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Holy See: New Procedural Rules on Nullity of Marriage

(Nov. 4, 2015) As we previously reported (Dante Figueroa, Holy See: Amendments to Latin Code of Canon Law on Nullity of Marriage, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (Oct. 22, 2015)), on September 8, 2015, Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter, titled Mitis Iudex, on the Amendment of the Canonical Procedure for the Causes on the Declaration of […]

Pakistan: Federal Government Plans to Introduce Legislation Prohibiting Apostasy Pronouncements

(Sept. 21, 2015)  According to a September 10, 2015, news report, the Federal Government of Pakistan is considering legislation to prohibit takfir, a religious pronouncement or clerical ruling that declares one Muslim or group of Muslims to be non-believers or apostates.  A government official was reported to have stated, “[u]nder new laws, no one will […]

Bangladesh: Four Bloggers Killed Since February

(Aug. 27, 2015) In less than eight months, four bloggers who were considered to be non-religious in their writings have been killed in Bangladesh. They are Avijit Roy, Washiqur Rahman Babu, Ananta Bijoy Das, and Niloy Chatterjee. In 2013 another blogger, Rajib Haider, was stabbed to death. (Jason Burke & Saad Hammadi, Bangladesh Blogger Killed […]

Cameroon: Far North Region Bans Burka, Face-Covering Veils

(July 22, 2015) It was reported on July 17, 2015, that Cameroon’s Far North Region instituted a ban on July 15 against women wearing burkas (a covering for the face and the whole body) and veils that cover the face. The ban comes in the aftermath of two suicide bombings, said to have been instigated […]

Egypt: Court Dismisses Petition to Dissolve Religious Party

(July 8, 2015) On July 5, 2015, the Parties Court, which has recently been formed within the Supreme Administrative Court, dismissed a petition to dissolve the Al Nour Party because of its religious basis. (Mahmoud Mostafa, Court Rejects Al Nour Party’s Dissolution, DAILY NEWS (July 5, 2015).) A petition submitted to the Court by one […]

Indonesia: Court Rejects Two Challenges to Marriage Act

(June 25, 2015) On June 18, 2015, the Indonesian Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) released its decisions on two petitions for judicial review of Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage (Marriage Law). (Undang-undang Nomor 1 Tahun 1974 Tentang Perkawinan, Ministry of Religious Affairs website,(in Indonesian); Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 1 of the […]

Indonesia: Law Proposed to Protect Religious Minorities

(June 11, 2015) Indonesia’s government has proposed a law on the protection of religious minorities. It is currently listed as in committee with the legislature, the Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat. (Rancangan Undang-Undang Tentang Perlindungan Umat Beragama [Draft Law on the Protection of Religious Communities], Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat website (last visited June 8, 2015).) While some leaders […]

Tajikistan: ISIS Recognized as Terrorist Organization

(June 8, 2015) On May 29, 2015, Central Asian and Russian news agencies reported that the Supreme Court of Tajikistan has recognized the organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as a terrorist group and banned its activities in Tajik territory. This decision allows Tajik authorities to prosecute anyone accused of association with ISIS […]

Egypt: State Litigation Authority Rejects Request to Suspend a TV Show

(May 22, 2015) On May 19, 2015, Egypt’s State Litigation Authority rejected a petition submitted by Al Azhar (the main religious institution in Egypt) to suspend a television program. The petition accused the show’s host of deliberately criticizing religious symbols and influencing Muslims to doubt their beliefs. (A Memo of the State Litigation Authority Rejects […]

Turkmenistan: Pardoning of Conscientious Objectors and Military Service Law Amendments

(Mar. 23, 2015) In February 2015, Forum 18 News Service published a report saying that for the first time for many years, “there are no longer any Jehovah’s Witnesses convicted and imprisoned in Turkmenistan as conscientious objectors.” (Felix Corley, Turkmenistan: Two Amnestied Prisoners, Conscientious Objector in Hospital, Beaten “Wahhabis,” FORUM 18 NEWS SERVICE (Feb. 18, […]