Report: 8 countries on UN Human Rights Council restrict religious freedom

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The United Nations Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room in Geneva, Switzerland.

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LONDON (RNS) A new report says eight current and incoming member states of the U.N. Human Rights Council were among 24 countries to imprison believers and atheists in 2013 for violating local laws that restrict freedom of religion or belief.

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  • Nabuquduriuzhur

    “In South Korea, nearly 600 Jehovah’s Witnesses were serving prison sentences for conscientious objection to mandatory military service.”

    This happened in the U.S. during WWII as well.

    This is not “conscientious objection”. JWs are normally offered alternatives to potential combat service, just as they were in WWII in the U.S. However, they chose prison instead, which made little sense.

    It’s not a matter of principle or religion, or they would have served in civilian roles or military roles as medics, cooks, drivers, etc. Instead, they adamantly refused to have any role at all despite their country needing them.

    Why prison is preferable to any sort of service at all (such as medicine or humanitarian) does not rise to the level of “conscientious objector”.

    A “conscientious objector” is one who will have nothing to do with killing the enemy, which is quite understandable.

    Refusing any sort of mandatory service to one’s country in it’s time of need is quite something else. It’s moral evil.

    “Time of need”. Yes. Unlike other nations, Korea has never ceased to be at war with the North since the North has never permitted anything more than a ceasefire. Every few months, the North stages a minor attack, just to remind the South that they are still there. People are killed in the attacks. It’s a war that never ended, with every attempt by the South to end it being rebuffed.

    It can’t be forgotten that the North not only has a standing army twice the size of the South, but also has nuclear weapons.

    Unlike most nations with no outside threat, mandatory service in Korea is in constant threat.

    “Conscientious objector” is not an appropriate term for this.

  • Nabuquduriuzhur

    Somehow I messed up a sentence, so here it is, plus editing “Unlike most nations with no outside threat, Korea is in constant threat. Thus some kind of mandatory service to train people for when war does happen again.”

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  • Jay

    You statement is incorrect and a gross generalization. JW’s refuse to support any and all military efforts. They would do civilian service as long as not under military control. There are more ways to support military operations besides active duty. JW’s do not support any military in any nation around the globe in ANY capacity. They are full conscientious objectors.

  • Roger Timus

    ” In India, Protestants were arrested for holding private prayer meetings.”

    1. Indian constitution supports private prayer meetings.
    2. Can you please send me or publish the news by reliable source that the private prayer meetings were considered illegal. Where it happened and when it happened?
    3. Is the meeting opposed by a private group ? or by the Government ?

  • k.shankar

    I Am join in new member in humas rights

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  • Ivan

    Wouldn’t you agree I can’t tell you what’s a matter of conscience to you? It isn’t fair to say what’s the limit of mine. Early Christians were put to death by the Romans because of refusal to serve them. Didn’t their country need them too? Communists & Nazis imprisoned & executed JWs at the same time they were imprisoned in the west. Hitler started by turning his country from poor to prosperous in a very short time. He told his people he needed them, their country needed them. If Germanys major christian religions would have followed JWs WW2 would not have happened. The bible says God will soon destroy the govts & armies of the entire world. But religion will go first! And the only distinction will be those who aren’t willing to compromise what God says how they should conduct themselves. Dan. 2:44, Matt.7.