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.”

Freedom of the Press

“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.

Hatred and religious intolerance: sign of the times or desired effects?

In these days the international press reports about tortures suffered in Russia by members of the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. The Washington Post of March 2 speaks of “Russia’s persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses is reviving dark practices of the past”. The last two years have been really difficult for the Jehovah's Witnesses (even if the discriminatory acts against them date back to at least the 90s) since, implementing the controversial Yarovaya law, the Russian Supreme Court has labeled them "extremist organization".