The International Journal for Religious Freedom (IJRF) https://ijrf.org/index.php/home <p>The International Journal for Religious Freedom (IJRF) is published twice a year and aims to provide a platform for scholarly discourse on religious freedom in general and the persecution of Christians in particular. It is an interdisciplinary, international, peer reviewed journal, serving the dissemination of new research on religious freedom and contains research articles, documentation, book reviews, academic news and other relevant items.</p> <p>The IJRF is listed on the South African Department of Higher Education and Training “Approved list of South African journals” as effective from 1 January 2012.</p> <p>Manuscripts submitted for publication are assessed by a panel of referees and the decision to publish is dependent on their reports.</p> <p>The IJRF subscribes to the National Code of Best Practice in Editorial Discretion and Peer Review for South African Scholarly Journals.</p> <p>The IJRF is available as a paid print subscription, and released later as a free online version on 1 March and 1 September respectively (www.iirf.global), as well as via SABINET and EBSCO.</p> <p><a title="Leitet Herunterladen der Datei ein" href="https://iirf.global/wp-content/uploads/IJRF//dhet_accreditation.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Accreditation</a></p> <p><a href="https://ijrf.org/index.php/ijrf/information/authors" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Guidelines for authors</a></p> en-US <p>Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CC BY 4.0</a>)</p> ijrf@iirf.global (Prof. Dr. Janet Epp Buckingham) otto@iirf.eu (Johannes Otto (technical support)) Mon, 30 May 2022 10:20:41 +0200 OJS 3.3.0.10 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Looking at persecution and suffering theologically https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/112 <p>Persecution and suffering for Christ are important parts of our overall work to advance the church in every part of the world. Western theologies tend to reflect a church established in a particular culture without reference to the global mission of the church and the possible negative outcomes of the gospel’s encounter with other cultures. Therefore it is necessary to include persecution and suffering for Christ which are present realities in many countries, in our theological reflections. As an initial step, we should embrace the reality of persecution.</p> Donald LeRoy Stults Copyright (c) 2022 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/112 Mon, 30 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 A systematic theology of tolerance https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/113 <p>This article seeks to construct a theology of tolerance, based on the Reformed doctrines. It argues that since God gives general revelation, the sense of the divine and the seed of religion, the capacity to interpret and form an identity, and the common grace to every human being including those who do not yet believe in Jesus Christ, Protestants should tolerate their fellow human beings’ existence, even though they may not necessarily agree with other people’s beliefs. Moreover, the authority to coerce human beings regarding their beliefs is Christ’s eschatological authority, not our responsibility.</p> Antonius Steven Un Copyright (c) 2022 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/113 Mon, 30 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Global categories and local realities https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/114 <p>To facilitate significant data for the global advocacy of religious freedom, the annual World Watch List (WWL) relies on the method of global comparison. This article examines indicators that help to discern which kinds of global categories facilitate appropriate pictures of local realities and which ones foster misinterpretations. Their categorization of churches in China shows the WWL’s dependence on problematic “one-fits-all” categories of the World Christian Encyclopedia, which rely on a historic Western perspective. The article concludes with suggested criteria for creating alternative categories that better reflect the diversity of Christianity worldwide.</p> Meiken Buchholz Copyright (c) 2022 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/114 Mon, 30 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 French secularism and the fight against separatism https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/115 <p>Meant to fight separatism, the French Act to strengthen the respect of principles of the Republic of 2021 transformed the laïcité of separation into a laïcité of surveillance. This article discusses the historical roots and conceptions of laicity underlying the 2021 reform, according to which religion seems to be viewed as a possible enemy, separating the citizen from the Republic and impairing universalism of rights. The article focuses on the impact on religious organisations resulting from the state’s greater control over religious groups’ activities, places of worship and foreign funding. It closes by reflecting on the way forward for defenders of religious freedom.</p> Nancy Lefevre Copyright (c) 2022 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/115 Mon, 30 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Conceptualising “grievous religious persecution” as a response to impunity https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/116 <p>Particular incidences of religious persecution are, because of their scale, severity, and discriminatory motivation, so heinous that they may be justifiably categorised as inhumane acts of crimes against humanity. Despite this proscription under international criminal law, religion-based persecution remains a serious human rights concern; yet the international criminal justice system appears reluctant to enforce prosecution measures. This paper argues that the continuing pattern of impunity for persecution stems primarily from definitional instability and legal vagueness. To address this problem, this paper formulates a comprehensive and nuanced conceptualisation of the definitional elements of crimes against humanity of religious persecution or, more simply, “grievous religious persecution.”</p> Werner Nicolaas Nel Copyright (c) 2022 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/116 Mon, 30 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Christianity and the state of religious freedom in Burma/Myanmar’s Chin State https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/117 <p>Repression and threats to religious and ethnic minorities in Myanmar have continued to increase since the country’s formation. This paper focuses on the different phases of repression of the religious rights and freedoms of the Chin people, a religious and ethnic minority in the northwest part of the country. Interviews with key informants, conducted shortly after the 2015 general election, ascertained that the Chin people along with other ethnic and religious minorities had experienced different types of repression under successive governments. Despite such acts by the governing authorities, the Chin Christians have continued to preserve their faith, culture, and language under the guidance of their religious institutions.</p> Sang Hnin Lian Copyright (c) 2022 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/117 Mon, 30 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 The regulation of religion by organized crime https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/118 <p>Using evidence from field research in the Mexican states of Nuevo León and Tamaulipas, I argue that characteristic elements of the regulation of religion by authoritarian governments can be observed at the subnational level, imposed not by the state but by crime syndicates. The threats drug cartels make to religious groups can be reinterpreted as forms of “religious policy,” such as interventions in the appointment of religious ministers, elimination of ministers who are critical of the drug trade, censorship of of sermons, imposition of curfews, application of “taxes” through protection rackets, and restrictions placed on charitable work.</p> Dennis P. Petri Copyright (c) 2022 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/118 Mon, 30 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 The state setting boundaries regarding the right to freedom of religion in education https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/119 <p>Recent socio-political developments across the globe have compelled governments to reconsider the extent and the means of setting boundaries between what can be regarded as the private and public domains of their citizens’ lives. Such boundarysetting has so far taken various forms, one of which concerns freedom of religion and the right to religious instruction in public schools. Based on several boundary-setting case studies, we conclude that boundary-setting in the public education sector has become an inescapable and justifiable reality.</p> Johannes L. van der Walt, Izak J. Oosthuizen Copyright (c) 2022 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/119 Mon, 30 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 The Violent Incidents Database of the International Institute for Religious Freedom https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/120 <p>In 2011, Thomas Schirrmacher wrote an opinion article on the challenges of counting the number of Christian martyrs in which he concluded, “What we need is a database in which for any year we could enter all the known, larger cases [of religious persecution].” This was the direct inspiration for the development of the Violent Incidents Database (VID), which collects, records and analyzes violent incidents concerning violations of religious freedom of all faiths, as input for both research and policyinfluencing efforts. The VID is publicly accessible online at www.violentincidents.com.</p> Dennis P. Petri, Teresa Flores Copyright (c) 2022 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/120 Mon, 30 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Noteworthy https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/122 <p>The noteworthy items are structured in three groups: annual reports and global surveys, regional and country reports, and specific issues. Though we apply serious criteria in the selection of items noted, it is beyond our capacity to scrutinize the accuracy of every statement made. We therefore disclaim responsibility for the contents of the items noted. The compilation was produced by Executive Editor Janet Epp Buckingham.</p> Janet Epp Buckingham Epp Buckingham Copyright (c) 2022 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/122 Mon, 30 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Book reviews https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/121 <ul> <li>The 21: A Journey into the Land of Coptic Martyrs</li> <li>Governing the Sacred: Political Toleration in Five Contested Sacred Sites</li> <li>Thou shalt have no other gods before me: Why governments discriminate against religious minorities</li> <li>Freedom of religion or belief under scrutiny</li> <li>The blessings of liberty: Human rights and religious freedom in the Western legal tradition</li> <li>Post-Liberal Religious Liberty: Forming Communities of Charity</li> </ul> IJRF Copyright (c) 2022 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ https://ijrf.org/index.php/home/article/view/121 Mon, 30 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200