Articles on Religious freedom

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Brazil’s jailhouse preachers may not explicitly condone violence against people of other faiths, but they’ve remained largely silent as their well-armed followers wage a holy war. Reuters/Ricardo Moraes

In Brazil, religious gang leaders say they’re waging a holy war

As hard-line Pentecostalism spreads across Brazil, some drug traffickers in gang-controlled areas of Rio de Janeiro are using religion as an excuse to attack nonbelievers.
Faith is accommodated In Australia, but there is piecemeal protection for religious freedom. shutterstock

The great divide where religious beliefs and the law meet

Religious freedom in Australia can be a source of division with examples of respect for and of government interference with that freedom.
First Baptist Church Pastor John Crowder leads an open-air Sunday service four days after a deadly fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, near Waco, Texas, on April 21, 2013. Reuters/Adrees Latif

How much does the Johnson Amendment curtail church freedom?

The Johnson Amendment requires houses of worship to stay away from politics to receive tax exemptions. Yet, their leaders can speak out in a variety of ways that could reflect their religious views.
Lyndon Johnson, who was friends with evangelist Billy Graham, wasn’t targeting religious groups when he pushed his eponymous amendment in 1954. AP Photo

Trump’s vow to ‘destroy’ Johnson Amendment could wreak havoc on charitable world

President Trump recently repeated his pledge to eliminate the 63-year-old law, which bans charities from engaging in political activities, at the National Prayer Breakfast.
The car that was set ablaze outside Perth’s Thornlie Mosque. Offensive graffiti was also scrawled on a wall nearby. AAP

Can religious vilification laws protect religious freedoms?

Legislating against racial and religious vilification is highly fraught, as the ongoing debate around Section 18C has demonstrated, and unlikely to become less so any time soon.
A mob burnt down a compound of a religious cult in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Reuters/Antara Photo Agency

How should Indonesia deal with emerging religious cults?

Why and how do new religious movements emerge? And how can Indonesia protect religious freedom amid hostility towards unorthodox religious groups?
A protester outside the US Supreme Court of Appeal objects to gay marriage. An incident at a Cape Town university has raised issues of religious freedom. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

In free speech debates, consider Christianity’s history of liberalism

The furore around freedom of sexual orientation vs religious freedom at a South African university should lead to deeper thinking about Christianity's historical role in promoting liberalism.

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