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- Volume 6, Issue 1_2, 2013
International Journal for Religious Freedom - Volume 6, Issue 1_2, 2013
Volume 6, Issue 1_2, 2013
Author Christof SauerSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 5 –6 (2013)More Less
There are several platforms and networks used by researchers interested in the study of religious freedom. Some of the contributions in this issue emanate from the International Consultation on Religious Freedom Research, held in Istanbul on 16-18 March 2013. They have all undergone the usual peer review process for IJRF - including the opinion pieces. They only represent a fraction of the many papers presented at the consultation. A separate consultation compendium is still being contemplated. The articles fall in roughly three groups: the opinion pieces, research that focuses on various regions and countries and an equal contingent of research on diverse topics relating to religious freedom and persecution.
Author Paul MarshallSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 7 –16 (2013)More Less
This article reflects on some of the conceptual and methodological problems that arose in writing some of the major current reports on religious freedom. It focuses on the questions of what is secular and religious, who is a religious adherent, what is religious freedom, and what makes persecution religious? Finally, it discusses the relation of issues of "church and state" to religious freedom.
Author Thomas K. JohnsonSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 17 –24 (2013)More Less
In light of the high level of documentation of the contribution of freedom of religion to societal well-being, and in view of the extraordinary levels of religiously motivated violence and oppression, it would be worthwhile for evangelicals to reformulate the Reformation "Two Kingdoms" theory of social ethics in a manner that can be appropriated throughout the Body of Christ and perhaps be contributed from the Christian community into the broader global political culture. As a small step in this direction, we can begin to talk about the "Twofold Work of God in the World" and make this theme a standard part of Christian ethics.
Registration of religious organizations - problems in decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and ECtHRAuthor Anastasia IsaevaSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 25 –35 (2013)More Less
This article reflects on some modern legal forms of activities of religious associations and problems of their registration. It focuses on the questions of legal backgrounds for the exercise of freedom of conscience in Russia, international standards of the activities of religious organizations, collective forms of freedom of conscience and religion in the court's decisions. Finally, it discusses the need to amend the existing Russian legislation that does not comply with the principle of secularism enshrined in the 1993 Constitution.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 37 –49 (2013)More Less
This article presents the legal regime of church-state relations and religious freedom in Argentina and Brazil, as well as the social and judicial practice, based on reports of specialized organizations and judicial cases. It addresses some of the relevant concerns about the interpretation and application of legal and constitutional clauses related to religion. This article aims to provide a foundation for understanding the arguments in those Latin American countries.
Author Abdullah KiranSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 51 –63 (2013)More Less
The number of Christians in the Middle East and especially in Turkey has declined systematically. The majority of Middle Eastern countries are known for their authoritarian leaders and whose oppressive regimes are not tolerant of their Christian citizens. But what about Turkey which is known as a secular country? Why has the number of Christians in Turkey declined more in Turkey than in authoritarian regimes of the Middle East? Does Turkey pursue a deliberate policy or social engineering project to decrease its Christian population? This article will try to answer these questions.
Perceptions of Christians in Turkey - a study of the climate of accusations against Christians in Turkish newspapersAuthor Wolfgang HaedeSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 65 –84 (2013)More Less
Though Turkey has been a secular and democratic country for decades, the public perception of Christians has been affected by rejection and prejudice. In the years from 2001 to 2007, we saw a development from accusations by official institutions and media against Christians actively propagating their faith to acts of violence against Christians culminating in the murders of three Christians in Malatya/Turkey. The study covers five Turkish daily newspapers and their perception of Christians at the height of a media campaign in 2004/2005. It reveals that the different societal groups in Turkey differ strongly in their view of Christians and their activities. Each group, represented by one of the newspapers, tries to use the discussion for their own political agenda. However, none of the newspapers leaves the opportunity unused to instrumentalize words like "missionary" to arouse negative emotions.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 85 –96 (2013)More Less
As a secular democracy Indonesia guarantees religious freedom. The vast majority of the quarter of a billion Indonesians lives in relative freedom. But a certain wahhabization of the country assures, that extremist groups fight Ahmaddiyyas, Christians, Shiites and other Muslim and non-Muslim groups. The government on the one side actively fight the idea of a Muslim state, but as one Islamist party is a coalition party, often does not act to protect minorities.
Author David TaylorSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 97 –109 (2013)More Less
Agencies serving the persecuted church have shown considerable interest in the idea of devising an early warning (EW) system to give advance warning of potential threats to religious freedom. After researching EW systems in various fields and discovering that no such system exists in the human rights or religious freedom worlds, I decided on a methodology comprising a list of indicators accompanied by a set of explanatory notes and a numerical rating system. These indicators are designed to be used to monitor changes on the ground in countries where there is little current trouble but where the situation could deteriorate.
Author Iain T. BensonSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 111 –125 (2013)More Less
This paper discusses how law is increasingly being used to attack religious associations under the guise of "equality" advancement and "non-discrimination" restrictions. I explore two important insights: first that the concept of "transformation" has been distorted, to shelter approaches to law that fail to respect properly associational diversity. When misused, "transformation" seeks to change the moral viewpoints or religious beliefs of religious associations by force of law. Second, the paper discusses the expansion of law so that it becomes a threat to associations. The "goods of religion" and the "limits of law" need to be more widely recognized and understood both by religious communities and by those involved in law, politics and the media. These insights demonstrate how "equality activists" employ a rhetoric of "equality" to produce inequality, "diversity" to produce homogeneity and "non-discrimination" to discriminate against religious communities and religious beliefs. Several solutions for identifying these errors and resisting them are outlined in brief.
Author Paul ColemanSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 127 –141 (2013)More Less
This article examines the significant changes that have occurred at the United Nations in the past decade in regard to the so-called "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" movement. After examining the events that have taken place in the past decade, this article will consider the implications for religious liberty. The recent experiences of several Western nations indicate that a worldwide push for "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" laws could lead to significant restrictions on freedom of religion.
Author Daniel OttenbergSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 143 –156 (2013)More Less
Freedom of religion and belief is one of the oldest and at the same time most disputed Human Rights. As their legal protection is most elaborated in Europe by its court and other Human Rights bodies meticulously take into account its findings, this article recalls some old findings of the court, but also discusses the latest judgments until July 2013.
Author Lovell FernandezSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 157 –171 (2013)More Less
Religious persecution manifests itself in various harmful ways. Traditional intervention strategies are useful but limited. The article explores the need to reinforce the combating of religious persecution with the increased use of international justice mechanisms. In particular, the article studies how the crime against humanity of persecution can be used to hold religious persecutors accountable under international criminal law.
When can the persecution of Christians be considered as genocide or a crime against humanity? A hypothetical study on the use of international criminal law to counteract impunity for religious persecutionAuthor Werner Nicolaas NelSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 173 –187 (2013)More Less
The right to freedom of religion is an undeniable human right prescribed and protected by the rule of law, but persecution restricts the exercise of religious freedom. In countries where Christians are persecuted, the domestic legal system is usually prejudicial and incompetent, and victims are left unprotected. In counteracting the impunity for religious persecution in the domestic arena of countries of serious concern, international criminal law may be used to prosecute individuals responsible for severe acts of persecution of Christians by classifying these acts as either a "crime against humanity of religious persecution" or "genocide by religious persecution" in terms of the Rome Statute.
Author Christine SchirrmacherSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 189 –201 (2013)More Less
What are the positions taken by influential Islamic theologians on religious freedom? How do classic Islamic theologians at influential institutions of scholarship such as al-Azhar-University in Cairo or the Islamic University of Medina judge this question? A minority of theologians express themselves bluntly by saying that religious freedom is for them exclusively the freedom to belong to the one true religion, Islam, or to turn towards it. And furthermore, in the case where there is doubt or criticism among Muslims, their idea is that the death penalty immediately has to be administered. For an additional minority, religious freedom applies to every individual and means the freedom to accept Islam or to turn from it, completely in the sense of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A 'moderate' majority of theologians defines religious freedom in a differentiated manner nowadays: In countries characterized by Islam they advocate for non-Muslims - in particular for Jews and Christians - a situation where they may retain their religion and not convert to Islam. For Muslims, however, they define religious freedom exclusively as freedom of thought with the possibility, under certain circumstances, of secretly holding doubts about Islam.
Author Stephan P. PretoriusSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 203 –215 (2013)More Less
The abuse of authority by religious leaders, accepted as persons of authority and upholders of moral values, has led to violations of human rights within religious cults. This article discusses the means by which cults obtain undue authority and influence in society and create an illusion of utopia while causing harm to believers. I propose measures to ensure that instead of remaining "untouchable", religious leaders take responsibility for their own practices, ensuring that no harm will be caused through internal rules of conduct. If such behaviour comes under the guise of religious freedom, governments are put in a dilemma of simultaneously safeguarding both religious freedom and the well-being of its citizens.
Author Antonio FuccilloSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 217 –231 (2013)More Less
There is a gap between economics and other social sciences, which has allowed religion to be overlooked as an economic factor. Religion softens the self-interest inherent in capitalism and allows for intelligent globalization. Religious freedom in fact guarantees that religion can contribute to the transformation of today's economic systems by influencing the economic choices of its adherents.
Source: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 233 –238 (2013)More Less
The noteworthy items are structured in four groups: Global surveys, reports, specific issues, and further reading. They are preceded by a news item. Though we apply serious criteria in the selection of items noted, it is beyond our capacity to scrutinize the accuracy of every statement made. We therefore disclaim responsibility for the contents of the items noted. The compilation was in part produced by the interns Lauren E Johnson, Josuha E Schow, and Tiffany L Ash, and edited by Dr. Christof Sauer. Submissions welcome to: email@example.com.
Religion in public spaces: A European perspective, Silvio Ferrari & Sabrina Pastorelli (Eds.) : book reviewSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 239 –241 (2013)More Less
This book is part of the Religare-project (www.religareproject.eu), which describes itself as following: "The RELIGARE project is a three-year European research project funded by the European Commission Directorate General Research - Unit L Science, Economy and Society. It comprises 13 universities and research centres from across the European Union and Turkey." "The RELIGARE project is about religions, belonging, beliefs and secularism in Europe. It examines the legal rules protecting or limiting (constraining) the experiences of religious or other belief-based communities."
The Lautsi Papers: Multidisciplinary reflections on religious symbols in the public school classroom, Jeroen Temperman (Ed.) : book reviewAuthor Shaun De FreitasSource: International Journal for Religious Freedom 6, pp 241 –244 (2013)More Less
In 2009 the Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the case of Lautsi v. Italy ruled that the compulsory display of a crucifix in the classrooms of Italian public schools violated the children's right to believe or not to believe, and the right of parents to educate their children in accordance with their own religious beliefs. However, the Grand Chamber overruled the Chamber's judgment and held that there was not adequate evidence before the Court proving that the display of a crucifix on a classroom wall might have an adverse effect on pupils; and that, in the final analysis, perpetuating such a majority tradition falls within the margin of appreciation of the state.