State Responses to Minority Religions

State Responses to Minority Religions
David M. Kirkham, ed.
Ashgate Inform Series on Minority Religions and Spiritual Movements 2013 

The response of states to demands for free exercise of religion or belief varies greatly across the world. In some places, religions come as close as imaginable to autonomous existences with little interference from government. In other cases religion finds itself grinding out a meagre living, if at all, under the jealously watchful eye of the state.

This book provides a legal and normative overview of the variety of responses to minority religions available to states. Exploring case studies ranging from Islamic regions such as Indonesia, Pakistan, and the wider Middle East, to Western Europe, Eastern Europe, China, Russia, Canada, and the Baltics, contributors include international scholars and experts in law, sociology, religious studies, and political science. This book offers invaluable perspectives on how minority religions are currently being received, reviewed, challenged, or ignored in different parts of the world.

Foreword, Heiner Bielefeldt; Preface, David M. Kirkham

Part I Minority Religions and International Legal and Ethical Norms – an Overview: State reactions to minority religions: a legal overview, W. Cole Durham Jr; The UN Human Rights Committee and religious minorities, Nazila Ghanea.

Part II Minority Religions and Islam: Religious minorities and conversion as national security threats in Turkey and Iran, Ziya Meral; Springtime for freedom of religion or belief: will newly democratic Arab states guarantee international human rights norms or perpetuate their violation?, Robert C. Blitt; Indonesia: between religious harmony and religious freedom, Renata Arianingtyas; A legal analysis of Ahmadi persecution in Pakistan, Asma T. Uddin.

Part III Atlantic Models – Religious Minorities, Diversity and the ‘European West’: Public policies in European case law: between security, non-discrimination, and public information, Louis-Léon Christians; The French system against sectarian deviations, Hervé Machi; The French ‘war on cults’ revisited: three remarks on an on-going controversy, Etienne Ollion; Switzerland and religious minorities: legal political, and educational responses, Brigitte Knobel.

Part IV Moving Eastward – Emerging Democracies and the Communist Legacy: Recognition, registration, and autonomy of religious groups: European approaches and their human rights implications, Jeroen Temperman; The state, new religious movements, and legislation on religion: a case study of three Baltic states, Ringo Ringvee; With fear and favour: minority religions and the post-Soviet Russian state, Marat Shterin; China’s responses to minority religions, Ping Xiong.

Part V Minority Religions in Non-European Democracies: Canadian and South African Models: Expanding the scope of regulation: some reflections on religious minorities in Canada, Lori G. Beaman; The constitutional protection of religious practices in Canada, Richard Moon; Religious minorities’ right to self-determination, Johan D. van der Vyver.

Bibliography; Index.

About the Editor: David M. Kirkham is Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University Law School.

Review: ‘Increasing religious diversity in nations around the world has yielded more minority religions in many countries. This timely and important book brings together seventeen respected experts who chronicle the varied host nation responses to the appearance of minority religions in their midst.’ — David G. Bromley, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA