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Religious Discrimination

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Summary

According to the Pew Research Center, of the world’s most populated nations, Russia, Egypt, India, Pakistan and Nigeria have the most stringent restrictions on religion, accounting for both governmental restrictions and societal religious hostility.1 Egypt and Russia each fell into both the top five nations for government hostility and societal hostility. However, governmental and social hostilities are not necessarily correlated.2 The Open Doors World Watch list names 11 nations that are extremely dangerous for those of the Christian faith: North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Iran and India.3 In 2014, Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims became the victims of the Daesh genocide in Iraq, hundreds were killed, and thousands of Yazidi women were auctioned to members of ISIS, raped and abused.4 In India, radical Hindus are using violence against Muslim and Christian populations in a religious nationalist movement attempting to “cleanse” the minority faith groups from the nation.5 As Afghanistan is an Islamic state, Christians are renounced from their families and communities when expressing their conversion.6 The situation is similar in Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Iran and Libya, the situation is similar.7 In Nigeria, Boko Haram killed thousands of both Muslims and Christians in 2015, and in many communities where Muslims or Christians were a minority, adherents faced social pressure, isolation and violence.8 The Russian government limits the activities of a number of religious minorities that it deems extreme, including Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostals, and Scientologists.9 The United States State Department cited Russian authorities blocked websites for centers of worship, charged fines and raided properties of members of minority religious groups in 2015.10 In Egypt, Muslim citizens are prohibited from converting to another religion.11 Jews face harassment in 6 out of 10 European nations. Both Christians and Muslims faced discrimination in 66 and 75 percent of Middle Eastern nations, respectively.12 On December 9 and 10, 2018, Chinese authorities emptied Early Rain Covenant Church, a Protestant church in China that also housed a kindergarten, seminary and Bible school. Members of the church were forced to sign papers stating they would not attend church again, and many congregants were detained, beaten and kept without food or water. Some relatives of those detained were not notified of their family members’ whereabouts, and the family of Wang Yi, the pastor of the church was told that the leader was arrested for “inciting subversion of state power.” Just prior to his arrest, Wang Yi published an essay condemning the Chinese government for its oppression of religious groups, and encouraged Christians to engage in acts of civil disobedience.13 Show References
1 http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/13/religious-restrictions-vary-significantly-in-the-worlds-most-populous-countries/ 2 http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/13/religious-restrictions-vary-significantly-in-the-worlds-most-populous-countries/ 3 https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/january/top-50-christian-persecution-open-doors-world-watch-list.html 4 https://www.forbes.com/sites/ewelinaochab/2018/01/26/religious-persecution-the-ever-growing-threat-to-us-all/#578ac988e30f 5 https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/india/ 6 https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/afghanistan/ 7 https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/ 8 http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/13/religious-restrictions-vary-significantly-in-the-worlds-most-populous-countries/ 9 https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2015religiousfreedom/index.htm?year=2015&dlid=256235#wrapper 10 Ibid 11 https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2015religiousfreedom/index.htm?year=2015&dlid=256263#wrapper 12 http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/05/02/how-religious-harassment-varies-by-region-across-the-globe/ 13 https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/12/13/china-repression-christian-church-intensifies#
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