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Christianity in South and Central Asia$
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Kenneth R. Ross, Daniel Jeyaraj, and Todd M. Johnson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474439824

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439824.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom

(p.373) Religious Freedom
Christianity in South and Central Asia

Michael Nazir-Ali

Edinburgh University Press

Despite international law regarding religious freedom, there has been widespread refusal to respect treaties by nations. Islamic and Marxist states have largely ignored these restrictions. The safeguarding of religious freedom is also at risk in the West, from groups that seek equality but refuse to recognise the conscience of religious believers. In Central Asia, Marxism-Leninism continue to be used by authoritarian regimes for their own ends. Both Central Asia and South Asia have to contend with resurgent Islam, and restrictions imposed by Hindu or Buddhist nations. In Afghanistan, courts defer to Sharia law on conversion from Islam to another religion. Bangladesh is experiencing the rise of vocal Islamism, which has targeted Shi’a Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and secularists. In Indian politics, the position of non-Hindu religions has deteriorated following the election of a Hindu nationalist party. In Central Asia, countries experience some level of tolerance but with rising regulations against religion, while targeting Islamic radicalism. Pakistan has seen a relentless drift towards Islamisation in law. The primary nature of the rights needs to be upheld in relation to ideological concerns and even claims to other rights that might be seen as trumping religious freedom.

Keywords:   Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sharia, Authoritarian, Freedom, Tolerance, Religious

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