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Bike lanes * Saint Barbie * So long: October’s Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — November 2, 2015

Churches attack bike lanes for “burdening” their religious freedom as Saint Barbie leads a plastic revolution in Argentina. Savor every word of this last ever recap as I say “so long” to On Freedom.

Why Myanmar’s Nov. 8 election won’t be ‘free and fair’

By Brian Pellot — October 27, 2015

The military is harassing and arresting Facebook users, Rohingya Muslims can’t vote, and chief opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi remains barred from the presidency, even if her party wins.

Kardashian pope * Kim Davis * Beef party : September’s Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — October 2, 2015

Celebrity Pope Francis photobombed selfies on his U.S. album launch tour. Conservative “It Girl” Kim Davis sat in jail and won awards for not doing her job. And India threw a “beef party” to celebrate religious tolerance and protest new meat bans.

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

By Brian Pellot — 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.

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

By Brian Pellot — 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.

VIDEO: Journalists & Religious Leaders Reflect on Faith in Myanmar Media

By Brian Pellot — June 5, 2015

Religion Newswriters Foundation gathered a panel of journalists and faith leaders representing Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism to discuss how they see local media portrayals of faith in Myanmar.

Geller effect * Rohingya plight * Dad-son marriage: May’s Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — June 2, 2015

Gunmen strengthen Pamela Geller’s brand of Islamophobia. Thousands of Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya remain stranded at sea. And a Pennsylvania “father” plans to wed his legally adopted “son.” Read on.

Countering violent extremism and hate speech in the age of social media

By Brian Pellot — May 22, 2015

Yes, violent extremists can use social media to spread lies and recruit disenfranchised communities, but peace advocates can just as easily use social media to counter these messages of hatred and intolerance without stifling freedom of expression.

Who are the Rohingya and why are they fleeing Myanmar?

By Brian Pellot — May 20, 2015

Thousands of Rohingya people have left Myanmar this spring and at least hundreds are now stranded at sea. Who are these Rohingya and what are they running from?

Rainbow jihad * Sex church * iSwap: April’s Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — May 1, 2015

Same-sex marriage heads back to SCOTUS. A Tennessee sex club becomes a church to skirt zoning restrictions. And Boko Haram rebrands as iSwap, aligning not with Apple but with the Islamic State. All this and more in April’s global religious freedom recap.

Beef ban * Witch hunts * Too much Guinness : March’s Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — April 1, 2015

An Indian state bans the sale and possession of beef. Tanzanians murder “witches” accused of murdering “magical albinos.” And Ireland nearly outlaws straight marriage, on accident. Who needs April Fools’ Day when reality is this strange?

After Myanmar’s ‘Buddha headphones’ conviction, the worst may be yet to come

By Brian Pellot — March 18, 2015

Jail time and hard labor for sharing an image of the Buddha wearing headphones is a shocking violation of free speech. In Myanmar, I’m far from shocked.

Anti-Semitism * Anti-sex * Anti-women: February’s Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — March 2, 2015

Cold, short February was jam-packed with some mega atrocities on the religious freedom front. Count your lucky stars it’s March, and hope for a better month ahead.

Charlie fallout * Blasphemy * Everything else: January’s Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — February 2, 2015

New year, new RFR format. Let’s start with a look at how January’s big story played out internationally then spotlight new challenges to religious freedom and freedom of expression across the globe.

Détente on Christmas * Beard passes * Christ Bless Mississippi: Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — December 4, 2014

This month’s religious freedom news and views from around the world. Read with caution. Prozac optional.

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