Among the 26 most populous countries, Brazil has the highest levels of religious freedom, higher, in fact, than the United States, where government restrictions on religious freedom have been rising.
According to The Weekly Number, Brazil - the world's fifth most populous nation - not only out performs other countries of is size, the Brazilian government has the best record on religious freedom worldwide, placing virtually no measurable restrictions on religious freedom, scoring 0.2 out of a maximum of 10.0 on the Government Restrictions on Religion index, recently published by the Pew Research Center.
Among the 26 most populous nations, seven have governments that are very highly restrictive of religious freedom (see chart): China (scoring 9.1 out of 10.0), Indonesia (8.5), Iran (8.3), Egypt (8.2), Burma/Myanmar (7.7), Russia (7.4), Turkey (7.4), according to the Pew index. Six arehighly restrictive: Pakistan (6.4), Vietnam (6.1), Bangladesh (5.2), India (5.0), Ethiopia (4.6), and Germany (4.5). Five are moderately restrictive: Thailand (4.4), France (4.2), Nigeria (4.1), Mexico (3.4), and the United States (3.0). And eight have low government restrictions on religious freedom: South Korea (2.0), Italy (2.0), United Kingdom (1.7), D.R. Congo (1.1), Japan (1.1), Philippines (1.0), South Africa (0.7), Brazil (0.2).
For more details please check The Weekly Numbers
Reuters, Russian lawmakers have introduced to parliament a draft bill to support Islamic finance, aiming to attract capital inflows at a time when an economic slowdown is intensifying and Western sanctions show no sign of being lifted.
The draft law, sent to parliament's lower house, the State Duma, this week, proposes allowing banks to engage in trade activities, a concept central to many of the structures used in sharia-compliant financial products.
On April 1, AAI's newest affiliate group, the Atheist Alliance in Iraq, was accepted as AAI's 48th affiliate group, and the first in the state of Iraq.
Organized byAmmar Adnan on Facebook, the group already has over 300 members since being constituted only a month earlier.
Ammar Adnan says that religious strife in Iraq is constant, with Sunnis and Shi'a holding strong sectarian views and more often than not considering the other side as 'infidels'. Being an atheist is even tougher: Although places like Baghdad are relatively secular and people in general are more tolerant of different faith views, the smaller towns and rural provinces are rife with sectarianism and tribal intolerance. But Ammar sees Iraq, after more than two decades of economic sanctions and war, as reaching a new stage where the ideals of freedom of conscience and secularism have their best chance of taking root in a long time.
The Atheist Alliance of Iraq is a group to give voice to those ideals, and to provide a way for similarly-minded Iraqis to find and support each other.
According to The Guardian, Washiqur Rahman’s murder is latest attack on progressive activists following similar killing of American atheist blogger in February.
A blogger known for his atheist views has been stabbed to death in Bangladesh, in the latest of a series of attacks on independent writers in the developing south Asian nation.
Washiqur Rahman, 27, died of serious injuries inflicted in the assault on Monday morning in Dhaka, the capital.
Police have arrested two men for the murder, which comes just weeks after an American atheist blogger was killed in Dhaka, in a crime that triggered international outrage.
According to The Economic Times, Bangladesh police Tuesday filed criminal cases against two Islamic students and two others for the machete murder of a blogger accused of mocking Islam, the second such attack in recent weeks.
Washiqur Rahman was hacked to death near his home on Monday morning in Dhaka, less than two months after the murder of an American atheist blogger triggered international outrage.
Police Inspector Mohammad Salahuddin said three knife-wielding attackers killed the 27-year-old because they believed he had "defamed Islam" in the mainly Muslim country through writings on social media.
Proposal aims to prevent entry of persons found to be in contempt of religions or penalised for derision of Islam
According to Gulf News, a Kuwaiti parliamentary committee has endorsed a proposal to ban persons found guilty of blasphemy from entering the country.
Under the proposal presented by lawmaker Abdul Rahman Al Jiran and discussed by the legal and legislative committee on Sunday, any person convicted of contempt of religions or penalised for derision of Islam, Islamic beliefs or the Prophet’s (PBUH) companions or family members will be banned from entering Kuwait.
Not to forget, in last days of 2012, Kuwait authority arrested and jailed Abdel Aziz Mohamed Albaz, the most famous Kuwaiti atheist blogger.