The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Articles tagged as Religious-freedom

  • Communications Minister is Distinguished Speaker at Religious Freedom Event in Washington, D.C.

    On May 8, 2018, the Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) held a policy briefing on Capitol Hill with government leaders, academics, and experts on religious freedom issues, including ISKCON’s Minister of Communications, Anuttama Dasa.  

  • ISKCON Helps to Protect Catholic Advertisements

    After being told it could not buy advertisement space for its annual “Find the perfect gift” Christmas campaign last year, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington sued the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for banning religious speech.

  • Protest and Reconciliation: In the Footsteps of a 15th Century Freedom Fighter

    Tens and thousands of people were out on the streets in the night carrying torches in their hands ready to be part of an extraordinary movement. If they remain silent, lock themselves in their houses and give in to the draconian dictum,  they would become like slaves without shackles.

  • Religious Freedom in Danger in Russia: A Cause for Concern in Europe

    A seminar, held on September 26th, 2017, in Italy’s House of Parliament, at the Sala del Refettorio, and organized in co-operation with MP Lacquaniti, has discussed the problems of religious freedom in Russia, a cause of serious concern in Europe.

  • The History of the Persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya

    Some 420,000 Rohingya Muslims, a religious and ethnic minority community in Myanmar, have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since August this year. The United Nations has called the Rohingya the world’s most persecuted minority group.

  • Russia: Pokémon Go Blogger Found Guilty of Inciting Religious Hatred

    A Russian blogger has been convicted of inciting religious hatred for playing “Pokemon Go” in a church, and given a suspended sentence.

  • IC Conference to Discuss Politics, Gaudiya Math and Religious Freedom

    Forty communications staff will meet in Villa Vrindavana, Italy from May 13th to 16th for the European ISKCON Communications Conference. The conference will tackle several issues that are very relevant to ISKCON today. These include ISKCON and Politics, ISKCON and the Gaudiya Math, and Media and Religious Freedom.

  • Russian Court Bans Jehovah's Witnesses As Extremist

    Russia's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Jehovah's Witnesses were an "extremist" organization and must disband and hand over all property to the state, local media said. The religious grouping confirmed the ruling about its "liquidation" in Russia.

  • Walking Our Talk: The Role of Krishna Bhaktas in Current Events

    What would you do if the White House were to announce that President Trump added India to the list of nations whose citizens are temporarily banned from entering the United States? What if the president announced that banning entry to majority Hindu countries is a small price to pay for keeping America safe?

  • Russian Yoga Lecturer Escapes Penalty in Sign of Good Karma

    Russia’s yoga lovers can sigh in relief today, following a judge’s decision in St. Petersburg to throw out the case against Dmitry Ugai, a man tied to a Krishna group charged with illegal missionary work.

  • A Man is on Trial in Russia — for Talking about Yoga

    “I am concerned about the complete arbitrariness of this law, which can lead to the persecution of my many fellow citizens who practice yoga and study Indian philosophy,” Ugai wrote in his blog.

  • Russia: Anti-Sharing Beliefs Law First Use

    A Hare Krishna adherent has become the first person to be charged under Russia's new law restricting sharing beliefs. Anti-extremism police in Karachai-Cherkessiya arrested 19-year-old Vadim Sibiryev.

  • Why Religion Matters?

    Harvard professor Clay Christensen on Religious Freedom.

  • Religious Restrictions Among the World’s Most Populous Countries

    Levels of religious restrictions and hostilities among the world’s 25 most populous countries vary tremendously.

  • Girl Guides Fall Prey to Secular Inquisition

    The Guides (Scouts) announced they were changing the historic promise from ‘to love my God’ to ‘be true to myself and develop my beliefs’. Having dumped God and country altogether, it is now actually forbidding Guides to promise to serve anything beyond themselves.

  • The Numbers of Religious Freedom

    Senior Researcher Brian J. Grim talks about the Pew Research Center's restrictions on religion studies at the April 2013 TEDx ViaDellaConciliazione conference at the Vatican.

  • New Pew Forum Report Finds Rising Tide of Religious Restrictions Around the World

    Even before the recent turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa – including attacks on U.S. embassies and the killing of an American ambassador – the region was experiencing increasing hostilities and tensions involving religion.

  • Hungary’s Parliament Expands List of Recognized Churches, But Rejects Many Applicants
    Hungary’s coalition government on Monday expanded the list of churches the nation formally recognizes from 14 to 32. Initially, the church law granted official status to 14 Christian churches and Jewish groups. The rest had to apply for recognition by Parliament.
  • Indian External Affairs Minister Calls on Russia to Respect Bhagavad-gita
    In a statement released on December 20th, Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said that the Government of India has taken up the Bhagavad Gita controversy with the highest levels of Russian government, and hopes for a resolution.
  • Hungarian Constitutional Court Strikes Down Repressive Religious Law
    The Constitutional Court of Hungary today struck down a repressive religion law that would have deregistered over 300 religious organizations and established an onerous and arbitrary re-registration system.
  • Krishna Holy Book Faces Ban in Tomsk
    “Bhagavad Gita as It Is” can hardly be called Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” Still — if prosecutors in Tomsk have their way — the two may soon end up together on the Justice Ministry’s list of banned extremist literature. Why the Hindu text central to the Hare Krishna faith has suddenly been targeted is unclear, but some suspect the Russian Orthodox Church behind.
  • Kazakh President Signs Restrictive, Dangerous Religion Laws

    Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev today signed into law two restrictive and oppressive religion laws that threaten fundamental freedoms and places religious minorities at significant risk in the country.

  • ISKCON Hungary Stays Positive in the Face of Legislative Changes
    Depending on whether re-registration is accepted without a hitch or not, the new bill could simply be a passing inconvenience, or it could introduce sweeping changes that would be unfavorable to ISKCON.
  • Churches Divided On Hungary's New Religion Law
    Christian leaders in Hungary are divided over a restrictive new law on religion, with larger denominations welcoming its curbs on church activities and smaller groups voicing fears for their future.
  • Hungarian Parliament Passes New Church Law; 14 Churches Acknowledged
    Parliament passed a cardinal law on churches at its last session before summer recess late on Monday. The law defines 14 churches and religious communities; other denominations will further need two-thirds parliamentary approval to become registered as a church or religious community. ISKCON Hungary, too, lost its status, it has to re-register.
  • US Senate Confirms Religious Freedom Ambassador
    A New York minister will soon fill the Obama administration's long-vacant position to oversee international religious freedom after the Senate voted to confirm the Rev. Suzan Johnson Cook for the post.
  • UN Human Rights Council Adopts Resolution on Freedom of Belief That Drops "Defamation of Religion" Concept
    The UN Human Rights Council unanimously adopted a Resolution on Freedom of Religion or Belief which omits any reference to the concept of "defamation of religion" and instead focuses on the individual's right to freedom of belief. It is a huge achievement, since Muslim countries set aside their 12-year campaign to crate the "defamation" concept and joined in approving the resolution.
  • Hare Krishnas Are Bullied Across The Globe
    ISKCON has found an unlikely ally in the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. The American watchdog has severely criticised curtailment of freedom of religious groups like Hare Krishna in Europe and Eurasia.
  • Kazakhstan Trying to Force out all Foreign Religious Believers?
    The new regulations appear to be part of a government policy of increasingly trying to isolate religious communities from fellow-believers abroad.
  • US Pharmacists Win Right to Refuse to Sell 'Morning After' Pill

    Attorneys for the State of Washington told a federal judge that the State would seek to create new rules for pharmacists with conscientious objections. The new regulations would give the plaintiffs in the lawsuit--the owners of Ralph's Thriftway pharmacy and two pharmacists—what they've wanted all along: the right to refuse to stock or dispense Plan B (the so-called "morning after pill") based on their conscientious objection.

  • Law Professors Urge European Court to Allow Crosses
    Thirty-seven law professors hailing from 11 countries have submitted written comments asking the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights to overturn a seven-judge panel’s ruling that crucifixes may not be displayed in Italian classrooms.
  • Draw Muhammad. No, Wait...Don't.
    An artist has the right to choose how he expresses himself, but not all choices are created equal.
  • The Quest to Sort Out Competing and Comparable Religions
    An incident during National Day of Prayer observances brings up questions about the relationship between different religions.
  • Indonesian Constitutional Court Upholds Blasphemy Law
    In a major setback for Indonesia’s young democracy and fundamental freedoms, the Constitutional Court in Jakarta released its 8-to-1 decision to uphold Indonesia’s 1965 law against religious blasphemy.
  • Obama: Day of Prayer is a Go
    President Barack Obama will proclaim May 6 as National Day of Prayer, the White House said last week, despite a ruling by a Wisconsin federal judge the day before that it is unconstitutional.
  • Florida Senate Moves to End Separation of Church and State
    The “Religious Freedom” amendment would delete the 125-year-old provision in the constitution prohibiting state money from being spent directly or indirectly to aid any church, sect or religious denomination.
  • Should Religion Be an Excuse For Carrying Daggers?
    Sikhs should be allowed to carry ceremonial knives in schools and other public places, says Britain's first Asian judge. But can religion ever justify loopholes in the law?
  • Woman's Prayers Lead to Massive Fine in Kazakhstan
    Sunday service prompts government to demand the equivalent of nearly 1,000 US dollars.
  • Kazakh Hare Krishnas Ask OSCE To Help Defend Rights
    WARSAW - Kazakhstan's Hare Krishna community has called on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to help it defend its rights.
  • British Law to Force Religious Organizations to Employ Gay Staff

    Religious groups are to be forced to accept homosexual youth workers, secretaries and other staff, even if their faith holds same-sex relationships to be sinful. Christian organisations fear that the tightened legislation, which is due to come into force next year, will undermine the integrity of churches and dilute their moral message.

  • Kazakhstan Backs Off On Religion Limits
    Kazakhstan, a key U.S. economic partner in Central Asia, has dramatically reversed legislation curtailing religious freedoms after the measure and the jailings and expulsions of two religious activists caused an international outcry. With little explanation, the country's constitutional council announced Wednesday that amendments to a religion law were "inconsistent" with Kazakhstan's constitution.
  • North Korean Army Trys To Eradicate Religion

    Seoul (AsiaNews) – Religion “is spreading like a cancer inside North Korea’s armed forces;” for this reason it “must be eradicated without delay since it comes from our enemies from around the world,” this according to a booklet prepared by the North Korean Army titled 'Saving Our Soldiers from the Threat of Religion'.

  • German Court Clears Way for Visit by Sun Myung Moon

    A German court has ruled that the country's constitution does not allow it to block visits from the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the head of the Unification Church. The ruling reflects a general softening of bans—if not public sympathies—toward religions seen as "fringe" in Germany. Berlin, for example, recently was required to grant official recognition to Jehovah's Witnesses.

  • Spring Is Here and Faith Is on the Air

    Three upcoming documentaries about topics ranging from Jehovah's Witnesses to Mormons to atheism will air nationwide this spring on PBS. Although made independently, each film argues for the relevance of its subject in the United States, both historically and today.

  • ISKCON: Serbia 'Stalls' Granting Legal Status to ISKCON, Other Religions

    Only three religious communities - the Seventh-day Adventist and United Methodist churches and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) - appear to have been given legal status under Serbia's controversial Religion Law, Forum 18 News Service has found.

  • Anti-Conversion Law comes into force in Himachal

    SHIMLA: An Anti-Conversion Law has come into force in Himachal Pradesh with Governor V S Kokje giving his assent to it.


    It has become the first Congress-ruled state to adopt legislation banning illegal religious conversions. The Governor signed the legislation passed by the state assembly in its winter session in December, Raj Bhawan sources said today.
    During the session at Dharamsala, the BJP had obtained a commitment from Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for a law to stop conversions in the state.

  • ISKCON Members Bracing for Next Round of Attacks

    Kazakhstan continues aggression against minorities, ignores international outcry

  • Yoga causes controversy in American public schools

    Some parents say it violates the separation of church and state

    Dave Hunt, who has traveled to India to study yoga's roots and interview gurus, called the practice "a vital part of the largest missionary program in the world" for Hinduism. The Bend, Ore., author of "Yoga and the Body of Christ: What Position Should Christians Hold?" said that, like other religions, the practice has no place in public schools.