Articles

Marco Ventura – The future of Europe and freedom of belief

FOB – The 60th Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome will be celebrated in the Italian capital city on Saturday march 25th, by government leaders or prime ministers of the EU.

It will be an occasion to go over the current state of the Union and the future of the integration process.

Certainly an appraisal will be done on the past sixty years and according to us, it should not be regardless of the discussion of issues, which in this period of our history, are mercilessly imposed on us as far as human rights and civil liberties are concerned.

How the French government and parliament were leaded into a witch-hunt

By Pierre Barrucand – The phenomenon of religious persecution has been known through the ages, as witness the Bacchanals affair in Rome in 187 BC or even, if we may believe Aristophanes, the process against Socrates, accused of having wanted to introduce a new religion. These persecutions were particularly intense against monotheistic religions, even though they tolerated the practice of several ancient cults with which they felt ties.

Norway: separation between Lutheran Church and State. “Religious freedom and equal faiths”

FOB - The following news could be considered negative for the Lutheran Church, but that would be a superficial judgment. Perhaps it could be negative from an economic point of view, as it would be for the Italian Catholic Church, if they gave up the advantages granted to them by the Lateran Treaty. However, the independence of any church from any government and vice versa is, as a matter of fact, a much more valuable asset for every church and for every state. The Norwegian Lutheran Church receives support from its followers in the right proportion, and that is fair.

How Universal is the UN Declaration of Human Rights?

Friday, 9th of December Soteria International hosted the Spiritual Human Rights conference in Copenhagen. The Spiritual Human Rights conference is an annual conference focusing on Human Rights from a spiritual perspective.

This year the conference was co-hosted by Youth for Human Rights, the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), and the European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion (EMISCO) with the theme “How Universal is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?”.

Jehovah's Witnesses: Military Service, Social Hostility and State Recognition

After World War II, the word “Righteous Among the Nations” (Hebrew: חֲסִידִי אֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם‎, khasidi umót ha'olám "righteous (plural) of the world's nations") was a term used in rabbinic Judaism to refer to non-Jews who acted heroically, putting their own life at risk to save jews from nazi genocide of Shoah.

It is also an award bestowed from the Yad Vashem, the national institute for the Shoah memory, since 1962.

Yad Vashem has given these prestigious awards to 19 Jehovah Witnesses.

Freedom of belief and its opposers

Interview with professor Massimo Introvigne

This interview stems from a meeting between professor Massimo Introvigne, Sociologist of Religions, and the FOB Secretary, professor Silvio Calzolari, happened during the recent scientific conference on Anatheism, held in Turin at the Lascaris Palace on 1 and 2 December, where they were both speakers.

Romania, a yoga group wins an important case at the European Court: Romania must pay eur 291,000 to the victims

Amarandei and Others v. Romania (no. 1443/10)

HRWF (28.04.2016) – Human Rights Without Frontiers Int’l (HRWF Int’l) hails the decision of the European Court in a case filed against Romania by yoga practitioners of the “Movement for Spiritual Integration into the Absolute” (MISA).

ECHR unequivocally states that Romanian authorities have majorly violated Human Rights when handling the case of MISA

Violations of the freedom of religion and belief for MISA yoga practitioners in Romania

For almost a decade Soteria International has been raising awareness among international and European politicians and Human Rights NGOs about violations of the freedom of religion and belief in Romania in the case of the spiritual movement MISA and its founder Gregorian Bivolaru.

France: financing for the 'de-radicalisation' of 'anti-sect' movements called into question

HRWF (02.03.2016) - Two prominent figures of de-radicalisation in France have put down their arms: one having not had her accreditation renewed and the other renouncing her mission for political reasons. They have left the scene, but it is difficult to assess whether they have in fact succeeded in their mission.

Marrakesh Declaration

Statements by representatives of all religions and of many Muslim leaders, on the respect for religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries and on how to tackle terrorism by factions who call themselves Muslim though elated criminals that Muslims themselves condemned as such.

In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate

Executive Summary of the Marrakesh Declaration on the Rights of Religious Minorities in Predominantly Muslim Majority Communities

25th-27th January 2016

“Forbidden to pray”: stories of religious intolerance in the republican Italy

I consider “Forbidden to pray” a key book. The investigation we carried out with Agenzia Radicale and Quaderni Radicali from 2012 to date, but also the action of the European Federation for Freedom of Belief are, in my view, directly inter-related to this text. It explains and confirms a number of data and analysis that we’ve had the opportunity to deepen with Giuseppe Rippa, Raffaella Di Marzio and others, and which are well summarized in the Parliamentary Question that Marco Perduca of the Radical Party introduced in 2012 to seek clarification on the Anti-Cult Team.

Freedom of belief and conscience: the dangers of the anti-cult refrain

It is necessary to refute once and for all the refrain that some anti-cult groups are dangerously spreading against freedom of belief and conscience: "cults" would violate human rights and those who defend human rights should not "defend cults." First, we reiterate once again that "cult" is defined as a religious minority unsympathetic to the speaker, and is a term devoid of any scientific value.

ISKCON calls on Bangladesh Government to Protect Religious Minorities

New Delhi: On 10th December two people were injured when attackers threw crude bombs and fired gun shots at a Hindu religious gathering of over two thousand devotees at the temple of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Kaharol region of Dinajpur. “Luckily, the bombs did not explode,” said ISKCON general secretary of Bangladesh Caru Candra Dasa who was present at the place of incident, “however, the attackers opened fire at the entrance, injuring two people."

Belgium: State Security’s secret reports on Scientology deemed biased and inaccurate by Governmental agency

In 2013, two secret reports on Scientology from the State Security, the Belgian secret services, leaked into the media. One was on the alleged “infiltration” of Scientology into the Belgo-Congolese community, and the other about contacts Scientology had made with Belgian politicians.