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Religious Freedom

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Russia's Ban on Evangelism Is Now in Effect

But how strictly will it be enforced?
Russia's Ban on Evangelism Is Now in Effect
Larry Koester / Flickr

Yesterday, Russia’s new anti-terrorism laws, which restrict Christians from evangelizing outside of their churches, went into effect.

The “Yarovaya package” requires missionaries to have permits, makes house churches illegal, and limits religious activity to ...

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Russia's Newest Law: No Evangelizing Outside of Church

(UPDATE) Putin signs new restrictions that limit where and how Christians share the gospel.
Russia's Newest Law: No Evangelizing Outside of Church
Bernt Rostad / Flickr

Update (July 8): This week, Russian president Vladimir Putin approved a package of anti-terrorism laws that usher in tighter restrictions on missionary activity and evangelism.

Despite prayers and protests from religious leaders and human rights advocates, the Kremlin announced ...

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ChristianMingle Lawsuit Forces Site to Add Options for Gay Daters

For the first time in 11 years, same-sex couples can find “God’s match for you” on the site.
ChristianMingle Lawsuit Forces Site to Add Options for Gay Daters
ChristianMingle / Spark Networks

ChristianMingle.com will open its 16 million-member site to gay and lesbian users following an anti-discrimination lawsuit.

According to a settlement approved by a California judge last week, the country’s most popular Christian dating site will offer options for same-sex ...

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Across 198 Nations, Christians Face More Terrorism But Less Government Hostility

Pew finds that terrorism threatens to surpass the traditional persecutors of the global church.
Across 198 Nations, Christians Face More Terrorism But Less Government Hostility
Pew Research Center

From some angles, it looks like the beginning of a hopeful trend among the steady stream of persecution headlines.

Both government and societal harassment of religion dropped worldwide in 2014, according to a Pew Research Center study released today. This is the second year in ...

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Can You Name All Ten Commandments? If Not, This (and 18 Other Questions) Could Get You Deported

Take this quiz of Christian trivia faced by converts from Islam seeking asylum in the UK.
Can You Name All Ten Commandments? If Not, This (and 18 Other Questions) Could Get You Deported
Andrew Seaman / Flickr

What color is the cover of the Bible?

How many books are in the Bible?

Who did Jesus raise from the dead, and which book can you find it in?

These questions, among the nearly 20 questions in CT’s quiz below, have been asked of Christian converts from Islam who are applying ...

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Christian Refugees in Germany Report High Levels of Religious Violence

Sharing resettlement centers with Muslims can be dangerous for Christian asylum-seekers, Open Doors reports.
Christian Refugees in Germany Report High Levels of Religious Violence
Jens Meyer / AP

As the million-plus refugees who fled to Germany last year settle into packed group homes and culture-clashed neighborhoods, Christian migrants face ongoing harassment from the Muslims they live alongside.

Open Doors Germany reported Monday that three-quarters of resettled Christian ...

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Persecuted Church Advocate Complains It Is 'Hard Pressed' by Fellow Christian Groups

EAUK refutes allegations by Barnabas Fund, which also criticizes Open Doors, CSW, and Release.
Persecuted Church Advocate Complains It Is 'Hard Pressed' by Fellow Christian Groups

One of the world’s largest advocates for the persecuted church has accused fellow Christian ministries of working against it.

In January, trustees of Barnabas Aid International issued a 36-page document defending beleaguered Barnabas Fund founder and director Patrick Sookhdeo. ...

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After Pastor's Wife Buried Alive, Chinese Church Wins Land Battle

Officials decide that bulldozed property does belong to Protestant house church after all.
After Pastor's Wife Buried Alive, Chinese Church Wins Land Battle
China Aid

Nearly two weeks after a Chinese pastor and his wife were buried alive defending their church from destruction, local authorities have ruled in favor of the Protestant house church’s claim to its land.

After a local business wanted to take over the property that Beitou ...

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Turkey Releases US Street Evangelist Facing Deportation

Missionary David Byle works with successful Bible correspondence course in Muslim-majority nation.
Turkey Releases US Street Evangelist Facing Deportation
David Byle / Facebook

An American missionary facing deportation from Turkey for being a “danger to public order” has been released.

“Praise God, I was released from the deportation center this afternoon, and just arrived home,” David Byle wrote on Facebook. “Thanks to ...

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Sweden Can't Deport Christian Convert Back to Iran (Yet)

Canada also stalled over Iranian Christian 'war criminal', while Czech Republic will deport 25 Iraqi Christians.
Sweden Can't Deport Christian Convert Back to Iran (Yet)
Council of Europe

After more than 1 million migrants entered Europe last year, Sweden has been tightening its asylum process—including a plan to deport up to 80,000 migrants that didn’t pass muster.

Yet the Scandinavian country can no longer deport one migrant—an Iranian Christian ...

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Canada Thinks It Has a Better Way to Defend Religious Freedom

New government shuts down Office of Religious Freedom modeled after US version.
Canada Thinks It Has a Better Way to Defend Religious Freedom
Canada's Office of Religious Freedom / Facebook

The first attempt to replicate the United States’s diplomatic advocacy for beleaguered believers worldwide has come to an end.

Five years ago, Canada’s Conservative party campaigned for a new office to champion the cause of international religious freedom (IRF). The ...

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Malaysia Rules Muslim Man Can Convert to Christianity

Judge's landmark decision offers hope to Malay Christians amid Bible seizures and 'Allah' bans.
Malaysia Rules Muslim Man Can Convert to Christianity
John Ragai / Flickr

In a landmark ruling last week, a Malaysian court upheld the rights of a Christian to convert from Islam.

The judgment establishes a precedent in a country where religious conversions, particularly from Islam to Christianity, have been steeped in controversy. The verdict reaffirms ...

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Despite ISIS Attacks, Muslim Country Declines to Drop Islam as Official Religion

(UPDATED) Bangladesh’s Supreme Court spends mere minutes dismissing 28-year-old challenge to constitution.
Despite ISIS Attacks, Muslim Country Declines to Drop Islam as Official Religion
Shaeekh Shuvro / Flickr

Update (Mar. 28): Bangladesh’s highest court won’t be resolving the current tension in the country’s constitution that makes it both a secular state and an Islamic one.

In less than two minutes, judges dismissed a 28-year-old challenge to Islam’s designation ...

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Suicide Bomber Kills More Than 70 as Taliban Targets Christians Celebrating Easter at Pakistan Park

(UPDATED) Blasphemy execution goes from good news to bad news for beleaguered believers.
Suicide Bomber Kills More Than 70 as Taliban Targets Christians Celebrating Easter at Pakistan Park
K. M. Chuadary / AP

Update (Mar. 28): While a Pakistani Taliban faction claims it targeted Christians in Sunday’s attack on the children’s area of a major park in Lahore, a large number of non-Christians also died.

The final tally remains unclear, but approximately 14 of the victims ...

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China Frees Lawyer Who Defended 100 Church Crosses

Zhang Kai gave what advocates deem a forced confession on state TV last month.
China Frees Lawyer Who Defended 100 Church Crosses
China Aid

One of the leading legal defenders of China’s churches, Zhang Kai, was released from jail on Wednesday after being arrested in August 2015. China Aid confirmed his release with relatives.

Zhang wrote on social media that he has returned to his home in Inner Mongolia, an ...

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