The 20th century began in Sarajevo and it will end in Sarajevo.” That saying, current during the war in Bosnia, wasn’t too far wrong. A grim age that began with the 19th century’s bleeding to death in a war sparked in the Balkans is ending, in places like Sarajevo and Kosovo, with the aftershocks of communism’s collapse.
The Chinese government’s new head of religious affairs has downplayed the role of house churches during his first official visit to Hong Kong, saying they must be registered with the government for their own protection.
Wang Zuoan, the head of China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs, met Hong Kong Protestant leaders at a Lutheran church on March 27.
Places of worship belonging to religious minorities in Malaysia are continuing to be targeted in a dispute over the use of “Allah” by non-Islamic faiths. The new general secretary of the World Council of Churches has expressed “deep concern” about the situation in the Muslim-majority country.
The drive-by gunfire killing of six Coptic Christians in Egypt at their church on January 6, the eve of their Christmas celebration, has drawn widespread shock from the Vatican and church leaders in Europe, the Middle East and Australia.
About one-third of the countries in the world have high restrictions on religion, exposing almost 70 percent of the globe’s population to limitations on their faith, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The analysis, released December 16, is based on reports from the U.S. State Department and human rights groups as well as national constitutions.
A petition calling for the repeal of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which impose the death sentence on a person found desecrating the Qur’an, has been delivered to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.