Forced Conversion in South Korea Should Be Put to an End: An Open Letter to President Moon Jae-in

한국의 강제 개종은 끝나야 한다 : 문재인 대통령에게 보내는 공개 서신

Dear President Moon:

존경하는 문재인 대통령님:

We represent international NGOs and scholarly organizations specialized in researching religious pluralism and new religious movements throughout the world, and advocating for religious liberty.

우리는 전 세계에 걸쳐 종교 다원주의와 새로운 종교 운동을 연구하고 종교 자유를 옹호하는 국제 NGO와 학술 단체를 대표합니다.

The Church’s role in modern Europe: an interview with Cardinal Jozef De Kesel

Originally published on July 5, 2019 by New Europe, The European political newspaper.

Belgian Cardinal Jozef De Kesel sat down with New Europe to discuss the role of the Catholic Church in today’s Europe, where pluralism and secularism have changed the dynamic between Europe’s citizens and their relationship with one of the continent’s oldest institutions.

Jehovah’s Witness Dennis Christensen sentenced to prison for his belief

Orel Oblast court upholds sentence of Dennis Christensen

Orlovskie Novosti (23.05.2019) – On 23 May, the Orel oblast court left in force the sentence of the Zheleznodorozhny district court with respect to Danish citizen Dennis Christensen, who was found guilty of extremism and sentenced to six years imprisonment, an Orlovskie Novosti correspondent reports.

The freedom of belief and the imaginary crimes

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.

Flogging a dead horse: The return of anti-cultism in Italy

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.

Mattarella calls for constructive dialogue on human rights with China

President raises issue after meeting Chinese head of State

(ANSA) - Rome, March 22 - Italian President Sergio Mattarella raised the issue of human rights in a statement he made alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping after the two heads of State met in Rome on Friday. "In the light of Italy's mandate on the UN Human Rights Council, I would like to hope that constructive dialogue can continue on such important issues at the session of the EU-China dialogue on human rights that will take place in Brussels following the one last July in Beijing," Mattarella said.

The New Bloody Silk Road

The prominent scholar and expert of religious movements Massimo Introvigne reported in this article the Chinese reactions to the heavy criticisms expressed in the annual report on Human Rights of the US State Department. It is at least paradoxical that the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party reacted by accusing the US of violating human rights. It is not that the United States on the issue of human rights are exempted from criticisms, at least, for example, with regard to the death penalty, which has been definitively abolished only in 19 out of 50 the States but the comparison to China does not hold up.

No Agreement with China May Ignore Human Rights

An open letter to the President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Italy

Dear President Sergio Mattarella:
Dear Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte:

Chinese President Xi Jinping is about to start his visit to Italy. We understand that China is an important commercial partner of Italy and trade agreements will be at the center of the meetings. Italy has consistently been a staunch defender of human rights in different contexts, and has repeatedly stated that human rights should be part of all bilateral negotiations.

U.S., China Clash on Human Rights Report

Annual U.S. Report on Human Rights singles out China as worst violator, denounces torture against Uyghurs, Falun Gong and The Church of Almighty God. China reacted in “unusually strong terms” after the U.S. Department of State unveiled on March 13 its yearly report on human rights, covering the year 2018. Introducing the report, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had denounced China as the worst country in the world for human rights. Although other countries were also mentioned, Pompeo insisted that China is “in a league of its own when it comes to human rights violations.”