Articles

Fake news used to discredit minorities

by Steno Sari — George Orwell wrote: "In times of universal lies, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
Lately I often cite Treccani [encyclopedia] to deepen a topic, outline the hidden or revealed meaning of an expression, and reveal its beauty or its dangerousness. Today I would like to talk about fake news, about this unstoppable tide of false news that is drowning our civil life.

New book by expert Rosita Šorytė: “We Can Lift This World While Quarantined”: Scientology and the 2020 Pandemic

New religious movements are rarely given credit for their humanitarian work. A case in point is the Church of Scientology during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Opponents used the epidemic as an opportunity to accuse Scientology of spreading conspiracy theories and not respecting anti-virus precautions.

180+ Orgs Demand Apparel Brands End Complicity in Uyghur Forced Labour

Today, 72 Uyghur rights groups are joined by over 100 civil society organisations and labour unions from around the world in calling on apparel brands and retailers to stop using forced labour in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“Uyghur Region”), known to local people as East Turkistan, and end their complicity in the Chinese government’s human rights abuses. The groups have issued a call to action seeking brand commitments to cut all ties with suppliers implicated in forced labour and end all sourcing from the Uyghur Region, from cotton to finished garments, within twelve months.

Also Europe in the Special Watch List?

«U.S. Government: Publicly censure Alexander Dvorkin and the Saint Irenaeus of Leon Information-Consultation Center (SILIC)) for their ongoing disinformation campaign against religious minorities.» U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has recently published the report entitled “The Anti-cult Movement and Religious Regulation in Russia and the Former Soviet Union”.

Arrests and torture of Jehovah’s Witnesses: Russia challenges Europe

There have been numerous declarations of condemnation of the discriminatory and illiberal attitude that the Russian Federation has shown for years towards Jehovah's Witnesses. Among these statements, the one issued on 11 December 2018 by Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation, stands out, in which he states that "Jehovah's Witnesses are also Christians and I do not understand why they should be persecuted".

Big Win! Key Religious Liberty Position, Petitioned for by iFamNews, Reinstated by European Commission

The position of Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the European Union has been reinstated by the European Commission after having previously been discontinued. Mr. Ián Figel' has served in that role until is mandate expired in December 2019.

By Marco Respinti (member of FOB's Advisory Council) — A great, strategic victory has been won. The position of Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the European Union has been reinstated by the European Commission!

Russia: Abnormal penalties imposed on Jehovah's Witnesses

On March 3, 2020, Mr. Artëm Gerasimov, a member of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, was sentenced by the Yalta Court (Crimea) to a penalty of 400,000 rubles (about € 5,300) on charges of practicing his religion, a crime sanctioned by the wretched Yarovaya law which labels Witnesses and other religious minorities disliked by the dominant Orthodox religion as "extremist". Gerasimov did not lose heart and appealed, but on June 4, 2020, the Crimean high court sentenced him to six years in prison, again on the basis of being a "dangerous extremist".

America and the Worldwide Religious Freedom

On June 2nd, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order on Advancing International Religious Freedom, instructing the U.S. State Department to prioritize international religious freedom in its implementation of foreign policy and budget.

«Religious freedom, America’s first freedom, is a moral and national security imperative» the executive order reads. «Religious freedom for all people worldwide is a foreign policy priority of the United States, and the United States will respect and vigorously promote this freedom».

Jehovah's Witnesses and conscientious objection

Holocaust victims, derided, discriminated against, subject to virulent attacks by anti-cult organizations and fake news fabricated ad hoc, Jehovah's Witnesses have always been an example of integrity and altruism that materialized with epochal human rights achievements. This was the case for the freedom of therapeutic choice and for the right to conscientious objection, now recognized as an inalienable right.. A survey promoted by the national headquarters of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah has brought to light the heroic efforts sustained by young Witnesses during the period spanning from 1960 to 1990.

25 Years After: Release the 11th Panchen Lama!

by Marco Respinti — In 1995, the CCP kidnapped the second highest authority in the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism to substitute him with a puppet. European MPs now call for his release. Parliamentarians of different European countries have issued statements calling upon China to immediately release Tibet’s 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, and his entire family on the 25th year of their “disappearance.” 15 Swiss parliamentarians, 4 from Italy, 16 Czech MPs and 16 Czech Senators signed four different requests.

From social distance to Muslim solidarity proximity at the time of Covid-19

by Vasco Fronzoni — The Italian Muslim communities have faced the challenge of contagion with a pragmatic spirit. As it known, Islam does not recognize universal leaders, and therefore chooses on the basis of the general reference principles, which in the case of epidemics refer to a hadith that prescribes «if you hear of a plague in a land do not enter it; and if it breaks out in the land where you stay, do not leave»

Religions and the coronavirus

Religion, from the Latin religio -onis, akin to religare «to bind». A demanding term in times of coronavirus and social distances. In reality, the concept of religare refers to the beliefs, feelings and rites that bind an individual or a human group with what it considers sacred. And it is the link with these sentiments and values common to each creed that, even in these difficult times, guides religions to mobilize to help others.

USCIRF Condemns the Stigmatization of Religious Minorities during COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today expressed its concern over reports that religious minority groups from around the world have faced discrimination because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Religious communities have been harassed and accused of bringing COVID-19 to their countries.

Shincheonji didn’t lie about membership figures

Despite suspicions to the contrary, the Shincheonji Church of Jesus membership list that authorities obtained through a probe was not much different from the list the Christian sect had provided earlier.

Some politicians, heads of local governments and Justice Ministry officials had called for a prosecutorial investigation into the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, accusing the sect of hampering disease control efforts by intentionally omitting names from the list it submitted.

South Korea: Intolerance Against Shincheonji Church After Coronavirus Incident

by Massimo Introvigne (CESNUR) — Media all around the world are focusing attention on Shincheonji Church, a South Korean Christian new religious movement, after members of the church’s Daegu congregation were infected by the coronavirus. As a scholar who has studied Schincheonji, I am concerned with the fact that international media that obviously know nothing about it have ‘discovered’ this church overnight because of the coronavirus incidents in Korea, and have repeated inaccurate information they found on low-level Internet sources.