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Tunisia: Cabinet Approves Bill Requiring Equal Inheritance Shares for Men and Women

(Dec. 4, 2018) On November 25, 2018, the cabinet of Tunisia approved a bill that, for the first time in the nation’s history, would require that male and female heirs receive equal inheritance shares. Tunisia is the first among Arab countries to adopt such a bill. The bill will now be referred to the Tunisian […]

European Union: European Court of Justice Rules on Religious Employment Discrimination

(Oct. 3, 2018) On September 11, 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that dismissing a Catholic employee in a managerial position at a Catholic hospital for remarrying in a civil ceremony could constitute discrimination. According to the Court, religion or belief must be a genuine, legitimate, and justified occupational requirement in light of […]

Germany: Islamic Umbrella Organizations Ruled Ineligible to Teach Religious Classes in Public Schools in North Rhine-Westphalia

(Feb. 27, 2018) In a decision published on January 10, 2018, the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia (OVG NRW), the highest state court in administrative law matters, held that the petitioners, two Islamic religious umbrella organizations, were not entitled to introduce Islamic religious classes in public schools as a permanent part of the school […]

Israel: New Law Defines Factors for Approving Employment on the Sabbath

(Jan. 5, 2018) On December 26, 2017, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) passed a law detailing conditions for approval of employment on the Sabbath. (Hours of Work and Rest Law (Amendment No. 16) Law, 5778-2017 (the Amendment Law).  (SEFER HAHUKIM [BOOK OF LAWS, SH] 5778 No. 2675 p. 73, RESHUMOT [OFFICIAL GAZETTE] (enter 2675 in upper left box […]

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 […]

France: Administrative Courts Issue Differing Decisions on Legality of Publicly-Financed Nativity Scenes

(Nov. 16, 2017) On October 5 and 6, 2017, two French administrative courts reached different conclusions in separate cases concerning the legality of government-sponsored Christmas nativity scenes. On October 5, 2017, the Tribunal administratif (Administrative Court) of Lyon ruled that a decision by the President of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region to install a nativity scene on the […]

Singapore: Bans on Two Clerics and Certain Books

(Nov. 9, 2017) It was reported on October 30, 2017, that Singapore has banned two foreign Islamic religious leaders from preaching during cruises and has prohibited the circulation of four foreign books in the country. The Islamic clerics have been denied permission to enter Singapore for the purpose of joining religiously themed sea cruises scheduled […]

China: Revised Regulations on Religious Affairs

(Nov. 9, 2017) On September 7, 2017, China’s State Council released a revised version of the Religious Affairs Regulations (Regulations), which will take effect on February 1, 2018; the Standing Committee of the State Council adopted the Regulations on June 14, 2017. (Zhonghua Renmin Gonghe Guo Guowu Yuan Ling Di 686 Hao: Zongjiao Shiwu Tiaoli […]

Switzerland: Referendum on Burqa and Niqab Ban Will Go to a Vote

(Oct. 24, 2017) On October 11, 2017, the Swiss Government announced that a proposed referendum on a ban of the full body and face veil (burqa) and the face veil (niqab) had achieved the required 100,000 number of signatures to be put to a vote. (Eidgenössische Volksinitiative, “Ja zum Verhüllungsverbot” [Swiss Federal Popular Initiative, “Yes […]

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 […]