International Institute for Religious Freedom

Bonn – Cape Town – Colombo

Christian marginal groups (as victims)

Russia: European Court looks into Russia's treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) communicated a vast collection of complaints this month to Russia in connection with the treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses throughout the country.

Netherlands: Dutch 2013 study on alleged abuses by "sects" confirms results of 1984: No danger to the legal order or to public health

Before the 2013 study, the most recent comprehensive one conducted in The Netherlands dates back to the early 1980s. It was organized in the wake of the Jonestown Massacre in Guyana (1978), after inte...

Russia: Summary of persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in February

Nine police detentions during witnessing ministry: in Elatma (Riazan province), Dzerzhinsk (Nizhny Novgorod province), Stepnoe (Saratov province), Krasnoobsk (Novosibirsk province), city of Orel, Malo...

Japan: Change of religion, kidnapping and confinement for over 12 years: A Japanese wins an important lawsuit

A Japanese man who had been kidnapped by family members, confined for 12 years and subjected to violent attempts to renounce his new religious affiliation has won a court ruling against his captors an...

Pakistan: Pakistan poised to make death penalty compulsory for 'blasphemy'

Pakistan's government faces a looming deadline to either comply with a court ruling to amend the country's penal code to make the death penalty the only lawful punishment for "blasphemy," or to appeal...

Russia: Religious freedom issues in 2013

Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslims targeted

Iran: Bramhamist Christian, Zoroastrian, Sunni, Shi'a and Baha'i Prisoners in Iran

The following HRWF list does not claim to be exhaustive (*) but shows nevertheless the magnitude of the repression. Only the cases related to freedom of religion (freedom of association, freedom of as...

Armenia: Armenia releases all imprisoned Jehovah's Witnesses

On November 12, 2013, Armenia released the remaining 14 Jehovah's Witnesses imprisoned for their refusal to join the military.

Russia: Compendium of recent persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses

Persistent problems of exercising freedom of religious confession by Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia

Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia are going through hard times. Police searches are regularly conducted in private homes to find religious literature that is on the black list of so-called extremist mater...

"Complex", "arbitrary", "unnecessary" and "expensive" re-registration process

As the compulsory re-registration of all Kazakhstan's religious communities nears completion, smaller religious communities appear to be the main communities forcibly closed down or merged, Forum 18 N...

"We need to protect the rights of the majority"

Kyrgyzstan's law-enforcement and other state agencies have been inactive, very slow to act against, or even apparently sympathetic to violent attacks on people exercising freedom of religion or belief...

Armenia: After Strasbourg punishment, will Armenian government resolve alternative service issue "for ever"?

Armenia's new Deputy Justice Minister Ruben Melikyan has told Forum 18 News Service that a government Working Group is already preparing new amendments to the Alternative Service Law ...

Church ransacked in Eastern Algeria

Armed men raided a church in Ouargla, Algeria on Wednesday, tearing down the gate to the church's compound and damaging the iron crucifix on the church's roof.

Russia: Misuse of anti-extremism legislation against non-Orthodox religions in November 2011

November 2011 was marked by a large number of wrongful prosecutions, and a jump - as was expected - in the abuse of anti-extremist legislation during the parliamentary election campaign.