We condemn the cowardly, senseless, inhuman, targeted killing of innocent Christian students at Kenya’s Garissa University College by masked gunmen from the Al-Shabaab terror group this week. But let’s not stop there, and see this attack as the last straw.
We were at a loss of words as we heard the news of attackers with explosives and AK-47s targeting a campus site where Christians had gone to pray on Thursday. This deep sorrow should now impel us to defeat terrorism in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere.
“We cannot look at terrorism in isolation, be it Kenya or Somalia or Iraq or Syria,” WEA-RLC Executive Director Godfrey Yogarajah said. “Al-Shabaab, which claimed responsibility for the shameless killing, as well as groups like al-Qaeda, Islamic State (ISIS) and Boko Haram are transnational terror groups or aspire to become one, and appear to be either cooperating or competing with each other in revealing their evil intent.” Continue reading “WEA-RLC – Let’s Eradicate Terrorism in Response to Killing of Christian Students in Kenya”
The autocratic regime in Uzbekistan continues its crusade against human rights. Here is the latest news from WEA-RLC:
It is reported that authorities in Uzbekistan have stepped up raids on homes of Christians, confiscating Christian literature and imposing heavy fines on believers for meeting to worship or Bible study.
In a recent incident, a court fined a Christian belonging to an unregistered Protestant church, USD 4000, (an equivalent of 100 times the minimum monthly wage) for distributing Christian literature. The court also ordered that 3 Bibles and 30 New Testaments found with the Christian be destroyed.
December 30, 2011
Christians in Iran have faced a wave of arrests since the disputed presidential elections in June 2009. Persecution intensified as international pressure began to build over Iran’s secret nuclear enrichment program leading to sanctions in the following months. And now, when the United States is likely to announce more sanctions, the going may get even tougher for minorities in this Shi’a-majority nation.
Authorities began to arrest Christians and members of other minorities following protests, known as the Green Revolution, over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claimed victory in the 2009 elections that were believed to be rigged. President Ahmadinejad, in power since 2005, curtailed civil liberties, brutally attacked protesters, arrested hundreds and executed a few. Persecution of minorities was part of Iran’s attempt to tighten control over all aspects of people’s lives in the face of domestic insecurity. Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who is facing death for apostasy, was also arrested from the city of Rasht in northern Gilan Province not too long after the protests. Continue reading “Iran’s Assault on Religious Freedom May Worsen”
WEA-RLC Research and Analysis Report
September 16, 2011
The decapitated body of a Christian man, Juma Nuradin Kamil, was found in Bakool region of southwestern Somalia on Sept. 2. The killing, one of the numerous such incidents in recent years, comes at a time when tens of thousands of Somalis have died, and about 750,000 more are at risk of death, some of them Christians who are being denied aid, in the wake of the 21st century’s worst drought in the Horn of Africa.
The Christian, whose head was severed and put on his chest, was killed by the Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen
(Mujahideen Youth Movement), commonly known as al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked terror group that controls and runs a de facto “government” in most of southern Somalia. The group is also restricting international aid from reaching the starving population in territories under their control, especially to the Christians, WEA-RLC has learnt. Continue reading “Christians in Somalia Bear the Brunt of Al-Shabaab’s Terror”
STATEMENT OF THE RELIGOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION OF THE WORLD EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE
For Immediate Release
September 7, 2011
WEA-RLC Condemns Fiji’s Crackdown on Methodist Church
WEA-RLC condemns the order of Fiji’s military-led government to cancel the Methodist Church’s annual conference and ban all church activities except Sunday worship.
The Fijian regime ordered the Methodist Church to cancel its annual conference, for the third consecutive year, last month. The authorities issued the order at the last minute when around 1,000 delegates had arrived in Suva. This is despite the church having obtained permission from competent authorities to organize their in-house meeting. Continue reading “WEA-RLC Condemns Fiji’s Crackdown on Methodist Church”
August 18, 2011
The government of the former Soviet nation of Kazakhstan seems to be fostering the fear of Islamist extremism to further restrict civil rights, including religious freedom, WEA-RLC has learnt. It appears that the Kazakh parliament, a rubber stamp for President Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev, is preparing to strengthen the government’s grip over religious groups and activities.
In Kazakhstan, the world’s largest landlocked country, all religious groups are required to register with the government. Under Administrative Code Articles 374-1 and 375, local authorities can penalize activities of unregistered organizations with fines or detention. And the Ministry of Justice can deny registration on the basis of an insufficient number of members or if its charter violates the law. In addition, the Law on Extremism empowers the government to designate a group as an extremist organization, ban its activities and penalize its members.
As if this was not sufficient, the Kazakh parliament in 2008 passed the “Law on Amendments and Additions to Several Legislative Acts on Questions of Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations,” increasing the harshness of penalties for unregistered religious activities. However, the constitutional court annulled the amendment. Continue reading “Christians May Face More Restrictions in Kazakhstan”