected by society, which affects its protection. Indeed what about religious freedom in an environment hostile to religion?
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 29 –36 (2011)More Less
Religions offer a peculiar element to the development of civil society, that is, the conviction that man is repository of a truth given by God. This conviction raises the problem of harmonizing truth and liberty. If the central feature of civil society is the free search for the common good through a committed participation in particular experiences, how can this search be shared by those who know they possess the truth? The article answers this question through the examination of the right of religious freedom and the principle of subsidiarity.
Author Bony GuiblehonSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 37 –59 (2011)More Less
This article attempts to understand and analyse the relationship between politics and religion in Ivory Coast. The relationship between the former President Laurent Gbagbo and the Evangelical Church expresses this relationship that has always existed between the two entities in a spirit of religious freedom recognized by the Head of the State by all citizens and the impact that this relationship had on the evolution of the Ivorian crisis. Since colonial times to the time of independence, from Felix Houphouët Boigny to Henri Konan Bédié, to Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara, they have all forged close ties with their religious community. The case of the former President Laurent Gbagbo with the Evangelical Church of Ivory Coast is an interesting example: first, because of his particular relationship of both proximity and distance, and then because of the accusations of both national and international media and of the political opposition against Laurent Gbagbo for his connections with the leaders of evangelical churches. The latter were accused of having been led to believe that Laurent Gbagbo was God's choice when he lost the election. In fact, Evangelical pastors have developed the doctrine of the personal or individual predestination through divine revelation which makes Laurent Gbagbo God's choice and the other political protagonists outcasts. The religious dimension has become a register of legitimation of political power with an impact on popular imagination. This was followed by violence against the Evangelical Church. However, the interference between politics and religion raises the question of the separation of both areas, but also of the globalisation of the present religious phenomena.
Author Michael P. DonnellySource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 61 –75 (2011)More Less
Modern governments increasing their role in education have caused increasing conflicts when parental religious or philosophical convictions conflict with values represented by school curriculum and activities. International human rights recognize the superior right of parents to control their child's education and free nations must not impose unreasonable constraints on private schools and should permit their citizens to homeschool. However countries like Germany and Sweden do excessively regulate private schools and either oppress or highly disfavor homeschooling causing some to flee while others have sought, and in at least one case received, political asylum in the United States.
Governing the faithful - a discussion of religious freedom and liberal democracies with particular focus on the United KingdomAuthor Nicholas Kerton-JohnsonSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 77 –90 (2011)More Less
This article examines the tension between liberal democratic government and citizens of faith with a particular focus on Christians in Great Britain. The article examines the reality of increasing cases of marginalization of Christians in liberal democracies and the contest of rights which is at the heart of these cases. The article questions the rise of a hierarchy of rights, representing a totalistic pluralism which threatens the foundational nature of a liberal democracy: freedom of conscience and belief. It closes with a discussion of the implications of this clash for believers living in Western states.
Author Stephen BaskervilleSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 91 –105 (2011)More Less
The sexual agenda is today's greatest threat to religious freedom in the developed world. Campaigns for women's and homosexual rights, same-sex marriage, public education, and other issues related to family and sexuality have provoked the preponderance of cases, and proponents have described Christian and other religious principles as direct impediments to their agenda. But what has precipitated most cases is the increasing role of the state in previously private areas of life, leading to claims that freedom must be curtailed when it involves government officials providing public services. This too proceeds from the sexual agenda, because such state services arise from the breakdown of family life, where they were previously performed. Critical here is the state's claim to redefine marriage, less through same-sex marriage than divorce, which itself represents a long-standing threat to religious freedom. Growing state power over family life and sexuality has also been transferred to supranational organizations, where many clashes between sexual militants and religious believers now arise.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 107 –117 (2011)More Less
This article focuses on Sabbath observance and the challenges facing the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church globally and in South Africa in particular. The American experience marked the early beginnings of the church's response to these challenges. The paper highlights some interaction with laws in America. A case study on Sabbath observance in South Africa offers a different perspective that has not been explored before. This paper should spark a debate that will go on for some time within the Sabbatarian groups in South Africa.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 119 –127 (2011)More Less
Dr. Lee weaves together a theology of persecution with an historical study of persecution, both in the ancient church and in the modern Korean Church. He focuses on themes such as instrumental suffering, which is a description of the method God uses to reach and redeem the world. This instrumental suffering, the suffering that is utilized to accomplish the will and work of God, is seen in the ministry and mission of Jesus, the Apostle Paul, the Early Church, and in the experience of the Korean church. Instrumental suffering can be seen as a factor that contributed to the great growth of the contemporary Korean church in South Korea. Instrumental suffering is expected of all followers of Christ and should shape and inform our present ministry and mission.
International standards for constitutional religious freedom protections - recommendations : documentationSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 129 –132 (2011)More Less
Several countries in the world are or soon will be drafting new constitutions. It is vital that these constitutions protect universal human rights, including the right to freedom of religion or belief. Based on its experience analyzing constitutions against international standards, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) offers the following guideposts for the full protection of religious freedom consistent with international human rights law.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 133 –136 (2011)More Less
A communiqué adopted at a World Council of Churches (WCC) consultation in Turkey advocates international standards of protecting religious minorities' rights to freedom of religious expression. The communiqué was drafted at the International Study Consultation on Freedom of Religion and the Rights of Religious Minorities organized by the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) and hosted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
International Conference on Freedom of Faith : the Problem of Discrimination and Persecution against Christians : Moscow, 30 November - 1 December 2011 : documentationSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 137 –138 (2011)More Less
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 139 –143 (2011)More Less
The noteworthy items are structured in four groups: dates, annual reports and global surveys, regional and country reports (sorted alphabetically), and specific issues. 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 George Bransby-Windholz and Megan Conlon (Patrick Henry College) and edited by Prof. Dr Christof Sauer. Submissions welcome to: Noteworthy@iirf.eu.
Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms: A study in the development of reformed social thought, David VanDrunen : book reviewAuthor Thomas K. JohnsonSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 145 –146 (2011)More Less
If, as thoughtful and responsible Christians, we want to promote freedom of religion on the global level, obviously we have rejected theocratic ways of thinking, but we have not opted to withdraw from the world into holy communities. We assume there is a standard of civilized and humane life (including freedom of religion for all) which we want to promote that is also mostly compatible with the way of life we teach within Christian churches. But how are we to explain this theologically? A very worthy proposal for theological categories is the combination of natural moral law with two kingdoms doctrine. VanDrunen offers a superb historical study of how these themes have been taught in the Reformed and Presbyterian traditions in Europe and North America.
God is Red: The secret story of how Christianity survived and flourished in communist China, Liao Yiwu, Wenguang Huang (tr.) : book reviewAuthor Bob FuSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 146 –147 (2011)More Less
Ever since the famous Jewish historian Josephus' works were discovered, the genre of storytelling has been a fascinating way to document history. In a sense, the latest work of Chinese dissident and writer Mr. Liao Yiwu - a compilation of individual stories of religious persecution in the past five decades under Communist rule - does for Christians what Josephus did for the Jews.
Interreligiöse Verständigung zu Glaubensverbreitung und Religionswechsel, Christoph Elias (Ed.) : book reviewAuthor Georg Bransby-WindholzSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 147 –149 (2011)More Less
The book whose title translates as "Interreligious understanding of the spreading of religion and conversion" contains a collection of contributions by different authors at the 6th International Rudolf-Otto-Symposium, organized by the Department of Protestant Theology of the University of Marburg, Germany. At this university an interdisciplinary bachelor course in "Religious Mediation" has been installed.
Author Stephen BaileySource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 4, pp 149 –150 (2011)More Less
Vietnam's Christians fits squarely in the genre of western missionary accounts of a missionary planted Church in the Southern Hemisphere. In the first half of the book, Reimer takes the reader through the internal national political contradictions of modern Vietnam, it's many cultures and religions, and the history of the Catholic and Protestant Churches. But all that is simply to prepare the reader for the amazing story of the growth of Vietnamese Christianity under severe persecution from 1975 to 2010. Unlike many missionary accounts this one recounts the experience of both the Catholic and the Protestant perseverance in faith.