Religious freedom in worldwide decline as U.S. intervention wavers

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  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 16, 2012 12:25 p.m.

    Marketing and selling religion is as bad as forced religion. Man needs to be free to think; and to think for himself. A brain washed society doesn't make for a good society.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    May 15, 2012 8:46 a.m.

    @The Voice of Reason:

    I think that Seattle Boys' comments about right wing propaganda was some dry humour. There is a popular fiction among some people that as a prominent LDS owned newspaper that the Deseret News is conservative. But after all human rights and freedom of conscience, which the Deseret News is promoting, are quintessental liberal and progressive issues.

    Ms. Molli and Ernest T. Bass: The reason that human rights in other countries are important to the US is because regimes that do not respect human rights are more likely to go to war against their neighbors, more likely to create refugees that create instability in neighboring countries. Iraq and Iran are a big mess and it is because they were originally (and currently) led by regimes that did not respect human rights.

    Part of world prosperity is that various nations trust each other to trade and to travel. If fewer nations respect human rights then there is going to be less trade and more corruptions and, if you are only motivated by financial concerns, that is bad for business.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    May 15, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    If this is what the Dnews believes the purpose of the US should be, the Dnews should be ashamed.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    May 14, 2012 6:54 p.m.

    So? Let me get this straight. There needs to be a US Government agency/commision to preserve & ensure Global Religious Freedom?

    I wonder if this is what Dr Paul means when he says the world doesn't like us because we are too intrusive?

    Okay, Tea Partiers & small government conservatives get out your scissors.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    May 14, 2012 6:05 p.m.

    "We need to invade the middle east and convert them all the Christianity"
    -Ann Coulter.

    What makes anyone believe that right-wing American Christianity is the only brand of "religious freedom"?

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Oct. 8, 2011 6:02 p.m.

    I think it is interesting that an article discussing limits on freedom of religion does not mention the ban on minarets in Switzerland or the ban on veils in France. Nor does it mention the push here in the US to ban veils or to limit where Mosques can be built or, at the far end of the spectrum, to have Islam declared to not be a religion.

    The article also fails to mention the handful of Republican presidential hopefuls who belong to and/or associate with groups that hold that only Christians should be allowed to hold public office or that the First Amendment only applies to Christian religions.

    Or the recent laws that have been passed in places like Oklahoma that limit the rights of some religious individuals because their religion is currently not popular.

    @ A voice of Reason: Yes, you have the right to tell others you think they are wrong - and they have the exact same right to tell you they think you are wrong. Telling you they disagree with you is not taking away your rights nor is it shutting you up.

  • Brightenpath Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 8, 2011 2:18 p.m.

    Boats in shallow water get stuck on sandbars.

    If I haven't worked to grasp the overall purposes of life, meanwhile letting go of attitudes and behaviors that make it possible, should I expect otherwise?

    Thinking outside the box of life is the answer. Only our Heavenly Father and our Savior have the meta-understanding we need. What's great is they are willing to share it. And they do.


    So sad:

    "A 17-year old monk from Kirti monastery immolated himself in Ngaba county..."

    "Kelsang Wangchuk, who is from Tsaruma village, Chujeema township in Ngaba county, is the third monk from Kirti monastery to set fire to himself in the past week. On September 26 Lobsang Kelsang and Lobsang Kunchok, both believed to be approximately 18-years old, set fire to themselves..."

    "On February 27, 2009, a Kirti monk in his mid-twenties named Tapey set himself on fire in protest..."

    International Campaign for Tibet

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2011 1:45 p.m.


    I absolutely do have the right to tell others what I believe is wrong, what I believe they should do, and so on. Perhaps you meant that I don't have the right to force my views on others. Although our democracy protects you from this. I have forced nothing. I don't force gays apart, I don't prevent their private marriage ceremonies, I don't prevent polygamist ceremonies, I don't force people to attend LDS Church services, and not once have I EVER tried to silence, limit, or prohibit the exercise of those beliefs as we see liberalism attempting to do to religious organizations, and so on.

    Liberals have taken equality to mean freedom. These two ideologies are contradicting though. Equally free? Sure! Yes! Equally entitled? No. I favor my views in the public square. I'd even have the state praise family institutions... but that in NO way limits your individual freedom to choose.

    Equal treatment is not prerequisite to freedom.

    brokenclay, while we may not entirely agree- great comments! Limiting any religious voice is entirely incompatible with individual freedom.

    ClarkHippo, great comment!

    Freedom inherently comes with inequality. The lack of tolerance liberals have for religious thought is their undoing.

  • FractalTheorem West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 8, 2011 1:14 p.m.

    The government in Hungary has been working toward this stunt since the mid-1990s when I was there. I'm truly dismayed that they did this. It looks like the Church will have to resubmit it's application; certainly it qualifies as there are enough members (in the Budapest stake alone!!) and sufficient length of time (the mission was formally organized in 1991, but the Church was formally recognized by the government (initially) pre World War I. This simply seems like a power grab by the Katolikus and Reformatus churches, among others. It's interesting to see some of the churches that must have lobbied hard to be included (like the Hit Gyulekezet).

    I understand the idea of distinguishing between charity institutions and churches, but this bill seems like a draconian application to this problem.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Oct. 8, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    @Vanka 11:54

    If someone were to say, "I can't stand living in Utah because..." followed by another person saying, "If you don't like Utah, you're free to move." The latter individual would be considered an ignorant fool, correct? Yet your comment says the exact same thing.

    This appears to be another example of the left wing's, "Do as we say, not as we do," attitude.

    @seattle_boy 6:28

    I'm curious, did you actually read the article or are simple attacking it because it discusses freedom of religion? The fact of the matter is, many countries throughout the world are attempting in very subtle ways to choke away people's religious freedom and this article gives some very concrete examples of how.

    More and more I realize those who continually shout, "Separate Church and State," are being totally dishonest in their words. What they really mean is, "Silence the Church, Worship the State."

    Of course on the other hand, liberal progressives have no problem at all using liberal leaning churches (which are just as tax exempt as the LDS and Catholic Churches) to push their own political agenda.

    Google "Nancy Pelosi religious left Obamacare" sometime.

  • brokenclay Scottsdale, AZ
    Oct. 8, 2011 12:47 p.m.


    Here's the point-- we ought to call a spade a spade. Secular thought in America has enslaved religion. To bifurcate religious thought from the public sphere is to restrict it. We cannot do this and at the same time and also claim to be a beacon of religious freedom.

    But as your comment illustrates, this isn't a problem for secular thinkers, because they are the ones in control. And that's fine, as God allows it. But call it what it is-- a government established religion. Don't call it freedom. Otherwise it is deceptive and appears to be an underhanded way of tightening secularism's hold on the public sphere.

    Freedom of religion as guaranteed in the Constitution demands that all religions are represented, not just one. Countries like Hungary are actually more free than the United States, in a sense. They all more than one religion a say in the public sphere. And yet we have the gall to preach at them, still.

    Our church is actually doing a lot of work in the Philippines right now. Our summer missions team saw tens of thousands of Filipino university students accept Christ.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Oct. 8, 2011 11:54 a.m.


    Please feel free to move to the Phillipines and send us a postcard.

    We will be actively keeping the poison of religion OUT of the public square.

    Oct. 8, 2011 10:31 a.m.


    You have the right to believe whatever you want, to worship however you want, to pray however you want.

    The problem is that you *think* that gives you the right to tell others how to live their lives. You can't have it both ways.



  • brokenclay Scottsdale, AZ
    Oct. 8, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    American freedom of religion is overrated. As represented by Joggle, our idea of this freedom nowadays is "believe what you want, but keep it to yourself." But this is actually just the atheists pushing their religious beliefs on everyone else. Secularists only want their own beliefs in the public sphere, because they somehow say that they are the only neutral option. Atheism is not a neutral option! So essentially what we have is a state established religion in the United States.

    Other countries around the world, like the Philippines, allow all religions to have a voice in the public sphere. This is genuine freedom of religion.

    But in any event, genuine Christians have always grown strongest underneath persecution. Christianity is growing the fastest in the largest atheist country in the world-- China. Estimates are as high as 100 million. As China rises to replace the U.S. as the next superpower, Christianity is rising with it, evangelizing the last remaining people groups of the Eastern world.

    "And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Jesus Christ, Matthew 24:14)

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 11:43 p.m.

    The process of individual senators being able to derail legislation with an anonymous hold needs to come to an end.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 11:22 p.m.

    That's why religious beliefs should be personal! Religious institutions complicate society and culture by inserting themselves into positions of control, influence, and power! Freedom to believe what you want is not freedom to control the beliefs of others. Where individuals and not governments are concerned, religious toleration is generally taken to refer to an attitude of acceptance towards other people's religions or beliefs. Such toleration does not require that one view other religions or beliefs as equally true; rather, the assumption is that each citizen will grant that others have the right to hold and practice their own beliefs. Against this backdrop, proselytism can be a contentious issue, as it could be regarded as an offense against the validity of others' religious beliefs, including irreligious belief.

  • Jim Mesa, Az
    Oct. 7, 2011 9:56 p.m.

    A constant dripping weareth away the stone. People should have the right to believe what they want irrespective of whether it is true or not. However, people should not be forced to believe something or be blinded by the crafitness of man. Religious freedom is very important, in fact wasn't this great country founded because of the lack of religious freedom somewhere. If people don't make a stand, then they will loose all freedom and George Orwell's 1984 will come very much alive. Remember all it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing. Remember Europe 1939 or Germany from 1930's.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 7:55 p.m.


    Yes, very right wing... in fact, anytime the Deseret News promotes the idea that you and I have the right to believe what we want... it's surely propaganda.

    I suppose the difference between you and me is that I welcome such a message. I mean, would you rather have the Deseret News publishing articles saying "We want to force everyone to attend LDS services. You have no right to believe what you want! Down with freedom!"

    I'll gladly stick with my freedom promoting propaganda over the alternative.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    you know when even the LDS church, dnews, ksl, all support leftist amnesty and then clammer about the eroding religious is hard to feel sympathy for you when you are found so frequently off the reservation.....right your ship and then you might find some credibility and support.....

  • seattle_boy SEATTLE, WA
    Oct. 7, 2011 6:28 p.m.

    Shocking. More right wing propaganda from the Deseret News.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 7, 2011 6:01 p.m.

    Let the world's populations fight for their own religious freedoms. It can be done. The U.S. is proof of that. If people want religious freedom they will find a way to have it. Personally, I'm tired of trying to fight everybody else's battle. A battle fought and won by those who really want something is going to last. Maybe we need to teach the world how to fish, not do their fishing for them.