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U.S. releases Religious Freedom Report 2011

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Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 18, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

To think, believe, or doubt. To speak or pray; to gather or stand apart. Such are the movements of the mind and heart, infinitives that take us beyond the finite. Freedom of religion, like all freedoms of thought and expression, are inherent. Our beliefs help define who we are and serve as a foundation for what we contribute to our societies. However, as the 2011 International Religious Freedom Report documents, too many people live under governments that abuse or restrict freedom of religion. People awaken, work, suffer, celebrate, raise children, and mourn unable to follow the dictates of their faith or conscience. Yet, under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, governments have committed to respect freedom of religion. As President Barack Obama said, they ought to “bear witness and speak out” when violations of religious freedom occur.

With these reports, we bear witness and speak out. We speak against authoritarian governments that repressed forms of expression, including religious freedom. Governments restricted religious freedom in a variety of ways, including registration laws that favored state-sanctioned groups, blasphemy laws, and treatment of religious groups as security threats. The report focuses special attention on key trends such as the impact of political and demographic transitions on religious minorities, who tended to suffer the most in 2011; the effects of conflict on religious freedom; and the rising tide of anti-Semitism. Impacted groups, to name just a few, included Baha’is and Sufis in Iran; Christians in Egypt; Ahmadis in Indonesia and Pakistan; Muslims in a range of countries, including in Europe; Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, and Uighur Muslims in China; and Jews in many parts of the world.

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Posted by on August 3, 2012. Filed under Americas,Indonesia,Religion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to U.S. releases Religious Freedom Report 2011

  1. Anisa

    August 9, 2012 at 5:38 am

    As long as it is not forced on other’s. The followers of every religion should be free to practice and preach their faith.

  2. Ahmad

    October 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    “We speak against authoritarian governments that repressed forms of expression, including religious freedom. Governments restricted religious freedom in a variety of ways, including registration laws that favored state-sanctioned groups, blasphemy laws”

    Pakistan imposes restrictions on Ahmadiyya literature which they deem blasphemous, including some references to the character of the Biblical Jesus. If we were to support restrictions on freedom of speech everywhere, then our literature would also be subject to such restrictions.

    Religious differences, debates, criticism and counter-criticism is not prevented by the Holy Scripture of Islam, which does not prescribe any ‘blasphemy law’ or impose restrictions on the freedom of expression of people.

    Rather it teaches that we should leave them alone and leave God alone to deal with those why deny and mock etc. [e.g. 6:113; 33:49; 43:84; 68:45-46; 70:43; 73:11].

    Howvere, many 15th century Muslim religious leaders remain oblivious to the lofty teachings of the Holy Qur’an, and promote ideas that are alien to the Qur’an. They are not entitled to be in a position of Islamic religious authority.