» 03/30/2009, 00.00
New synagogue of Dushanbe to open soon
It will stand in a building given to the Jewish community by a rich banker. The old synagogue was demolished to build the new presidential palace. There is great fear in the country for religious freedom, especially for non-Islamic faiths, after the restrictive law promulgated last week.
Tajik president Rakhmon signs law suffocating religious freedom
Even while it was being drafted, the bill was criticized by the OCSE and the U.S. Prompted by the fear of Islamic fundamentalism, it puts under state control any activity connected to faith, institutes censorship of religious publications, and makes the legalization of non-Muslim groups almost impossible.
Medvedev steers religions toward young people, but blocks Jehovah's witnesses
The Russian president is involving the traditional confessions in programs on behalf of young people. The Kremlin wants to reinforce relations with the Orthodox, make the Patriarch of Moscow a point of reference for all religions, and attribute a strong political value to his position. Jehovah's Witnesses accused of social isolation.
10/03/2009 INDIA - SAUDI ARABIA
After jail, Christians pray for Saudi king Abdallah
Fr. George Joshua was arrested in 2006 by the religious police, for celebrating Mass in a private residence. In 2007, he founded a group that has been joined by more than 500 people. They are praying for the well-being of the kingdom, and for freedom of religion. The priest invites Christians in India to make a "positive contribution to Saudi society."
11/03/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
Prison, whipping for 75-year-old widow: her nephew brought her bread
The poor woman is suspected of seducing two young men. She even risks being kicked out of the country. There are criticisms of abuse of power on the part of the religious police, who watch over the morality and behavior of citizens, gravely interfering in individuals' private lives.
Dushanbe’s old synagogue demolished to make way for a presidential palace
A new complex complete with parks and fountain will be built, replacing an entire neighbourhood. About a thousand Jews are left in the country and they do not have the money to build a new synagogue.
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