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Tajikistan: Law Prescribes Observation of National Traditions

(Apr. 2, 2018) On March 12, 2018, members of the Tajikistani legislature approved amendments to the Law of Tajikistan on Regulating Traditions, Celebrations, and Rituals in the Republic of Tajikistan. (Law of the Republic of Tajikistan No. 272 of June 8, 2007, Spinform website (in Russian) (by subscription).) Provisions of this Law, which allow government, […]

Uzbekistan: Rules for Observing Family Events

(Mar. 30, 2018) On March 15, 2018, the Senate (upper chamber) of the Oliy Majlis (Uzbek legislature) adopted the nonbinding Resolution on Regulating Celebrations of Weddings, Funerals, Family Festivities, and Other Events and published it for public comment on the government website. The Resolution is expected to enter into force on March 30, 2018, and […]

Iceland: Bill on Male Circumcision Headed for Review

(Mar. 26, 2018) The Icelandic Parliament may vote on a bill on male circumcision later this year (114. mál, lagafrumvarp (bann við umskurði drengja), Althingi (Icelandic National Parliament) website). The proposal would ban male circumcisions on children unable to give their own consent and be punishable by up to six years’ imprisonment. (Frumvarp til laga […]

Malaysia: Federal Court Rules that State Sharia Court Has Jurisdiction Over Apostasy Cases

(Mar. 6, 2018) On February 27, 2018, it was reported that the Malaysian Federal Court (the highest court in Malaysia) had dismissed an appeal by four people from the state of Sarawak who wished to have their apostasy cases considered in a civil court. (Sharon Ling, Federal Court Rules Jurisdiction to Hear Apostasy Cases Lies […]

Egypt: Parliament Discusses New Bills Criminalizing Atheism and Homosexuality

(Jan. 26, 2018) On December 24, 2017, the Committee on Religion of Egypt’s Council of Representatives discussed a bill that would make atheism a crime punishable under the Egyptian Penal Code. (Egyptian Parliament Discusses Plans to Criminalise Atheism, EGYPTIAN STREETS (Dec. 24, 2017).) Previously on November 9, 2017, an Egyptian lawmaker proposed a bill criminalizing […]

Indonesia: Constitutional Court Opens Way to Recognition of Native Faiths

(Nov. 17, 2017) On November 7, 2017, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi Republik Indonesia) issued a decision that will allow Indonesians who follow native faiths to list their religions on official forms.  According to Justice Arief Hidayat, several articles in the Law on Population Administration are discriminatory and “contradict the 1945 Constitution and these articles […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Authorizes Religious Education in Public Schools

(Oct. 6, 2017) On September 27, 2017, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) dismissed, by a majority vote (6 to 5), a Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (Ação Direta de Incosntitucionalidade, ADI)  in which the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Procuradoria-Geral da República, PGR) questioned the model of religious education in the country’s public school […]

Belgium/European Court of Human Rights: Ban on Full-Face Veil in Public Does Not Violate European Convention on Human Rights

(Aug. 30, 2017) On July 11, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) unanimously ruled that Belgium’s ban on wearing an Islamic full-face veil in public does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights. (Affaire Belcacemi et Oussar c. Belgique [Case of Belcacemi and Oussar v. Belgium], Judgment (July 11 2017), Application No. […]

Denmark: List of Religious Extremists Banned from Denmark Published

(June 21, 2017) On June 15, 2017, Denmark edited its “National Sanction List” of religious preachers who are prohibited from entering Denmark.  The original list, created on May 2, 2017, by the Danish Immigration Service, bans extreme religious advocates from entering Denmark.  The list is instituted by virtue of an amendment to the Aliens Act […]

Samoa: Constitutional Amendment Makes Christianity the National Religion

(June 14, 2017) The Samoan Parliament reportedly unanimously passed the Constitution Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2016 (the Bill) during the week of May 29, 2017, and it is now awaiting assent from the Head of State. (Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu, Freedom of Religion Not Threatened: A.G., SAMOA OBSERVER (June 9, 2017); Parliament of Samoa, Daily Progress in the Maota 3 (May […]