International Institute for Religious Freedom

Bonn – Cape Town – Colombo

Christian marginal groups (as victims)

Russia: State Duma adopts amendments to religion law

Another change in Russian law on freedom of conscience forebodes reregistration of charters of religious organizations

Azerbaijan: Latest secret police prisoners - two female Jehovah's Witnesses

Amid a widening crackdown on religious, political and social activity the Azerbaijani government does not like, two female Jehovah's Witnesses have been ordered held in the National Security Ministry ...

Russia: Misuse of Anti-Extremism in October 2014

The following is the Sova Center review of the primary and most representative events in the misuse of Russia's anti-extremist legislation against religious groups or individuals in October 2014

Japan: A landmark court decision: Kidnappers and deprogrammers to pay dozens of million yen for attempted forceful change of religion

Toru Goto confined by relatives for 12 years and 5 months for 'deprogramming' by an Evangelical pastor and another person; Brother, sister-in-law and sister to pay 22 million yen (1 EUR=145 yen); Depr...

Ukraine: Kidnapped protestant pastor released

Pastor Sergei Litovchenko released from captivity of militants of "DPR"

Georgia: Severe harassment of Jehovah's Witnesses in Georgia was tolerated by the authorities in 2000-2001

The case Begheluri and Others v. Georgia(application no. 28490/02) concerned the severe harassment of a large number of Jehovah's Witnesses in Georgia in the years 2000-2001.

Turkmenistan: HRWF: Prison terms for conscientious objectors and members of unregistered religious groups

OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting - Working Session 14: Freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief

France: HRWF: Social hostility towards a number of minority religious groups

OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting - Working Session 14: Freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief

Eritrea: Twenty years of imprisonment - Will it ever end?

Twenty years ago, Eritrean authorities arrested three young men and detained them in harsh conditions in the Sawa prison camp, where they remain until this day.

Russia: Misuse of the anti-extremist law agains religious groups in July 2014

In late July, the Moscow City Court came to a guilty verdict on the case of the four followers of "Hizb ut-Tahrir." ...

Azerbaijan: Jehovah’s Witnesses deprived of their freedom to share their beliefs

On 21 May 2014, at 12:00 p.m., Khuraman Abbasova and a fellow believer named Khanumwere sharing their religious beliefs near a shopping centre. They read a Bible verse to a man and gavehim a copy of a...

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...