"We are scholars, human rights activists, reporters. and lawyers, all with a substantial experience in the field of new religious movements (derogatorily called “cults” by their opponents). Some of us have studied the Korean Christian new religious movement known as Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (in short, Shincheonji).
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.
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.
The Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2019 organised by the OSCE ODIHR was hosted this year at Warsaw National Stadium from 16 to 27 September 2019.
The HDIM is an annual event gathering representatives of the OSCE 57 participating States and of a number of NGOs registered with the OSCE discussing relevant human rights topics.
Our organisation, the European Federation for Freedom of Belief (FOB) has been attending the Human Dimension Implementation Meetings for the last 5 years, and we are thankful to the OSCE for the space given to the civil society. As a secular entity, member of the International Religious Freedom Movement, we constantly cooperate with other like-minded organisations, both secular and faith based ones, and regularly carry out a constructive dialogue with the public bodies and representatives in different countries.
by Nicola Colaianni
Former councilor of the Supreme Court of Cassation and full professor of ecclesiastic law, University of Bari
Freedom of conscience, religion and thought is the most fragile and vulnerable of all because it can be compressed and suppressed even subliminally, with messages and stimuli below the perception of the subjects. And the offense can come, not only from the public authorities, but also from the same communities in which individuals perform, in particular, their religious personality.
by Massimo Introvigne (thanks to www.neweurope.eu)
In 2018, two Italian journalists, Flavia Piccinni and Carmine Gazzanni, published a mediocre book called Nella setta (In the Cult). It included the usual laundry list of vituperations against the “cults.” The language was carefully chosen to de-humanise the members of religions the authors did not like. For instance, in one of the first chapters, the journalists described their visit to the Church of Scientology in Milan. The female Scientologist who welcomed them was described as having “alligator-like” eyes coupled with “horse-like” teeth.
“Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as the truth is of systems of thought" – John Rawls
The lecture on the freedom of the press held a few years ago (here the transcript is published), intended and intends to underline the function of debunking cthat the "good" press (so it has been indicated) should do, or rather, must do. This intention of truth accompanies that freedom as its constitutive element which is often – if not very often – betrayed. The current experience of the "worst" journalistic communication is that of television programs of information or analysis which, with reference to belief or religious minorities, often betray the truth twice, given that they present themselves as a journalistic inquiry or article of debunking.
We are introducing and relaying this interesting, well-specified article from Epoch Times, which tells about a recent interview with professor Massimo Introvigne, one of the most important scholars of religion in the world, regarding the ongoing persecution against religious minorities in the Chinese Popular Republic on the part of the ruling Communist Party.