This is our archive of news items tagged Religious Persecution.

 memo You'll find articles about that subject in each of the items listed, even if the term does not necessarily occur within the headlines or descriptive text.

Jenna Presley * Neo-Nazis * Buddhist Extremists

bullet Punk rockers are speaking out against Myanmar’s Buddhist monks who are instigating violence against Muslims.

The extremist Buddhist movementreferred to by The Straits Times (Singapore) as a “neo-Nazi group” — is known as 969. The three digits are said to symbolize the virtues of the Buddha, Buddhist practices and the Buddhist community.

bullet Neo-Nazism seeks to revive Nazism or Fascism.

bullet One year ago Monday, Wade Michael Page, a White Supremacist gunman with links to neo-Nazi groups, went to a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and killed six worshippers. Family members, law enforcement and the larger community marked the anniversary over the weekend.

Among many stories, the one about the friendship between a former skinhead and the son of one of the shooting victims stands out.

bullet White Supremacists may indeed by white, but their words and actions tend to show that they are far from supreme.

bullet Speaking of which, there are reports that Boston Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev subscribed to white supremacy literature and government conspiracy theories.

bullet Chinese house church leader Samuel Lamb died Saturday at the age of 88. Lamb, who is known for saying “more persecution, more growth,” spent more than 20 years in prison for his faith and led an unregistered house church of 4,000 people in Guangzhou.

As the New York Times has said, “In some parts of China Christians worship completely freely. But in other areas the authorities brutally crush the independent churches.”

Genuine religious freedom does not exist in China.

bullet In Australia, self-styled Muslim cleric Man Haron Monis, also known as Sheikh Haron, has pleaded guilty to on 12 counts of using a postal service in a menacing, harassing or offensive way — a federal crime. He sent a series of offensive letters to the families of eight fallen soldiers.

bullet Brittni Ruiz — formally known as Jenna Presley, one of the world’s most famous porn starshas become a Christian through the ministry of Craig Cross, founder of XXXChurch.com

bullet The “secret archives” of the Catholic Church in Scotland could contain allegations of sexual abuse by as many as 100 priests and other staff in cases stretching back 50 years, according to the former head of the Church’s working party on child protection.

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Religious intolerance is growing in Indonesia

Religious intolerance is growing in Indonesia

Indonesia’s positive image of a country where different communities and cultures interact peacefully with each other contrasts heavily with the reality of the past 10 years, reports the Deutsche Welle.

Many of the country’s Christians fear for their lives, as there has been an increase in attacks on religious minorities in recent years.

It’s not just Christians who are under attack in the Muslim-dominated country.

Extremists from Indonesia’s 200 million Sunni Muslims have also been attacking the country’s Muslim minority sects, including the estimated 100,000 Shiites and 400,000 Ahmadiyyas.

The Deutsche Welle says, “according to a poll conducted by Indonesia Tanpa Diskriminasi, almost 25 percent of the Indonesian population accepts acts of violence to protect religious principles.”

Don’t write off mainline Protestants

News reports about decline in the mainline church underestimates the continuing influence of its members, says religion researcher Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute in Washington, D.C.

What I think is important to remember is that the mainline Protestants still make up 17 percent or so of the country. That’s a sizable population to pay attention to. They tend to vote even at numbers slightly higher than that, so they’re a fairly reliable set of voters.

Both parties should not be writing them off — not only because of their size but because they tend to be one of two religious groups in the American religious landscape that are divided between the two parties.

Jones, who writes the “Figuring Faith” column for the On Faith blog network of The Washington Post, believes that “mainline Protestants are arguably the most ignored and least understood of the major religious groups in the American religious landscape.”

[Mainline Protestants] are really the only major religious group that’s a little off the radar. Part of it is that there has been this narrative of decline. But I think that narrative glosses over a lot more stability and vitality than [the fuller] narrative seems to indicate.

Examining Scientology front group Narconon

“The East Coast headquarters for Narconon is right here in Florida,” says First Coast News: “It’s a controversial drug rehab program where there have been a string of deaths.”

In the opinion of the publishers of Religion News Blog, Narconon — which is based on the ludicrous medical claims of fantasist and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard — is engaged in quackery.

Burma Reforms Offer No Respite for Ethnic Christians

Burma Amid global euphoria over reforms in Burman-majority parts of Burma, life has changed little for more than 3 million Christians and other minorities left to suffer from one of the world’s longest running civil wars.

While it is largely a struggle for self-determination in all ethnic states and all civilians suffer in the crossfire, the Burman-Buddhist dominated Burmese troops are often accused of being harsher on Christian civilians than on their Buddhist counterparts. [Read more...]

Bible School, Church Buildings Attacked in Sudan

Sudan Christians faced increased hostilities in Sudan over the past few weeks, culminating in an attack on a Christian compound in Khartoum by a throng of Muslim extremists armed with clubs, iron rods, a bulldozer and fire.

Breaking down the compound wall with a bulldozer, the assailants set fire to the Gerief West Bible School and the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) building; they also damaged three other places of worship and other buildings in the same compound. [Read more...]