At the Breaking Point: Religious discrimination in Myanmar

Theravada Buddhist civic leaders in Myanmar.

On July 7, 2015, Myanmar’s parliament passed the Buddhist Women’s Special Marriage Bill (“Marriage Bill”).  The measure is one of four (one of which has passed and two of which are still pending) that are aimed at protecting race and religion in the country, known as the Protection of Race and Religion Laws.  The Marriage Bill will … Read more

Myanmar religion law restricts conversion and criminalizes adultery

International organizations are outraged over proposed legislation being negotiated in the Myanmar Parliament which would require individuals to obtain government approval before converting to, or adopting, a new religion. Myanmar (Burma) is a primarily Theravada Buddhist nation of 54 million people with a generally poor, but improving, human rights record. President Obama has visited Myanmar … Read more

UK approves law allowing conception of three-parent babies

In a bold and unprecedented move in the House of Commons, 382 Members of Parliament voted in favor of a technique that stops genetic diseases from being passed down from a mother to her child, with 182 members in opposition.  This technique uses the DNA from two women and one man to “create” a baby … Read more

Meriam Ibrahim’s Case Shines Light on the Darkness of Apostasy Laws

The tragedy of Meriam Ibrahim, the 27-year old Sudanese Christian who was convicted of apostasy on May 15, should be familiar by now. On Tuesday, June 9, an appeals court in Khartoum began reconsidering her sentence. The appellate court overturned her conviction on June 23 and released Meriam from prison. Less than 24 hours after … Read more

Critical Analysis: The Consequences of Artistic Expression in Putin’s Russia

On August 17, 2012, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Maria Alyokhina, members of the Russian punk band, Pussy Riot, were found guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” and sentenced to two years in a penal colony for their open protest of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. The band argued that their political protest, which involved the … Read more

Critical Analysis: Kurdistan Debates Blasphemy Law

The Kurdish parliament is considering a bill that would criminalize offending and insulting religions in response to the arrest of Hamin Ary, the editor of an Erbil-based Kurdish monthly magazine.  Ary was arrested in May for “violating religious sensibilities” after he republished a controversial article entitled “Me and God.”  The article, originally published on Facebook … Read more