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Religious news from around the world.

 

I subscribe to 3 websites that keep me up to date what is happening with religion around the world. I noticed that Bethel New York also subscribe to at least 1 of the websites. 

 

Forum 18 www.forum18.org is a Norwegian human rights organization that promotes religious freedom. Usually they concentrate on the Ex-USSR and surrounding nations, any country that ends with Stan eg Uzbekistan. It means land of Uzbeks. I give this website 5 ***** 

 

Then there is worldwide religious news www.wwrn.org This website covers religious news around the planet. On the Home page the left side has all continents or the individual continents and then the different regions. Also an excellent website. 5*****. 

 

  The 3rd website which monitors Russia and ex republics is based in the USA but it seems mostly to translate news reports from this area. So it is useful to read what the authorities have to say about different conflicts. By western standards their reasoning seems ridiculous but it helps me understand what our brothers have to put up with. It also shows the dramatic increase in laws that are being prepared to make the JW's life more difficult. 

I give it 4**** http://www2.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/00currentchoices.shtml

 

These 3 sites give extensive coverage about Jehovah's Witnesses. Take your pick or pick them all. I have more than the usual interest in this area as I lived in Ukraine for almost 4 years and know quite a few witnesses in Russia and Belarus as well. My wife and son are Ukrainian. There is one more website that gives the perspective from JW's view but I have to search for it and if I find it will add to the above list. Dasvadanya Tim

 

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Religious news from around the world.

I subscribe to 3 websites that keep me up to date what is happening with religion around the world. I noticed that Bethel New York also subscribe to at least 1 of the websites.

Forum 18 www.forum18.org is a Norwegian human rights organization that promotes religious freedom. Usually they concentrate on the Ex-USSR and surrounding nations, any country that ends with Stan eg Uzbekistan. It means land of Uzbeks. I give this website 5 *****

Then there is worldwide religious news www.wwrn.org This website covers religious news around the planet. On the Home page the left side has all continents or the individual continents and then the different regions. Also an excellent website. 5*****.

The 3rd website which monitors Russia and ex republics is based in the USA but it seems mostly to translate news reports from this area. So it is useful to read what the authorities have to say about different conflicts. By western standards their reasoning seems ridiculous but it helps me understand what our brothers have to put up with. It also shows the dramatic increase in laws that are being prepared to make the JW's life more difficult.

I give it 4**** http://www2.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/00currentchoices.shtml

These 3 sites give extensive coverage about Jehovah's Witnesses. Take your pick or pick them all. I have more than the usual interest in this area as I lived in Ukraine for almost 4 years and know quite a few witnesses in Russia and Belarus as well. My wife and son are Ukrainian. There is one more website that gives the perspective from JW's view but I have to search for it and if I find it will add to the above list. Dasvadanya Tim

Thanks I've been subscribing to forum18 for years too. I like synopsis. Thanks for the others!

FORUM 18 NEWS SERVICE, Oslo, Norway

http://www.forum18.org/

The right to believe, to worship and witness

The right to change one's belief or religion

The right to join together and express one's belief

=================================================

Thursday 7 January 2016

TAJIKISTAN: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SURVEY, JANUARY 2016

Before the May 2016 UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

of Tajikistan, Forum 18 News Service notes continuing violations of freedom

of religion or belief and related fundamental human rights such as the

freedoms of expression and association. Among violations documented by

Forum 18 are: a ban on all exercise of freedom of religion or belief

without state permission; severe limitations on the numbers of mosques

permitted and activities allowed inside those mosques; arbitrary official

actions, including the arrests of Jehovah's Witnesses using police agent

provocateurs; bans on the Jehovah's Witnesses and some Islamic and

Protestant movements; the banning of Central Asia's only legal

religious-based political party, the Islamic Renaissance Party, and the

arrest as prisoners of conscience of its senior party figures; forcing

imams in state-controlled mosques (the only sort permitted) to preach

state-dictated sermons; forcible closure of all madrassahs (Islamic

religious schools); a ban on all public exercise of freedom of religion or

belief, apart from funerals, by people under the age of 18; and state

censorship of and bans on some religious literature and websites. The

government's actions imply that it thinks that the real threat it faces is

people exercising their human rights outside state control.

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Moscow Orthodox leader makes "just war" case for Russia's bombing

PATRIARCH: RUSSIAN MILITARY ACTIONS IN SYRIA BEAR DEFENSIVE CHARACTER

RIA Novosti, 7 January 2016

 

Russia's armed actions in Syria bear a defensive character and they are intended, among other things, to defend the fatherland and are completely consistent with the idea of a just war, Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill declared on Thursday in a Christmas interview on television channel "Rossia 1."

 

Speaking about how a believing person can, in principle, treat armed actions, the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church noted that "participation in some actions which may lead to death may be justified."

 

"The Gospel clearly describes in which cases it is possible: when you are giving your life for friends. Properly speaking, the idea of the just war is based on this. Way back in the fifth century, the Blessed Augustine tried to describe the parameters of such a war. Now, perhaps, there are somewhat different representations, but the essence remains as before: military actions are justified when they protect the individual, society, and state," the patriarch said.

 

He said the actions of Russia in Syria bear a defensive character, since they do not permit the spread of terrorist groupings operating on the territory of that country and beyond its borders. "Therefore this war is defensive. It is not even so much a war as targeted actions. But nevertheless participation by our people in armed actions is justified to the extent that this war bears a defensive character," the head of the RPTs said.

 

The patriarch recalled that Russians know well what kind of terrible troubles terrorism brings. "Our people have gone through horrible experiences: Beslan, Volgograd, it is impossible to enumerate them all. We have been burnt by this pain; we know what it is. And our airplane that was downed over Sinai? Therefore everything that has happened are retaliatory defensive actions. In this sense we boldly speak of a just struggle," he declared.

 

In addition, the primate of the RPTs added, by its actions Russia is participating in saving many people in Syria and in the Near East who "have been unjustly destroyed as the result of terrorist actions, including, of course, the Christian community." "We know of cases of return from captivity; we know of cases of the liberation of Christians and whole Christian settlements, places of their compact residence. According to responses which we have received from our brethren it is quite clear that they view Russia's participation in this war of liberation, these actions aimed at overcoming terrorism, with hope," the prelate concluded.

 

On 30 September, Russia began, at the request of President Bashar Assad, delivering targeted air strikes in Syria against objects of the "Islamic State" and "Al-Nusra Dzhebhat" (both groupings are prohibited in the RF). In this time, the Aerospace forces, with the participation of ships in the Caspian flotilla and the submarine Rostov-on-Don of the Black Sea fleet, have destroyed several hundreds of fighters and thousands of objects of the terrorists. (tr. by PDS, posted 7 January 2016)

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/12094586/Anglican-summit-Traditionalists-anger-over-Justin-Welbys-federal-plan.html

Anglican summit: Traditionalists' anger over Justin Welby’s federal plan

Some clerics attending make-or-break summit to avert schism over homosexuality said to have only known about plan from media reports

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another Russian province votes to hinder evangelism

ATTEMPT TO SET LIMITS ON MISSIONARY ACTIVITY IN SAKHALIN

SakhalinInfo, 21 January 2016

 

Probably few people like missionaries who with their pushy questions and preaching knock at an apartment or stop us on the streets.

 

And so deputies of the provincial duma decided to protect their fellow citizens from such religious folk and work out a draft law "On missionary activity on the territory of Sakhalin province."

 

Deputy Alexander Bolotnikov explained in his report that our population is not protected from the effects of a multitude of new religious movements and trends. In the province there already are 72 different religious organizations registered, including 34 organizations of Christians of Evangelical Faith, 15 of Christians of the Presbyterian Church, 6 of Seventh-Day Adventist Christians, 6 of Jehovah's Witnesses, 3 of Muslim religious organizations, 3 of Christians-Baptists, and one organization each of the St. James Roman Catholic Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, New Apostolic Church, Bahai Faith, the Rissyo Kosei-Kai Buddhist religious organization, and so forth.

 

The popularization of beliefs and active distribution of religious literature are conducted by followers of various religious associations, who are not really their members and are not authorized by them to do so. These persons deliberately distort the fundamentals of the belief system they are disseminating and they deceive persons of another faith, which in turns leads to violations of the rights of citizens to profess the religion of their choice. The followers insistently offer religious literature that does not have publication information, they go about apartments, and they stop people on the street. Their illegal activity often leads to the violation of rights and liberties of citizens and creates the preconditions for the appearance in the province of breeding grounds for interconfessional tension.

 

At the same time, federal legislation insufficiently regulates relations in the sphere of performance of missionary activity by religious associations. The very concept of "missionary activity of religious associations" does not exist and the consequence of this is that there are no sufficient legal grounds for exercising control over missionary activity of religious associations.

 

So Sakhalin deputies have decided to eliminate these legislative gaps.

 

In particular, to define that "by missionary activity is understood the informational and organizational activity of representatives of religious associations whose aim is the dissemination of their beliefs and religious practice on the territory of the province among persons of another faith and unbelievers." And this activity should be restricted. For example, a list of documents has been established, which must be submitted to an authorized agency of the executive authority of the province by missionaries coming into the province, and it is decreed that "representatives of foreign religious organizations may conduct missionary activity on the territory of the province only upon invitation of religious organizations that are registered on the territory of the province in accordance with the procedure established by law and within the context of events conducted by these organizations."

 

However the legal department of the duma issued a sharply negative conclusion regarding this draft law. Lawyers noted that in accordance with article 28 of the Russian constitution, every person in Russia is guaranteed freedom of conscience and freedom of religious confession, including the right to profess individually and jointly with others any religion or to confess none and to freely select, possess, and disseminate religious and other convictions and to act in accordance with them. It turns out that for both citizens of the country and foreign citizens the right to disseminate religious convictions is their constitutional right which may be limited only by federal law.

 

A dispute has arisen. The developers of the draft law appealed to the fact that similar laws already are in effect in a number of regions of the country. For the foundation of our draft law they took the one that has been adopted in Novgorod province. Missionaries tried to challenge the Novgorod law, but the Supreme Court left it in force.

 

"Nevertheless in our country there is nonprecedential law," the lawyers rejoin. "And thus other courts may even give a different interpretation of the law."

 

Nevertheless the deputies decided that citizens of Sakhalin need protection from harassment by missionaries and they voted unanimously in favor of the draft law on first reading. (tr. by PDS, posted 25 January 2016)   Russia Religion News Current News Items http://www.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/.

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Hi My wife will be in Russia next week so I look forward to get her personal observations. Because there are no flights between Russia and Ukraine she will be taking a 14 hour train journey. I wonder how her Russian relatives have been affected by the pro putin media? They are not JW's.  Poor brothers and sisters. They have so little literature and so much hassles from everyone. 

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5 February 2016
BELARUS: COLONEL CLAIMS CONSTITUTION "NONSENSE", HUMAN RIGHTS TREATIES "NOT
IMPORTANT"
http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2146
Jehovah's Witness conscientious objector to military service, Dmitry
Chorba, is still being called up despite an Alternative Service Law coming
into force in Belarus on 1 July, he told Forum 18 News Service. Lieutenant
Colonel Vladimir Osipov of Rechitsa Military Conscription Office called him
up despite the failure of one criminal case and two administrative cases he
initiated against Chorba. In the second administrative case, the Colonel
claimed in court in January that the Constitution is "nonsense" and
international human rights treaties are "not important".
 

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Fined for talking about religion

Two Jehovah's Witnesses - Nadezhda Chesnokova (a 74-year-old pensioner) and
Olga Mishina - failed to overturn fines handed down in East Kazakhstan
Region to punish them for talking to a man on the street about their faith.

On 19 August 2015 Chesnokova and Mishina discussed their faith with a
passer-by on the street in the regional capital Oskemen. They also showed
him a Jehovah's Witness booklet "An Introduction to God's Word". The man
later phoned the police to complain that the two women were conducting
"illegal" missionary activity, according to the subsequent court decisions
seen by Forum 18. Police confiscated the booklet from the two women.

An "expert" analysis a week later confirmed that the booklet did not
contain "extremist" ideas. On 18 September 2015 potential prosecutions
under Criminal Code Article 405, Part 1 were abandoned "because of the lack
of a crime".

Article 405, Part 1 punishes "organising the activity of a social or
religious association or other organisation after a court decision banning
their activity or their liquidation in connection with extremism or
terrorism they have carried out" with a fine or up to six years'
imprisonment.

The Regional Religious Affairs Department confirmed on 20 October 2015 that
neither woman has the compulsory state permission required for individuals
who conduct "missionary" activity (see Forum 18's Kazakhstan religious
freedom survey <http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1939>).

On 26 October 2015, records of administrative offences were drawn up
against Chesnokova and Mishina under Administrative Code Article 490, Part
3. This punishes: "Carrying out missionary activity without state
registration (or re-registration), as well as the use by missionaries of
religious literature, information materials with religious content or
religious items without a positive assessment from a religious studies
expert analysis, and spreading the teachings of a religious group which is
not registered in Kazakhstan". The punishment is a fine of 100 Monthly
Financial Indicators (MFIs), with deportation if the individual is a
foreign citizen.

100 MFIs is more than nine months' official minimum wage.

On 16 November 2015, Judge Nazgulya Abdualiyeva of Oskemen Specialised
Administrative Court fined Chesnokova 100 MFIs, then set at 198,200 Tenge.
Although the court decision notes that mitigating factors in setting the
penalty are that Chesnokova is a pensioner and has not been sentenced
before, Judge Abdualiyeva did not reduce the fine.

In a separate hearing the same day, the same Judge also fined Mishina 100
MFIs.

The Judge ordered the booklet confiscated from the women to be handed to
the local Jehovah's Witness community.

Chesnokova and Mishina - who both denied committing any offence - appealed
against the punishments. However, on 9 and 10 December 2015, a panel of
judges at East Kazakhstan Regional Court rejected Chesnokova and Mishina's
appeals, according to the decisions seen by Forum 18.

Prosecutor Dauren Alseitov of Oskemen Prosecutor's Office, who led the case
against Mishina in the lower court, refused to explain why she and
Chesnokova were punished for discussing their faith with a passer-by on the
street. "I can't give any information by phone," he told Forum 18 from
Oskemen on 8 February. "I don't know who you are." He then put the phone
down.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I still think the Russian Orthodox clergy are behind what is going on with JW's in Russia.  For every person who withdraws their membership from the church, they are losing money. How will  they continue to be able to afford their ridiculous "costumes and hats" ?!!! The churches recent alliance with the Pope will help to further strengthen their stand against us there, who hates Jehovah's name more than the Catholic  religion?!!! If our Bibles end up being permanently banned for being "extremist", whereas the Russian Orthodox bible is not, it all comes down to Jehovah's name being in the NWT !! Even once is too much for these other religions, let alone over 7200 times,

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1 hour ago, shali said:

I still think the Russian Orthodox clergy 

It's amazing how powerful the Russian Orthodox clergy is in Russia despite dealing with the Soviets and Communism for 70 some years.  I'd love to learn about the history and dealings between the Soviet Government and the Russian Orthodox church during all that time.    I think this is a big area of Babylon the Great entertaining a king of the Earth that has largely been undocumented in history.

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Bangladesh considering abandoning Islam as its official religion following wake of extremist attacks 

  • Supreme Court is considering dropping Islam as country's state religion 

Bangladesh could drop Islam as the country's official religion following a string of extremist attacks against people of other faiths.

The supreme court in the South Asia nation has began to hear arguments which challenge Islam's status as the official state religion.

It comes after a spate of attacks against people of other religions such as Hindus, Christians, and minorities Shi'ites, which have been blamed on Islamic extremists.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3473136/Bangladesh-considering-abandoning-Islam-official-religion-following-wake-extremist-attacks.html#ixzz41qThHxHY 
 

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Wow! Very interesting article Samira!  Thanks for sharing! It probably won't be till after the GT starts that we will be able to recognize where the "beginning of the end" actually started, but this seems like something to take note of!

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On 2/25/2016 at 5:42 AM, Shawnster said:
On 2/25/2016 at 4:20 AM, shali said:

It's amazing how powerful the Russian Orthodox clergy is in Russia despite dealing with the Soviets and Communism for 70 some years.  I'd love to learn about the history and dealings between the Soviet Government and the Russian Orthodox church during all that time.

My wife showed me a orthodox cathedral in her city where there was collaboration between the communists and the priests. . People would pay the priest to secretly baptize their children and then the priest who was working for the KGB would tell them who had their child/children baptized. The priests got paid twice. 

 

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