Thursday, August 11, 2011

Examples of the Ongoing Adjustments in Religious Regulations

One theme of our class is that religious regulations vary widely around the world. It is also true that these regulations are in a continual process of adjustment. Here is a recent sampling.
  • The Pew Foundation recently released an important report showing that restrictions on religious practice have increased for a third of the world's population.
  • The Chinese government and Catholic leaders in the Vatican are currently disputing who has the right to ordain Catholic bishops.
  • A woman challenges Belgium's new burqa ban in court.
  • A woman in India is tortured after being branded a witch.
  • The USCIRF asked Secretary of State Clinton to identify Pakistan as a "country of particular concern."
  • Hungary adopted what one author called "Europe's Most Restrictive Religious Law" that strips three hundred religious organizations of their religious status. Only fourteen groups retained their status; all others must undertake a costly re-register process without guarantee of success.
  • A proposed law in Tajikistan would prevent many children from participating in religious activities until they are eighteen years of age.
  • Even the U.S. is not immune to the adjustment: a lawsuit alleges that a Dallas Church is really a sex club, causes the courts to determine just what sorts of organizations can claim to be religious.

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