RLP News

New Aggregator Website on International Religious Persecution

In April, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom launched a new website at PersecutionReport.org. It links to accounts of ongoing global religious persecution. The site, which is available without charge, is the first to aggregate the top stories of repression affecting diverse religious groups and covering all parts of the world.

“There are a number of fine organizations reporting on religious freedom and persecution”, said Paul Marshall, Center Senior Fellow, “but their work is spread over many mailing lists and many sites. Here we pull together the most important of these stories and make them accessible in one place.”

PersecutionReport.org, drawing from a broad range of reliable sites, is updated frequently. It also offers an archive of reports that is searchable by key terms and by date.

RLP Expresses Concern for Syrian Crisis

Religious liberty organizations united under the Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP) have released a statement on the crisis in Syria asking the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria to pay particular attention to “vulnerable ethnic and religious minorities”, and calling for a designated day of prayer for the country.

Called the Istanbul Statement on the Church in Syria, it expresses concern about the exodus of Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities from Syria and calls on the international community to ”provide sufficient protection for all ethnic and religious communities as well as their historical, religious, and cultural sites.”

“There was overwhelming support at our 2013 Consultation in Istanbul to speak out about the urgent situation facing Christians and other religious minorities in Syria at this present time,” said Mervyn Thomas. Chairman of the RLP, and CEO of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, UK. “We urge Christian leaders around the world to respond to this call to prayer and action now in order to bring peace and stability to this troubled nation.”

According to the statement, drafted during the annual gathering of member organizations held in Istanbul in late March, the Religious Liberty Partnership commits “to raise awareness and work toward a peaceful solution of the current crisis, including reconciliation among the various ethnic and religious communities; and to utilize practices that prioritize the well-being of all Syrians when providing assistance and advocating on behalf of the vulnerable.”  The full Istanbul Statement is available at: http://www.rlpartnership.org/downloads/statements/RLP_Istanbul_Statement_on_Syria_2013.pdf

Rising persecution, says Open Doors

A helpful article titled "Rising Persecution", World Magazine, by J.C. Derrick posted on January 8, 2013 summarizes the a report by Open Doors and gives perspective on persecution of Christians around the world. Read the full article here or the annual report by Open Doors here.

"For the 11th straight year, Christians in North Korea suffered the most persecution in the world, according to 2012 rankings released Tuesday by Open Doors International, a U.S.-based group that keeps track of worldwide persecution of believers.

Its annual World Watch List revealed persecution is on the rise worldwide, especially in Arab Spring countries and areas around the Sahel belt of Africa.

“All of the Arab Spring countries are going to get worse for the church for the next five to 10 years,” Ron Boyd-MacMillan, Open Doors’ chief strategy officer, told me after announcing the report at a press conference Tuesday at the National Press Club. Boyd-MacMillan said the one exception is Egypt, which dropped from No. 15 to No. 25 on the list of 50 because “while the [Muslim] Brotherhood is still maneuvering, the church is fairly free...”

Analysis of Religious Freedom Provisions in Constitutions of Islamic Countries

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recently completed a "Comparative Study of Constitutions of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Countries". The study analyzes how constitutions in the Muslim world treat the issues of human rights and freedom of religion or belief. Specifically, it compiles and analyzes the constitutional provisions currently in force regarding the relationship between religion and state, religious freedom, and related human rights. Click here for the link to the report.

NYT Article on Syria's Christians

User Rating: / 1

An insightful guest article in the New York Times on June 28, 2012 was titled "Syria's Threatened Christians". Read the full article here.

"As the 15-month conflict rages with no end in sight, Syria’s many minorities have come face to face with the emerging threat posed by radical Sunni Islamists. These elements have established themselves as a key factor in Syria’s future, backed by immense political and economic support from the Arab world and indifference from the West.

Throughout the years, Christians, like many other minorities in the region, have lent their support to those regimes that have guaranteed their security and religious freedom. In Iraq, Christians rose to the highest levels of society under Saddam Hussein’s regime, while in Egypt, Coptic Christians were protected from ultraconservative Salafists under Hosni Mubarak. As secular leaders from the secretive Alawite sect, the Assad dynasty largely preserved Christian life, protecting Syria’s minorities from what was perceived as a collective threat from the country’s Sunni majority..."

RLP Live on Twitter

Contact the RLP

Click here to email the Religious Liberty Partnership now.