State Responses to Minority Religions: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

State Responses to Minority Religions

1st Edition

Edited by David M. Kirkham


304 pages

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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.


’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 ’…a timely and important contribution with a strong rationale…offers thoughtful and solid coverage of various regions of the world…’ Journal of Church and State 'This volume poses a great number of important current questions that are particularly relevant for scholars of religion today, at a time when many utopian communities are in the centre of public attention.' Fieldwork in Religion

Table of Contents

Contents: 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 s

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.

About the Series

Routledge Inform Series on Minority Religions and Spiritual Movements

Inform is an independent charity that collects and disseminates accurate, balanced and up-to-date information about minority religious and spiritual movements.

The Routledge Inform Series addresses themes related to new religions, many of which have been the topics of Inform seminars. The series editorial board consists of internationally renowned scholars in the field.

Books in the series will attract both an academic and interested general readership, particularly in the areas of Religious Studies, and the Sociology of Religion and Theology.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General