Latest Freedom of religion News

Pakistan rejects US rebuke on religious freedoms

Dec. 12, 2018 1:22 AM EST

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan on Wednesday condemned a U.S. decision to add it to a list of nations that infringe on religious freedom, calling the move "unilateral and politically motivated." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added Pakistan to the U.S. list of "countries of particular concern" regarding...

US downgrades Pakistan in religious freedom rankings

Dec. 11, 2018 4:34 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Tuesday placed Pakistan on its annual list of worst offenders for nations that it says infringe on religious freedom. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement he added Pakistan to the U.S. list of "countries of particular concern" regarding protection...

Ukraine: Leader pledges church choice for Orthodox faithful

Dec. 2, 2018 12:03 PM EST

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president has promised the country's Orthodox Christian faithful they will be free to remain part of the Russian Orthodox Church after the creation of an independent Ukrainian church. Amid deteriorating ties with Moscow, Kiev has been pushing for the creation of an...

Rights group: Christian religious freedoms decline in Egypt

Nov. 21, 2018 9:54 AM EST

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian rights group says the country's Christians are suffering increased discrimination despite official efforts to address their grievances. The finding comes in a report issued on Wednesday by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. The group tracks government efforts to tackle...

UN committee criticizes human rights violations in Iran

Nov. 15, 2018 10:59 PM EST

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. committee on human rights approved a resolution Thursday urging Iran to stop its widespread use of arbitrary detention and expressing serious concern at its "alarmingly high" use of the death penalty. The General Assembly's Human Rights Committee adopted the resolution by a...

Utah governor defends Jewish Democrat against political ad

Nov. 6, 2018 4:10 PM EST

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert defended a Democratic Utah House member after the Republican challenger sent out a mailer insinuating that the incumbent does not back religious freedom. Todd Zenger said in the ad that he is the only candidate for the state House district who stands for "the...

US group denounces Yemeni rebels' prosecution of Baha'is

Oct. 30, 2018 8:22 AM EDT

CAIRO (AP) — The U.S. commission on international religious freedom has denounced Yemen's Shiite rebels for charging 24 Baha'is, including women and a teenager, with espionage and apostasy. According to a statement Monday by the USCIRF, a court in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, controlled by the Houthi rebels,...

Romanian church urges unity for Orthodox churches

Oct. 26, 2018 10:06 AM EDT

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's Orthodox Church has called for unity among Orthodox churches after a meeting to discuss a rupture between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. On Oct. 15, the Russian Orthodox Church announced it was severing links to the...

Cherokee students can wear ceremonial feathers to graduation

Oct. 25, 2018 2:27 PM EDT

VIAN, Okla. (AP) — A northeastern Oklahoma school district has reversed its graduation dress code policy to allow Cherokee students to wear eagle feathers at the ceremonies, after the state suggested a ban restricts religious freedom. Federal law restricts the possession of eagle feathers but allows tribal...

Group: Foster waiver sought by SC governor unconstitutional

Oct. 23, 2018 2:17 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A waiver that seeks to allow federally funded foster care agencies to continue to deny services to same-sex or non-Christian couples is unconstitutional, a civil rights group argued Tuesday. In a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Anti-Defamation League...