Brian Pellot

Brian Pellot is based in Cape Town, South Africa.

All Stories by Brian Pellot

5 faith facts about Lawrence Lessig: Long shot, freedom fighter

September 8, 2015

(RNS) The Harvard professor withdrew from the 2016 race November 2, 2015

Fake church * ISIS onesies * Albino hope: August’s Religious Freedom Recap

September 1, 2015

HBO’s John Oliver trolls predatory televangelists by launching his own tax-exempt church. Spain arrests a man for selling ISIS shirts and baby onesies. And a U.S. charity is offering new limbs to albino children dismembered for black magic in Tanzania. Read on.

‘Megareverend’ John Oliver trolls televangelists with new tax-exempt church

August 18, 2015

(RNS) The HBO satirist aims to shine a light on broad IRS tax exemptions for televangelists’ prosperity gospel schemes.

‘Megareverend’ John Oliver trolls televangelists with new tax-exempt church

August 17, 2015

Last Week Tonight host John Oliver launched Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption to highlight the IRS’s hands-off approach to America’s top televangelists and their sometimes “seedy” prosperity gospel schemes.

Most non-religious Americans condone polyamory, new survey finds

August 14, 2015

If most non-religious Americans think having multiple sexual partners is morally acceptable and more Americans are identifying as non-religious…you do the math.

Interfaith leaders find common ground promoting Internet freedom

August 12, 2015

(RNS) Interfaith leaders are spearheading a new fight for net neutrality — once the realm of tech wonks and digital rights activists — and framing a free and open Internet as essential for religious freedom, social justice and interfaith cooperation.

Experts say what governments won’t: ISIS atrocities are genocide

August 7, 2015

(RNS) A growing number of advocates and experts are calling for President Obama and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to label ISIS’s actions against religious and ethnic minorities “genocide.” What’s holding them back?

Do ISIS’s atrocities against Christians, Yazidis and Shias really amount to genocide?

August 6, 2015

Religious freedom advocates are calling for President Obama and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to label ISIS’s actions against religious and ethnic minorities “genocide.” Does the label fit? 13 experts weigh in.

Marijuana ministries * Chicken blood * Chocolate snakes: July’s Religious Freedom Recap

July 31, 2015

Cannabis churches are billowing out across America. Chicken huggers are suing to keep ritual bird blood off Brooklyn’s sidewalks. And a South African prophet is being prosecuted for turning congregants into snakes and snakes into chocolate.

Let Cecil the lion’s death shine light on Zimbabwe’s human rights abuses (COMMENTARY)

July 29, 2015

(RNS) The Internet melted when news broke that a Minnesota dentist had killed Zimbabwe’s most beloved big cat. Allow me to steal Cecil’s spotlight for a moment with five facts about the country’s egregious human rights record.

Let Cecil the lion’s death shine light on Zimbabwe’s human rights abuses

July 29, 2015

The Internet melted when news broke that a Minnesota dentist had killed Zimbabwe’s most beloved big cat. Allow me to steal Cecil’s spotlight for a moment with five facts about the country’s egregious human rights record.

Told ya so! The UAE’s new ‘anti-discrimination’ law is already being abused to censor critics

July 28, 2015

Last week’s royal decree, which leaders touted as a shield against religious hatred and discrimination, is already being used as a sword to suppress government critics.

‘Free speech’ or criminal front? Armslist, Ashley Madison and Silk Road blur legal and moral lines

July 24, 2015

Are websites that facilitate the exchange of guns, drugs and sex “free speech forums,” as many claim, or something far more sinister?

The UAE’s new anti-discrimination law is a wolf in sheep’s clothing

July 21, 2015

Anti-discrimination laws should protect people. The United Arab Emirates’ new law, issued by royal decree, criminalizes the criticism of religions and ideas. It should be scrapped.

United against violence in the name of religion…up to a point

July 20, 2015

If freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief are mutually reinforcing rights, why are we still arguing over the rules of engagement and sidelining key stakeholders?

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