All cases

Filtered by: Freedom of Religion

UPDATE: No Registry for Faith Leaders in Published UK Counter-Extremism Strategy

October 19, 2015, United Kingdom

After a leaked report indicated that the strategy would include the following provision, "pastors, rabbis and other religious leaders will be subject to Government training and security checks and will have to enrol in a 'national register of faith leaders'," the Government's final strategy only calls for "training."

Freedom of Religion

Case update: Christian Punished for Praying with Colleague Allowed to Appeal

October 8, 2015, United Kingdom

A Christian disciplined by an NHS trust for praying with a colleague has won permission to appeal an employment tribunal’s decision against her.

Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Ukrainian Evangelical Pastor Kidnapped by Militants; Released 4 Days Later

October 1, 2015, Other

The Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith reported that Pastor Taras Sen was taken hostage on 27 September in the city of Sverdlovsk in the Luhansk oblast by armed militants and released on 1 October 2015.

Freedom of Religion Hate Crime Hate Incident

Islamists threaten Christians in German Refugee Camps

September 27, 2015, Germany

Christian refugees in German asylum centres are living in constant fear, as the Sunni majority within the migrant population attempts to enforce Sharia law. The situation is so bad that Christians claim they live like “prisoners” in Germany, and some have even returned to Middle East.

Freedom of Religion Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Sunni Muslim Threatens to Kill Christian Syrian in Kalmar Accommodation

September 22, 2015, Sweden

A 26-year-old, who claimed to have fought with jihadist groups in Syria, was arrested by police after threatening to "slaughter" and "cut the throat" of a Christian refugee.

Freedom of Religion Hate Crime Insult or Incitement

British "Values Monitor" Says Opposing Homosexuality Could Be a Crime

September 18, 2015, United Kingdom

Voicing criticism of homosexuality “might be breaking the law”, a British values monitor claimed.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis Released from Jail

September 8, 2015, United States

Just hours before a large rally in support of Kim Davis was scheduled to begin, the judge who jailed her for refusing to violate her Christian beliefs ordered her release. Ms. Davis was jailed on September 3rd for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The following day, her deputies began issuing licenses in her absence after five of the six clerks who work for her swore under oath that they could comply with the court’s order to issue them. Ms. Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses after the US Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, and refused to permit her deputies to do the same, because her name was printed on those licenses, and she said to issue them would violate her conscience. In his order to release Ms. Davis, the judge warned her not to interfere with her deputies issuing the marriage licenses, or she could risk “sanctions” again. Ms. Davis’s attorney said "Today Kim Davis is a free woman but her conscience did not change ... to get freedom." He noted that Ms. Davis would return to work, but he said she would "not violate her conscience."

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Religion

Clerk Jailed for Refusing to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

September 3, 2015, United States

Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, has been jailed for "contempt of court" after defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Religion

Orthodox Church Destroyed by the Albanian Authorities

August 26, 2015, Albania

On the 26th of August, local officials destroyed the Orthodox church St. Athanasius, which is located in the village of Dhermi, in southern Albania.

Desecration Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Desecration in Gex and Colloges Churches in Pays de l'Ain France

August 16, 2015, France

On Sunday, August 16, 2015, a ciborium containing consecrated hosts and chalice were stolen from the church of Gex. The same day, a ciborium, a chalice, and a reliquary, registered in the inventory of Historical Monuments, were stolen from the church of Collonges.

Freedom of Religion Vandalism (form of hate crime)

UK Schools Watchdog Ignores Bullying of Christian Students

July 30, 2015, United Kingdom

Colin Hart, director of the Christian Institute, has said Ofsted and the Department for Education (DfE) have given “inadequate attention” to the “bullying of Christian pupils”.

Freedom of Religion Negative Stereotyping

Student Physically Forced to Attend Sex Education

June 22, 2015, Germany

In North Rhine-Westphalia, a 10 year old boy was forcefully removed from his home and forced to attend sex education without his parents’ consent.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Street Preacher Fined, Judge Rules on Appropriateness of Bible Verses in Public

March 24, 2015, United Kingdom

Taunton street preacher Mike Overd has been convicted of a Public Order offence for using a particular bible verse in a public conversation with a man who identifies as homosexual. The judge ruled that another bible verse would have been more appropriate and would have prevented the fine.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion

Employment Tribunal Hears Christian Educator "Rightly" Dismissed for Faith

March 5, 2015, United Kingdom

Christian nursery educator, Sarah Mbuyi, was dismissed from her job after "gross misconduct" for saying that marriage is an institution between one man and one woman in conversation with a colleague. In an employment tribunal hearing, witnesses testified that Christian views on the topic should not be expressed in the workplace.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Politician Forced to Withdraw Candidacy Due to Christian Engagement

January 28, 2015, Germany

Politician Mark Holleman had to withdraw his candidacy for appointment as the environmental and health officer for Munich, despite being the favored candidate of the City Council, because of his membership in a pro-life group as well as in Christian Solidarity International.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion

Services in St. Stephan’s Cathedral Interrupted by Protest

December 8, 2014, Austria

When Cardinal Schönborn was about to read the gospel in the liturgy of festivity of December 8th in St. Stephan’s cathedral, a performance artist stepped in front of the altar for a minute of silence dressed in read. Afterwards he marched out of the church together with about 20 activists to hand out leaflets picturing a nacked nun eating icecream to protest celibacy. Police investigate on grounds of a violation of freedom of religious practice.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Organized Campaign Against Building Religious Schools in Madrid

November 28, 2014, Spain

A group of people organized a campaign against building religious schools in Spain and painted slogans "Your education - our destruction” on walls of the church of Santa Monica in Rivas Vaciamadrid. Moreover, some protesters in green jerseys (as a symbol of public schools) broke into the church with praying people to express their opinion. Local right-wing party PP decalred that it was another example of the radical atmosphere in the town.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

US Teacher Documents 300 Cases of Anti-Christian Acts by Gay Activists

July 1, 2014, International

Robert Oscar Lopez, a teacher for Literature and Classics in Los Angeles, documented 300 cases of overboarding responses of gay activists to opponents. These incidents mainly took place in Europe and the US. Some are directed against Christians, others are more of a political nature. Some cases might seem self-inflicted, many do not.

Contractual Freedom Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws

Christian Worker in London Claims She was Fired for Refusing to Read Children’s Books About Gay Couples

April 30, 2014, United Kingdom

Sarah Mbuyi, 30 year-old nursery worker from north London will bring her case to court as she claims she was fired on the grounds of her religious beliefs because she said that she would have scruples about reading children’s stories involving same-sex couples.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Article Questions Whether or Not Government in Ljubljana has Anti-Christian Agenda

April 22, 2014, Slovenia

A group called KUL, founded in 2009 by Christian youth in Slovenia concerned with defending life and fundamental human rights, posted an article on their internet site on the 23rd of April, 2014 called, “Christianophobia: Is Mayor Zoran Janković violating human rights and promoting intolerance against Christians in Slovenia?” after Zoran Janković’s municipality had forbidden a mass to be celebrated for unborn babies at the hospital center of the public university of Ljubljana.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion

Doctoral Student in the Netherlands Denied the Right to Thank God in His Thesis

March 25, 2014, Netherlands

Dutch PhD student Jerke de Vries inserted a clause into his doctoral thesis in which he gave thanks to God. At the Wageningen University, religious statements are not allowed in theses unless they are the subject of research. Although De Vries’ thesis advisor was not so strict, the doctoral committee would not allow his thesis to pass unless he removed the phrase, leaving de Vries to cut out the page from over a hundred copies of his thesis which had already been printed.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Catholic Church Told by UN Committee To Change Its Teaching

February 5, 2014, International

The UN-Committee on the Rights of the Child has asked the Vatican to change its teaching on abortion and homosexuality and on changing the interpretation of a bible verse. The Vatican has responded calling the requests of the UN Committee an interference with Church doctrine and a violation of religious freedom.

Freedom of Religion

Criminal Investigations Opened Against Cardinal For Mentioning Treatment Options for Homosexuals

February 5, 2014, Spain

Cardinal Fernando Sebastian of Málaga commented in an interview with the local newspaper SUR that homosexuality “can be normalised with treatment”. Consequently the Málaga Provincial Prosecutor's Office opened criminal investigations against him. His comment was understood to undermine Spanish legislation which protects the fundamental rights of dignity and non-discrimination in Articles 18 and 14 of the Constitution and therefore to constitute a "clear incitement to hatred and discrimination".

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Religion

Offensive Behaviour of Homosexual Couples During Religious Celebration

January 6, 2014, Greece

During the celebration of Epiphany of Christ in Piraeus, a number of homosexual couples started to kissing each other in oscentatious way, trying to show their protest against Christian morals and teaching. Local faithful and prayers declared themselves offended.

Freedom of Religion Hate Incident Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Government Takes Children From Christian Community

September 5, 2013, Germany

In the early morning of September 5th, a massive police raid of 100 police and 60 social workers descended on two of the Christian Twelve Tribes Communities of Klosterzimmern and Wörnitz. The police seized 40 children from 16 families and took them away in 25 vans on allegations of physical abuse.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

British Gay Couple to Legally Challenge Church for Not Offering Gay Marriage

August 2, 2013, United Kingdom

A British homosexual couple feels „forced to take Christians into a court to get them to recognise” them. The Marriage Act contains legal provisions to protect churches which chose not to conduct same-sex weddings from being sued.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws

Gathering Disturbed by Insults and Shouting in Montpellier

June 13, 2013, France

A gathering of “Les Veilleurs”, a peaceful manifestation group in favour of the traditional family of was disturbed by shouting from students and radical LGBT activists. Anti-Catholic insults were yelled as “Les Veilleurs” gathered to pray and sing together as they do every Tuesday evening before the prefecture in Montpellier.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Stickers Spread in Angers Saying "Catholicism – Enough Annoyance"

May 29, 2013, France

Citizens of the French city of Angers are confronted with stickers on traffic signs saying: “CATHO RAS-LE-BOL” (=Catholicism – enough annoyance). The credit is claimed by a group called “Comité anti-Catholique Angevin” (= anti-Catholic committee of Angers).

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Hostile Climate With Regard to Religion esp. Christianity

May 21, 2013, Germany

Anti-religion groups have created a climate hostile to frank discourse. Besides defamation campaigns and negative stereotyping, hate incidents have come to the Observatory’s notice. Activists physically prevented a professor to enter an auditorium to voice deviating views. Anti-religion slogans and images are often used in hurtful manners, such as the public destruction of crosses, the image of Jesus as a crucified pig, or slogans such as “We are here to hurt your feelings” or “If Mary had had an abortion, we would have been spared people like you”.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Public Funding Restricted for Organisations with Christian Convictions

May 21, 2013, Netherlands

Organisations may base their work on whatever beliefs or convictions - but to receive public funding, they must not object to current legislation. This creates a problem for Christian organisations especially with regard to objecting to medical procedures.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Lutheran Church Forced to Conduct Same-Sex Union Ceremonies

May 21, 2013, Denmark

The parliament of Denmark voted to force the established Evangelical Lutheran Church to perform same-sex “marriage” ceremonies inside their sanctuaries, although one-third of all the denomination’s priests say they will not participate in such rituals. The Danish parliament voted by an overwhelming 85-24 margin to compel churches to carry out unions for same-sex couples that are identical to heterosexual marriage celebrations.

Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws

State Claims Political Correctness in Schools

May 21, 2013, France

The state is very strict with regard to political correctness in schools. It is very difficult for Christian teachers to debate with their pupils about abortion. One of the most striking cases was Philippe Hisnard, a French Catholic teacher who was revoked and suspended from teaching because he organised a debate about abortion in a class of “civic education”.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Home-schooling Severely Limited

May 21, 2013, Slovakia

Home-schooling is severely limited in Slovakia. In fact, it is allowed only for pupils of 1st - 4th class in basic schools, for disabled children, or for children in custody and who are not able to go to school for longer than two months for health reasons. Permission for “individual education” must be granted by the director of the district school of the pupil. Another major problem is that the person who teaches the pupils must have a pedagogical university qualification. As a consequence, home-schooling is very rare in Slovakia.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

State Educational Programme Angers Christian Parents

May 21, 2013, Spain

Spanish educational law includes a set of mandatory subjects under the generic category of Education for Citizenship which are indoctrinatory and violates the rights of parents. The Education for Citizenship curriculum is mandatory for primary and secondary education (children ages 10-16), and must be implemented into all Spanish schools (public and private).

Defamation Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Home-schooling Practically Prohibited

May 21, 2013, Sweden

According to the Education Act (2010:800) home-schooling is practically forbidden in Sweden. Home-schooling is allowed only when exceptional circumstances apply, which is hardly ever granted. According to the preparatory work of the government bill, permissions should be granted with great restraint, stating explicitly that religious and philosophical reasons are not to be considered as exceptional circumstances.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Mother Forces Primary School to Remove Crucifixes

May 7, 2013, Austria

At a primary school in Vienna crucifixes had to be taken off the walls because a mother felt that they were a “religious paternalism”. This was possible when it turned out that less than half of the pupils are registered as Christians. For the first time since National Socialism crucifixes were banned from class rooms.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Common Greeting with Reference to God Discouraged in Department of Health

April 24, 2013, Austria

In the course of a debate on the health care reform in the National Assembly of Austria, the spokesman of physicians of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), Andreas Karlsböck criticised Health Minister Alois Stöger of the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) because he had discouraged or even prohibited the use of the common German greeting “Grüß Gott” (a greeting which literally means “Greet God”) in the Department of Health.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Ban on Christian Teacher from Deptford Green School in London

April 12, 2013, United Kingdom

A classroom ban on a Christian school teacher who condemned the “homosexual lifestyle” in front of year 11 pupils aged 15 and 16, has been upheld by the High Court. Science teacher, Robert Haye’s appeal against the decision to ban him indefinitely was rejected by the judge. After telling his class that the way homosexual people lived was a “sin”, according to the bible, he was sacked and prohibited from teaching at any school.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Christian Youth Foundation in Dordrecht Accuses Local Government of Anti-Christian Repression

March 22, 2013, Netherlands

A Christian foundation for working with youth surprisingly lost its license to serve coffee and soda on the grounds that the youth centre was a gastronomical enterprise running on deficit and other permits would be necessary for non-profit activities. This was perceived as a governmental anti-Christian repression and is now debated in court.

Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion

Schoolchild Punished for Refusing to Memorise a Verse of the Koran

January 29, 2013, France

A child at a Catholic school in France was punished for refusing to memorise a verse of the Koran in January 2013. At the school of Notre Dame de St Mihiel in the Meuse, Lorraine, a pupil refused to memorise a verse of the Koran as a part of a class on Islam. Two mothers arranged a meeting with the teacher to explain their disagreement with the punishment. Instead of removing the punishment or allowing the student to opt-out of the class the school director informed the mother of the punished child that she considers removing the child from the school.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

British Airways Banned Employee from Wearing a Cross, ECHR Confirms a Violation of Freedom of Religion

January 15, 2013, United Kingdom

(October 2006 - January 2013)In October 2006 an employee, Ms Eweida, was banned from wearing a cross on a necklace by British Airways, UK. Court ruling in January 2008 upheld prohibition for Christians, but not for other religions' symbols. On January 15th, 2013, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Ms Eweida's rights had been violated.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Christian Counsellors Freedom of Conscience Trumped by Rights of Homosexuals

January 15, 2013, United Kingdom

The rights of homosexual couples trumped those of Christians, according to a ruling of the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The European Court of Human Rights dismissed the Christian applicant Gary McFarlane and left the balancing out of rights to national appreciation.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws

Registrar’s Wish Not to Register Homosexual Unions Rejected

January 15, 2013, United Kingdom

Lillian Ladele, a Christian registrar, was disciplined because of her stance on civil partnerships. The European Court of Human Rights dismissed Ladele’s application on January 15th, 2013 and left the balancing out of rights to the national authorities.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws

ECHR Decides Against Freedom of Religion in Three Cases, in Favour of One

January 15, 2013, European Institutions (EU, ECHR,

On January 15th, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the four UK Freedom of Religion cases: one was ruled in favour and three against. The decision of the Court is not yet final and can be appealed to the Grand Chamber of the Court.

Freedom of Religion

Topless Feminists Protest Against Vatican's Policy on Gay Adoption

January 13, 2013, Italy

When Pope Benedict XVI gave his weekly Sunday address on January 13, 2013, on St. Peter's Square, four women of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen took off their shirts to reveal the slogan they had written on their bare skin, "In Gay We Trust". This took place while the pope lead the Angelus prayer. The women screamed "Homophobes shut up" as they were taken away from St Peter's square by the Italian police.

Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Bishop of Trieste Barricaded After Reiterating Church Teaching on Homosexuality in Church Newspaper

January 12, 2013, Italy

In the January edition of the Diocesan newspaper, the Bishop of Trieste had published an article restating the Church’s teaching on homosexual unions. Because of this, on the 12th of January about two hundred homosexual activist demonstrated in front of his home effectively barricading him in for the afternoon.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Hate Incident

High Court Rules No Right for Christians to Decline Sunday Work

December 30, 2012, United Kingdom

A new ruling by a High Court judge says that Christians have no right to decline working on Sunday as it is not a “core component” of their beliefs, considering that „many Christians work on Sundays".

Freedom of Religion

People in Turkey Threatened by Plain-Clothes Police

December 26, 2012, Turkey

People in the Denizli, Diyarbakir, Sinop and Hatay provinces attending worship services were being threatened and warned about further participation by plain-clothes policemen. The Police also requested information about other people attending.

Freedom of Religion Insult or Incitement

Sign of the Cross Forbidden to Pupils by History Teacher in Narbonne

December 7, 2012, France

On a school trip to the nearby Cathedral of Saint-Jus, students of the local school Therese Leon Blum where warned against making the sign of the cross upon entering the Cathedral. As a punishment, the teacher mentioned three hours of after-hours at school. One of the parents wrote to the council to complaint but did not receive a response.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Green Party Parliamentary Group Seeks to Disestablish Christian Institute for Youth and Society

October 17, 2012, Germany

The Christian community The Reichenberg Fellowship and its German Institute for Youth and Society have become the object of a parliamentary inquiry that the parliamentary group of the Green Party has directed at the state government of the German state of Hessen on October 19.

Defamation Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws