|Part of a series on|
Religious persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or a group of individuals as a response to their religious beliefs or affiliations or their lack thereof. The tendency of societies or groups within societies to alienate or repress different subcultures is a recurrent theme in human history. Moreover, because a person's religion often determines his or her morality, world view, self-image, attitudes towards others, and overall personal identity to a significant extent, religious differences can be significant cultural, personal, and social factors.
Religious persecution may be triggered by religious bigotry (i.e. when members of a dominant group denigrate religions other than their own) or it may be triggered by the state when it views a particular religious group as a threat to its interests or security. At a societal level, the dehumanisation of a particular religious group may readily lead to violence or other forms of persecution. Indeed, in many countries, religious persecution has resulted in so much violence that it is considered a human rights problem.
Religious persecution is defined as violence or discrimination against religious minorities, actions which are intended to deprive minorities of political rights and force them to assimilate, leave, or live as second-class citizens. In the aspect of a state's policy, it may be defined as violations of freedom of thought, conscience and belief which are spread in accordance with a systematic and active state policy which encourages actions such as harassment, intimidation and the imposition of punishments in order to infringe or threaten the targeted minority's right to life, integrity or liberty. The distinction between religious persecution and religious intolerance lies in the fact that in most cases, the latter is motivated by the sentiment of the population, which may be tolerated or encouraged by the state. The denial of people's civil rights on the basis of their religion is most often described as religious discrimination, rather than religious persecution.
Examples of persecution include the confiscation or destruction of property, incitement of hatred, arrests, imprisonment, beatings, torture, murder, and executions. Religious persecution can be considered the opposite of freedom of religion.
Bateman has differentiated different degrees of persecution. "It must be personally costly... It must be unjust and undeserved... it must be a direct result of one's faith."
|Group||Probability that a religious lives in a country
where persecution of the group occurred in 2015
|Number of countries where the group
was persecuted in 2015
|Number of countries where the group|
was persecuted by the government in 2015
"Religious cleansing" is a term that is sometimes used to refer to the removal of a population from a certain territory based on its religion. Throughout antiquity, population cleansing was largely motivated by economic and political factors, although ethnic factors occasionally played a role. During the Middle Ages, population cleansing took on a largely religious character. The religious motivation lost much of its salience early in the modern era, although until the 18th century ethnic enmity in Europe remained couched in religious terms. Richard Dawkins has argued that references to ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq are euphemisms for what should more accurately be called religious cleansing. According to Adrian Koopman, the widespread use of the term ethnic cleansing in such cases suggests that in many situations there is confusion between ethnicity and religion.
Other acts of violence, such as war, torture, and ethnic cleansing not aimed at religion in particular, may nevertheless take on the qualities of religious persecution when one or more of the parties involved are characterized by religious homogeneity; an example being when conflicting populations that belong to different ethnic groups often also belong to different religions or denominations. The difference between religious and ethnic identity might sometimes be obscure (see Ethnoreligious); cases of genocide in the 20th century cannot be explained in full by citing religious differences. Still, cases such as the Greek genocide, the Armenian Genocide, and the Assyrian Genocide are sometimes seen as religious persecution and blur the lines between ethnic and religious violence.
Since the Early modern period, an increasing number of religious cleansings were entwined with ethnic elements.Since religion is an important or central marker of ethnic identity, some conflicts can best be described as "ethno-religious conflicts".
Nazi antisemitism provides another example of the contentious divide between ethnic and religious persecution, because Nazi propaganda tended to construct its image of Jews as belonging to a race, it de-emphasized Jews as being defined by their religion. In keeping with what they were taught in Nazi propaganda, the perpetrators of the Holocaust made no distinction between secular Jews, atheistic Jews, orthodox Jews and Jews who had converted to Christianity. The Nazis also persecuted the Catholic Church in Germany and Poland.
Persecution for heresy and blasphemy
The persecution of beliefs that are deemed schismatic is one thing; the persecution of beliefs that are deemed heretical or blasphemous is another. Although a public disagreement on secondary matters might be serious enough, it has often only led to religious discrimination. A public renunciation of the core elements of a religious doctrine under the same circumstances would, on the other hand, have put one in far greater danger. While dissenters from the official Church only faced fines and imprisonment in Protestant England, six people were executed for heresy or blasphemy during the reign of Elizabeth I, and two more were executed in 1612 under James I.
Similarly, heretical sects like Cathars, Waldensians and Lollards were brutally suppressed in Western Europe, while, at the same time, Catholic Christians lived side by side with 'schismatic' Orthodox Christians after the East-West Schism in the borderlands of Eastern Europe.
Persecution for political reasons
More than 300 Roman Catholics were put to death for treason by English governments between 1535 and 1681, thus they were executed for secular rather than religious offenses. In 1570, Pope Pius V issued his papal bull Regnans in Excelsis, which absolved Catholics from their obligations to the government. This dramatically worsened the persecution of Catholics in England. English governments continued to fear the fictitious Popish Plot. The 1584 Parliament of England, declared in "An Act against Jesuits, seminary priests, and such other like disobedient persons" that the purpose of Jesuit missionaries who had come to Britain was "to stir up and move sedition, rebellion and open hostility". Consequently, Jesuit priests like Saint John Ogilvie were hanged. This somehow contrasts with the image of the Elizabethan era as the time of William Shakespeare, but compared to the antecedent Marian Persecutions there is an important difference to consider. Mary I of England had been motivated by a religious zeal to purge heresy from her land, and during her short reign from 1553 to 1558 about 290 Protestants had been burned at the stake for heresy, whereas Elizabeth I of England "acted out of fear for the security of her realm."
The descriptive use of the term religious persecution is rather difficult. Religious persecution has occurred in different historical, geographical and social contexts since at least antiquity. Until the 18th century, some groups were nearly universally persecuted for their religious views, such as atheists, Jews and Zoroastrians.
Early Christianity also came into conflict with the Roman Empire, and it may have been more threatening to the established polytheistic order than Judaism had been, because of the importance of evangelism in Christianity. Under Nero, the Jewish exemption from the requirement to participate in public cults was lifted and Rome began to actively persecute monotheists. This persecution ended in 313 AD with the Edict of Milan, and Christianity was made the official religion of the empire in 380 AD. By the eighth century Christianity had attained a clear ascendancy across Europe and neighboring regions, and a period of consolidation began which was marked by the pursuit of heretics, heathens, Jews, Muslims, and various other religious groups.
Early modern England
One period of religious persecution which has been extensively studied is early modern England, since the rejection of religious persecution, now common in the Western world, originated there. The English 'Call for Toleration' was a turning point in the Christian debate on persecution and toleration, and early modern England stands out to the historians as a place and time in which literally "hundreds of books and tracts were published either for or against religious toleration."
The most ambitious chronicle of that time is W.K.Jordan's magnum opus The Development of Religious Toleration in England, 1558-1660 (four volumes, published 1932-1940). Jordan wrote as the threat of fascism rose in Europe, and this work is seen as a defense of the fragile values of humanism and tolerance. More recent introductions to this period are Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England, 1558–1689 (2000) by John Coffey and Charitable hatred. Tolerance and intolerance in England, 1500-1700 (2006) by Alexandra Walsham. To understand why religious persecution has occurred, historians like Coffey "pay close attention to what the persecutors said they were doing."
Ecclesiastical dissent and civil tolerance
No religion is free from internal dissent, although the degree of dissent that is tolerated within a particular religious organization can strongly vary. This degree of diversity tolerated within a particular church is described as ecclesiastical tolerance, and is one form of religious toleration. However, when people nowadays speak of religious tolerance, they most often mean civil tolerance, which refers to the degree of religious diversity that is tolerated within the state.
In the absence of civil toleration, someone who finds himself in disagreement with his congregation doesn't have the option to leave and chose a different faith - simply because there is only one recognized faith in the country (at least officially). In modern western civil law any citizen may join and leave a religious organization at will; In western societies, this is taken for granted, but actually, this legal separation of Church and State only started to emerge a few centuries ago.
In the Christian debate on persecution and toleration, the notion of civil tolerance allowed Christian theologians to reconcile Jesus' commandment to love one's enemies with other parts of the New Testament that are rather strict regarding dissent within the church. Before that, theologians like Joseph Hall had reasoned from the ecclesiastical intolerance of the early Christian church in the New Testament to the civil intolerance of the Christian state.
Religious uniformity in early modern Europe
By contrast to the notion of civil tolerance, in early modern Europe the subjects were required to attend the state church; This attitude can be described as territoriality or religious uniformity, and its underlying assumption is brought to a point by a statement of the Anglican theologian Richard Hooker: "There is not any man of the Church of England but the same man is also a member of the [English] commonwealth; nor any man a member of the commonwealth, which is not also of the Church of England."
Before a vigorous debate about religious persecution took place in England (starting in the 1640s), for centuries in Europe, religion had been tied to territory. In England there had been several Acts of Uniformity; in continental Europe the Latin phrase "cuius regio, eius religio" had been coined in the 16th century and applied as a fundament for the Peace of Augsburg (1555). It was pushed to the extreme by absolutist regimes, particularly by the French kings Louis XIV and his successors. It was under their rule that Catholicism became the sole compulsory allowed religion in France and that the huguenots had to massively leave the country. Persecution meant that the state was committed to secure religious uniformity by coercive measures, as eminently obvious in a statement of Roger L'Estrange: "That which you call persecution, I translate Uniformity".
However, in the 17th century writers like Pierre Bayle, John Locke, Richard Overton and Roger William broke the link between territory and faith, which eventually resulted in a shift from territoriality to religious voluntarism. It was Locke who, in his Letter Concerning Toleration, defined the state in purely secular terms: "The commonwealth seems to me to be a society of men constituted only for the procuring, preserving, and advancing their own civil interests." Concerning the church, he went on: "A church, then, I take to be a voluntary society of men, joining themselves together of their own accord." With this treatise, John Locke laid one of the most important intellectual foundations of the separation of church and state, which ultimately led to the secular state.
The Bishop of Vladimir Feodor turned some people into slaves, others were locked in prison, cut their heads, burnt eyes, cut tongues or crucified on walls. Some heretics were executed by burning them alive. According to an inscription of Khan Mengual-Temir, Metropolitan Kiril was granted the right to heavily punish with death for blasphemy against the Orthodox Church or breach of ecclesiastical privileges. He advised all means of destruction to be used against heretics, but without bloodshed, in the name of 'saving souls'. Heretics were drowned. Novgorod Bishop Gennady Gonzov turned to Tsar Ivan III requesting the death of heretics. Gennady admired the Spanish inquisitors, especially his contemporary Torquemada, who for 15 years of inquisition activity burned and punished thousands of people. As in Rome, persecuted fled to depopulated areas. The most terrible punishment was considered an underground pit, where rats lived. Some people had been imprisoned and tied to the wall there, and untied after their death. Old Believers were persecuted and executed, the order was that even those renouncing completely their beliefs and baptized in the state Church to be lynched without mercy. The writer Lomonosov opposed the religious teachings and by his initiative a scientific book against them was published. The book was destroyed, the Russian synod insisted Lomonosov's works to be burned and requested his punishment.
...were cutting heads, hanging, some by the neck, some by the foot, many of them were stabbed with sharp sticks and impaled on hooks. This included the tethering to a ponytail, drowning and freezing people alive in lakes. The winners did not spare even the sick and the elderly, taking them out of the monastery and throwing them mercilessly in icy 'vises'. The words step back, the pen does not move, in eternal darkness the ancient Solovetsky monastery is going. Of the more than 500 people, only a few managed to avoid the terrible court.
Although his book was written before the September 11 attacks, John Coffey explicitly compares the English fear of the Popish Plot to Islamophobia in the contemporary Western world. Among the Muslims imprisoned in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp there also were Mehdi Ghezali and Murat Kurnaz who could not have been found to have any connections with terrorism, but had traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan because of their religious interests.
Persecutions of atheists
Used before the 18th century as an insult, atheism was punishable by death in ancient Greece and ancient Israel, as well as in the Christian and Muslim worlds during the Middle Ages. Today, atheism is punishable by death in 13 countries (Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen), all of them Muslim, while "the overwhelming majority" of the 192 United Nations member countries "at best discriminate against citizens who have no belief in a god and at worst they can jail them for offences which are dubbed blasphemy".
State atheism has been defined by David Kowalewski as the official "promotion of atheism" by a government, typically by the active suppression of religious freedom and practice. It is a misnomer which is used in reference to a government's anti-clericalism, its opposition to religious institutional power and influence, whether it is real or alleged, in all aspects of public and political life, including the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen.
State atheism was first practised for a brief period in Revolutionary France and later it was practiced in Revolutionary Mexico and Communist states. The Soviet Union had a long history of state atheism, in which social success largely required individuals to profess atheism, stay away from churches and even vandalize them; this attitude was especially militant during the middle Stalinist era from 1929–1939. The Soviet Union attempted to suppress religion over wide areas of its influence, including places like central Asia, and the post-World War II Eastern bloc. One state within that bloc, the Socialist People's Republic of Albania under Enver Hoxha, went so far as to officially ban all religious practices.
Persecution of Baha'is
The Bahá'ís are Iran's largest religious minority, and Iran is the location of one of the largest Bahá'í populations in the world. Bahá'ís in Iran have been subject to unwarranted arrests, false imprisonment, beatings, torture, unjustified executions, confiscation and destruction of property owned by individuals and the Bahá'í community, denial of employment, denial of government benefits, denial of civil rights and liberties, and denial of access to higher education.
More recently, in the later months of 2005, an intensive anti-Bahá'í campaign was conducted by Iranian newspapers and radio stations. The state-run and influential Kayhan newspaper, whose managing editor is appointed by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei , ran nearly three dozen articles defaming the Bahá'í Faith. Furthermore, a confidential letter sent on October 29, 2005 by the Chairman of the Command Headquarters of the Armed Forced in Iran states that the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei has instructed the Command Headquarters to identify people who adhere to the Bahá'í Faith and to monitor their activities and gather any and all information about the members of the Bahá'í Faith. The letter was brought to the attention of the international community by Asma Jahangir, the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on freedom of religion or belief, in a March 20, 2006 press release .
In the press release the Special Rapporteur states that she "is highly concerned by information she has received concerning the treatment of members of the Bahá'í community in Iran." She further states that "The Special Rapporteur is concerned that this latest development indicates that the situation with regard to religious minorities in Iran is, in fact, deteriorating." .
Persecution of Buddhists
Persecution of Buddhists was a widespread phenomenon throughout the history of Buddhism lasting to this day, beginning as early as the 3rd century AD by the Zoroastrian Sassanid Empire. Anti-Buddhist sentiments in Imperial China between the 5th and 10th century led to the Four Buddhist Persecutions in China of which the Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution of 845 was probably the most severe. In the 20th century Buddhists were persecuted by Asian communist states and parties, Imperial Japan and by the Kuomintang among others.
Persecution of Christians
The persecution of Christians is for the most part, historical. Even from the beginnings of the religion as a movement within Judaism, Early Christians were persecuted for their faith at the hands of both Jews and the Roman Empire, which controlled much of the areas where Christianity was first distributed. This continued from the first century until the early fourth, when the religion was legalised by the Edict of Milan, eventually becoming the State church of the Roman Empire.
Persecution of Falun Gong
The persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice began with campaigns initiated in 1999 by the Chinese Communist Party to eliminate Falun Gong in China. It is characterised by multifaceted propaganda campaign, a program of enforced ideological conversion and re-education, and a variety of extralegal coercive measures such as arbitrary arrests, forced labor, and physical torture, sometimes resulting in death.
There have being reports of Organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Several researchers—most notably Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas, former parliamentarian David Kilgour, and investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann—estimate that tens of thousands of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience have been killed to supply a lucrative trade in human organs and cadavers.
Persecution of Hindus
Hindus have been one of the targeted and persecuted minorities in Pakistan. Militancy and sectarianism has been rising in Pakistan since the 1990s, and the religious minorities have "borne the brunt of the Islamist's ferocity" suffering "greater persecution than in any earlier decade", states Farahnaz Ispahani – a Public Policy Scholar at the Wilson Center. This has led to attacks and forced conversion of Hindus, and other minorities such as Christians. According to Tetsuya Nakatani – a Japanese scholar of Cultural Anthropology specializing in South Asia refugee history, after the mass exodus of Hindu, Sikh and other non-Muslim refugees during the 1947 partition of British India, there were several waves of Hindu refugees arrival into India from its neighbors. The fearful and persecuted refugee movements were often after various religious riots between 1949 and 1971 that targeted non-Muslims within West Pakistan or East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The status of these persecuted Hindu refugees in India has remained in a political limbo.
Similar concerns about religious persecution of Hindu and other minorities in Bangladesh have also been expressed. The USCIRF notes hundreds of cases of "killings, attempted killings, death threats, assaults, rapes, kidnappings, and attacks on homes, businesses, and places of worship" on religious minorities in 2017. Since the 1990s, Hindus have been a persecuted minority in Afghanistan, and a subject of "intense hate" with the rise of religious fundamentalism in Afghanistan. Their "targeted persecution" triggered an exodus and forced them to seek asylum. The persecuted Hindus have remained stateless and without citizenship rights in India, since it has historically lacked any refugee law or uniform policy for persecuted refugees, state Ashish Bose and Hafizullah Emadi.
The Bangladesh Liberation War (1971) resulted in one of the largest genocides of the 20th century. While estimates of the number of casualties was 3,000,000, it is reasonably certain that Hindus bore a disproportionate brunt of the Pakistan Army's onslaught against the Bengali population of what was East Pakistan. An article in Time magazine dated 2 August 1971, stated "the Hindus, who account for three-fourths of the refugees and a majority of the dead, have borne the brunt of the Muslim military hatred." Senator Edward Kennedy wrote in a report that was part of United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations testimony dated 1 November 1971, "Hardest hit have been members of the Hindu community who have been robbed of their lands and shops, systematically slaughtered, and in some places, painted with yellow patches marked "H". All of this has been officially sanctioned, ordered and implemented under martial law from Islamabad". In the same report, Senator Kennedy reported that 80% of the refugees in India were Hindus and according to numerous international relief agencies such as UNESCO and World Health Organization the number of East Pakistani refugees at their peak in India was close to 10 million. Given that the Hindu population in East Pakistan was around 11 million in 1971, this suggests that up to 8 million, or more than 70% of the Hindu population had fled the country.The Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Sydney Schanberg covered the start of the war and wrote extensively on the suffering of the East Bengalis, including the Hindus both during and after the conflict. In a syndicated column "The Pakistani Slaughter That Nixon Ignored", he wrote about his return to liberated Bangladesh in 1972. "Other reminders were the yellow "H"s the Pakistanis had painted on the homes of Hindus, particular targets of the Muslim army" (by "Muslim army", meaning the Pakistan Army, which had targeted Bengali Muslims as well), (Newsday, 29 April 1994).
Hindus constitute approximately 0.5% of the total population of the United States. Hindus in the US enjoy both de jure and de facto legal equality. However, a series of attacks were made on people Indian origin by a street gang called the "Dotbusters" in New Jersey in 1987, the dot signifying the Bindi dot sticker worn on the forehead by Indian women. The lackadaisical attitude of the local police prompted the South Asian community to arrange small groups all across the state to fight back against the street gang. The perpetrators have been put to trial. On 2 January 2012, a Hindu worship center in New York City was firebombed. The Dotbusters were primarily based in New York and New Jersey and committed most of their crimes in Jersey City. A number of perpetrators have been brought to trial for these assaults. Although tougher anti-hate crime laws were passed by the New Jersey legislature in 1990, the attacks continued, with 58 cases of hate crimes against Indians in New Jersey reported in 1991.
In Bangladesh, on 28 February 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the Vice President of the Jamaat-e-Islami to death for the war crimes committed during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Following the sentence, the Hindus were attacked in different parts of the country. Hindu properties were looted, Hindu houses were burnt into ashes and Hindu temples were desecrated and set on fire.
Persecutions of Jews
A major component of Jewish history, persecutions have been committed by Seleucids, ancient Greeks, ancient Romans, Christians (Catholics, Orthodox and Protestant), Muslims, Nazis, etc. Some of the most important events which constitute this history include the 1066 Granada massacre, the Rhineland massacres (by Catholics but against papal orders, see also : Sicut Judaeis), the Alhambra Decree after the Reconquista and the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition, the publication of On the Jews and Their Lies by Martin Luther which furthered Protestant anti-Judaism and was later used to strengthen German antisemitism and justify pogroms and the Holocaust.
Persecution of Samaritans
The Samaritan Temple at Mount Gerizim was destroyed by John Hyrcanus in about 128 BC, partly because it was attracting some northern Jews as a place of worship. In 107 BC, Hyrcanus destroyed Schechem. In the seventeenth century, Muslims from Nablus forced some Samaritans to convert to Islam and forbade access to Mount Gerizim.
Persecution of Muslims
Persecution of Muslims is the religious persecution that is inflicted upon followers of the Islamic faith. In the early days of Islam at Mecca, the new Muslims were often subjected to abuse and persecution by the pagan Meccans (often called Mushrikin: the unbelievers or polytheists).
Persecution of minorities in Islamic lands
Victims of Muslim persecution include Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, Bahá'ís, Serers and Atheists. Several Muslim groups have been persecuted by fellow Muslims including Shia, Ahmadis, Sufi, Alevis and Salafis.
Persecutions of Sikhs
According to Ashish Bose – a Population Research scholar, Sikhs and Hindus were well integrated in Afghanistan till the Soviet invasion when their economic condition worsened. Thereafter, they became a subject of "intense hate" with the rise of religious fundamentalism in Afghanistan. Their "targeted persecution" triggered an exodus and forced them to seek asylum. Many of them started arriving in and after 1992 as refugees in India, with some seeking asylum in the United Kingdom and other western countries. Unlike the arrivals in the West, the persecuted Sikh refugees who arrived in India have remained stateless and lived as refugees because India has historically lacked any refugee law or uniform policy for persecuted refugees, state Ashish Bose and Hafizullah Emadi.
The 1984 anti-Sikhs riots were a series of pogroms directed against Sikhs in India, by anti-Sikh mobs, in response to the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. There were more than 8,000 deaths, including 3,000 in Delhi. In June 1984, during Operation Blue Star, Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian Army to attack the Golden Temple and eliminate any insurgents, as it had been occupied by Sikh separatists who were stockpiling weapons. Later operations by Indian paramilitary forces were initiated to clear the separatists from the countryside of Punjab state.
The violence in Delhi was triggered by the assassination of Indira Gandhi, India's prime minister, on 31 October 1984, by two of her Sikh bodyguards in response to her actions authorising the military operation. After the assassination following Operation Blue Star, many Indian National Congress workers including Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and Kamal Nath were accused of inciting and participating in riots targeting the Sikh population of the capital. The Indian government reported 2,700 deaths in the ensuing chaos. In the aftermath of the riots, the Indian government reported 20,000 had fled the city, however the People's Union for Civil Liberties reported "at least" 1,000 displaced persons. The most affected regions were the Sikh neighbourhoods in Delhi. The Central Bureau of Investigation, the main Indian investigating agency, is of the opinion that the acts of violence were organized with the support from the then Delhi police officials and the central government headed by Indira Gandhi's son, Rajiv Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as Prime Minister after his mother's death and, when asked about the riots, said "when a big tree falls (Mrs. Gandhi's death), the earth shakes (occurrence of riots)" thus trying to justify communal strife.
There are allegations that the Indian National Congress government at that time destroyed evidence and shielded the guilty. The Asian Age front-page story called the government actions "the Mother of all Cover-ups" There are allegations that the violence was led and often perpetrated by Indian National Congress activists and sympathisers during the riots. The government, then led by the Congress, was widely criticised for doing very little at the time, possibly acting as a conspirator. The conspiracy theory is supported by the fact that voting lists were used to identify Sikh families. Despite their communal conflict and riots record, the Indian National Congress claims to be a secular party.
Persecution of Serers
The persecution of the Serer people of Senegal, Gambia and Mauritania is multifaceted, and it includes both religious and ethnic elements. Religious and ethnic persecution of the Serer people dates back to the 11th century when King War Jabi usurped the throne of Tekrur (part of present-day Senegal) in 1030, and by 1035, introduced Sharia law and forced his subjects to submit to Islam. With the assistance of his son (Leb), their Almoravid allies and other African ethnic groups who have embraced Islam, the Muslim coalition army launched jihads against the Serer people of Tekrur who refused to abandon Serer religion in favour of Islam. The number of Serer deaths are unknown, but it triggered the exodus of the Serers of Tekrur to the south following their defeat, where they were granted asylum by the lamanes. Persecution of the Serer people continued from the medieval era to the 19th century, resulting in the Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune. From the 20th to the 21st centuries, persecution of the Serers is less obvious, nevertheless, they are the object of scorn and prejudice.
Persecution of Dogons
For almost 1000 years, the Dogon people, an ancient tribe of Mali had faced religious and ethnic persecution—through jihads by dominant Muslim communities. These jihadic expeditions were to forced the Dogon to abandon their traditional religious beliefs for Islam. Such jihads caused the Dogon to abandon their original villages and moved up to the cliffs of Bandiagara for better defense and to escape persecution—often building their dwellings in little nooks and crannies. In the early era of French colonialism in Mali, the French authorities appointed Muslim relatives of El Hadj Umar Tall as chiefs of the Bandiagara—despite the fact that the area has been a Dogon area for centutries.
In 1864, Tidiani Tall, nephew and successor of the 19th century Senegambian jihadist and Muslim leader—El Hadj Umar Tall, chose Bandiagara as the capital of the Toucouleur Empire thereby exacerbating the inter-religious and inter-ethnic conflict. In recent years, the Dogon accused the Fulanis of supporting and sheltering Islamic terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda in Dogon country, leading to the creation of the Dogon militia Dan Na Ambassagou in 2016—whose aim is to defend the Dogon from systematic attacks. That resulted in the Ogossagou massacre of Fulanis in March 2019, and a Fula retaliation with the Sobane Da massacre in June of that year. In the wake of the Ogossagou massacre, the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and his government ordered the dissolution of Dan Na Ambassagou—whom they hold partly responsible for the attacks. The Dogon militia group denied any involvement in the massacre and rejected calls to disband.
- Christian privilege
- Cultural cleansing
- Freedom of religion
- Human rights abuses
- Islamic religious police
- List of Christian women of the patristic age
- Religious abuse
- Religious discrimination
- Religious intolerance
- Religious pluralism
- Religious segregation
- Religious violence
- David T. Smith (12 November 2015). Religious Persecution and Political Order in the United States. Cambridge University Press. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-1-107-11731-0.
"Persecution" in this study refers to violence or discrimination against members of a religious minority because of their religious affiliation. Persecution involves the most damaging expressions of prejudice against an out-group, going beyond verbal abuse and social avoidance.29 It refers to actions that are intended to deprive individuals of their political rights and force minorities to assimilate, leave, or live as second-class citizens. When these actions persistently happen over a period of time, and include large numbers of both perpetrators and victims, we may refer to them as being part of a "campaign" of persecution that usually has the goal of excluding the targeted minority from the polity.
- Nazila Ghanea-Hercock (11 November 2013). The Challenge of Religious Discrimination at the Dawn of the New Millennium. Springer. pp. 91–92. ISBN 978-94-017-5968-7.
- Bateman, J. Keith. 2013. Don't call it persecution when it's not. Evangelical Missions Quarterly 49.1: 54-56, also p. 57-62.
- "Jews, Hindus, Muslims most likely to live in countries where their groups experience harassment". Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
- Ken Booth (2012). The Kosovo Tragedy: The Human Rights Dimensions. Routledge. pp. 50–51.
- Adrian Koopman (2016). "Ethnonyms". In Crole Hough (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Names and Naming. Oxford University Press. p. 256.
- Michael Mann (2005). The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing. Cambridge University Press. pp. 53–. ISBN 978-0-521-53854-1.
- Jacob Bercovitch; Victor Kremenyuk; I William Zartman (3 December 2008). "Characteristics of ethno-religious conflicts". The SAGE Handbook of Conflict Resolution. SAGE Publications. pp. 265–. ISBN 978-1-4462-0659-1.
- John Coffey (2000), p. 26
- Benjamin j. Kaplan (2007), Divided by Faith, Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe, p. 3
- Coffey 2000: 85.
- Coffey 2000: 86.
- Coffey 2000: 81.
- Coffey 2000: 92.
- Onfray, Michel (2007). Atheist manifesto: the case against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Leggatt, Jeremy (translator). Arcade Publishing. ISBN 978-1-55970-820-3.
- Flannery, Edward H. The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Antisemitism. Paulist Press, first published in 1985; this edition 2004, pp. 11–2. ISBN 0-8091-2702-4. Edward Flannery
- Hinnells, John R. (1996). Zoroastrians in Britain: the Ratanbai Katrak lectures, University of Oxford 1985 (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 303. ISBN 9780198261933.
- Coffey 2000: 14.
- Coffey 2000, 2
- John Coffey (2000), p. 12
- John Coffey (2000), p. 33
- The Works of Richard Hooker, II, p. 485; quoted after: John Coffey (2000), p. 33
- quoted after Coffey (2000), 27
- Coffey 2000: 58.
- Coffey 2000: 57.
- John Locke (1698): A Letter Concerning Toleration; Online edition
- А.С.Пругавин, ук. соч., с.27-29
- Ал. Амосов, "Судный день", в списание "Церковь" № 2, 1992, издателство "Церковь", Москва, с.11
- "Like the extremist Islamic clerics who today provide inspiration for terrorist campaigns, the [Catholic] priests could not be treated like men who only sought the spiritual nourishment of the flock." Coffey 2000: 38&39.
- Laursen, John Christian; Nederman, Cary J. (1997). Beyond the Persecuting Society: Religious Toleration Before the Enlightenment. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-8122-1567-0.
- Deuteronomy 13:6-11
- "Atheists face death in 13 countries, global discrimination: study". reuters.com.
- "'God Does Not Exist' Comment Ends Badly for Indonesia Man". Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- Protest for Religious Rights in the USSR: Characteristics and Consequences, David Kowalewski, Russian Review, Vol. 39, No. 4 (Oct., 1980), pp. 426–441, Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Editors and Board of Trustees of the Russian Review
- Encyclopædia Britannica, Anticlericalism (2007 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.)
- Greeley (2003).
- Pospielovsky (1998):257.
- Miner (2003):70.
- Davies (1996):962.
- Pipes (1989):55.
- Elsie (2000):18.
- "Vatican to UN: 100 thousand Christians killed for the faith each year". Archived from the original on 2013-06-08.
- The United Nations, Iran must ensure rights of Christian minority and fair trial for the accused– UN experts (2018) 
- The Telegraph, Iran arrests more than 100 Christians in growing crackdown on minority by Josie Ensor (10 DECEMBER 2018) 
- Economist Intelligence Unit (Great Britain), Country Profile: Iran, The Unit (2001), p. 17
- "China: The crackdown on Falun Gong and other so-called "heretical organizations"". Amnesty International. 23 March 2000. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- David Kilgour, David Matas (6 July 2006, revised 31 January 2007) An Independent Investigation into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China (free in 22 languages) organharvestinvestigation.net
- Farahnaz Ispahani (2017). Purifying the Land of the Pure: A History of Pakistan's Religious Minorities. Oxford University Press. pp. 165–171. ISBN 978-0-19-062165-0.
- Bert B. Lockwood (2006). Women's Rights: A Human Rights Quarterly Reader. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 227–235. ISBN 978-0-8018-8373-6.
- Javaid Rehman (2000). The Weaknesses in the International Protection of Minority Rights. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 158–159. ISBN 90-411-1350-9.
- Tetsuya Nakatani (2000), Away from Home: The Movement and Settlement of Refugees from East Pakistan in West Bengal India, Journal of the Japanese Association for South Asian Studies, Volume 12, pp. 73–81 (context: 71–103)
- Bangaldesh 2018 International Religious Freedom Report, US State Department (2019), pages 11–12
- Ashish Bose (2004), Afghan Refugees in India, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 39, No. 43, pp. 4698-4701
- Emadi, Hafizullah (2014). "Minorities and marginality: pertinacity of Hindus and Sikhs in a repressive environment in Afghanistan". Nationalities Papers. Cambridge University Press. 42 (2): 307–320. doi:10.1080/00905992.2013.858313., Quote: "The situation of Hindus and Sikhs as a persecuted minority is a little-studied topic in literature dealing with ethno-sectarian conflict in Afghanistan. (...) the breakdown of state structure and the ensuing civil conflicts and targeted persecution in the 1990s that led to their mass exodus out of the country. A combination of structural failure and rising Islamic fundamentalist ideology in the post-Soviet era led to a war of ethnic cleansing as fundamentalists suffered a crisis of legitimation and resorted to violence as a means to establish their authority. Hindus and Sikhs found themselves in an uphill battle to preserve their culture and religious traditions in a hostile political environment in the post-Taliban period. The international community and Kabul failed in their moral obligation to protect and defend the rights of minorities and oppressed communities."
- Emadi, Hafizullah (2014). "Minorities and marginality: pertinacity of Hindus and Sikhs in a repressive environment in Afghanistan". Nationalities Papers. Cambridge University Press. 42 (2): 315–317. doi:10.1080/00905992.2013.858313.
- "World: Pakistan: The Ravaging of Golden Bengal - Printout". TIME. 2 August 1971. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
- "In Jersey City, Indians Protest Violence". The New York Times.
- "New York firebomb attacks hit mosque, Hindu site" Archived 2012-01-13 at the Wayback Machine. News Daily. 2 January 2012
- "On Common Ground: World Religions in America - The Pluralism Project".
- "Hindus Under Attack in Bangladesh". News Bharati. March 3, 2013. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
- "Bagerhat Hindu Temple Set on Fire". bdnews24.com. March 2, 2013. Archived from the original on April 7, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "Seleucidæ". JewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
- Siebeck, Mohr (1989). The Samaritans. In Crow, Alan David.
- Buhl, F.; Welch, A.T. (1993). "Muḥammad". Encyclopaedia of Islam. 7 (2nd ed.). Brill Academic Publishers. pp. 360–376. ISBN 9004094199.
- An Introduction to the Quran (1895), p. 185
- A. Ezzati (1986). The Concept Of Martyrdom In Islam. Tehran University.
- "A Close View of Encounter between British Burma and British Bengal" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 7, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
- The Maha-Bodhi By Maha Bodhi Society, Calcutta (page 205)
- The Maha-Bodhi By Maha Bodhi Society, Calcutta (page 58)
- The Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi: And Other Essays, Philosophical and Sociological by Ardeshir Ruttonji Wadia (page 483)
- B.R. Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, vol.3, p.229-230.
- Affolter, Friedrich W. (2005). "The Specter of Ideological Genocide: The Bahá'ís of Iran" (PDF). War Crimes, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. 1 (1): 75–114. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-01-14.
- Page, Willie F., "Encyclopedia of African history and culture: African kingdoms (500 to 1500)", pp 209, 676. Vol.2, Facts on File (2001), ISBN 0-8160-4472-4
- Oliver, Roland Anthony, Fage, J. D., "Journal of African history", Volume 10, p 367. Cambridge University Press (1969)
- Emadi, Hafizullah (2014). "Minorities and marginality: pertinacity of Hindus and Sikhs in a repressive environment in Afghanistan". Nationalities Papers. Cambridge University Press. 42 (2): 315–317. doi:10.1080/00905992.2013.858313.
- State pogroms glossed over. The Times of India. 31 December 2005.
- "Anti-Sikh riots a pogrom: Khushwant". Rediff.com. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
- Bedi, Rahul (1 November 2009). "Indira Gandhi's death remembered". BBC. Archived from the original on 2 November 2009. Retrieved 2 November 2009.
The 25th anniversary of Indira Gandhi's assassination revives stark memories of some 3,000 Sikhs killed brutally in the orderly pogrom that followed her killing
- Nugus, Phillip (Spring 2007). "The Assassinations of Indira & Rajiv Gandhi". BBC Active. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- "Delhi court to give verdict on re-opening 1984 riots case against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler".
- Charny, Israel W. (1999). Encyclopaedia of genocide. ABC-CLIO. pp. 516–517. ISBN 978-0-87436-928-1. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- Mukhoty, Gobinda; Kothari, Rajni (1984), Who are the Guilty ?, People's Union for Civil Liberties, retrieved 4 November 2010
- "1984 anti-Sikh riots backed by Govt, police: CBI". IBN Live. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
- "1984 anti-Sikh riots 'wrong', says Rahul Gandhi". Hindustan Times. 18 November 2008. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
- Mustafa, Seema (2005-08-09). "1984 Sikhs Massacres: Mother of All Cover-ups". Front page story. The Asian Age. p. 1.
- Agal, Renu (2005-08-11). "Justice delayed, justice denied". BBC News.
- "Leaders 'incited' anti-Sikh riots". BBC News. August 8, 2005. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- Clark, Andrew F., & Phillips, Lucie Colvin, "Historical Dictionary of Senegal". ed: 2, Metuchen, New Jersey : Scrarecrow Press (1994) p 265
- Streissguth, Thomas, "Senegal in Pictures, Visual Geography", Second Series, p 23, Twenty-First Century Books (2009), ISBN 1-57505-951-7
- Oliver, Roland Anthony, Fage, J. D., "Journal of African history", Volume 10, p 367. Cambridge University Press (1969)
- Mwakikagile, Godfrey, "Ethnic Diversity and Integration in The Gambia: The Land, The People and The Culture," (2010), p 11, ISBN 9987-9322-2-3
- Abbey, M T Rosalie Akouele, "Customary Law and Slavery in West Africa", Trafford Publishing (2011), pp 481-482, ISBN 1-4269-7117-6
- Mwakikagile, Godfrey, "Ethnic Diversity and Integration in The Gambia: The Land, The People and The Culture," (2010), p 241, ISBN 9987-9322-2-3
- Griaule, Marcel; Dieterlen, Germaine; (1965). Le mythe cosmologique. Le renard pâle., 1. Paris: Institut d'Ethnologie Musée de l'homme, p. 17
- The Independent, Caught in the crossfire of Mali’s war (25 January 2013) by Kim Sengupta  (retrieved March 14, 2020)
- Africa Today, Volume 7, Afro Media (2001), p. 126
- Wise, Christopher, Sorcery, Totem, and Jihad in African Philosophy, Bloomsbury Publishing (2017), p. 68, ISBN 9781350013100 (retrieved March 14, 2020) 
- World Politics Review, What Explains the Rise of Communal Violence in Mali, Nigeria and Ethiopia? (Sept. 11, 2019) by Hilary Matfess. 
- John Coffey (2000), Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England 1558-1689, Studies in Modern History, Pearson Education
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Religious persecution.|
- United Nations - Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on freedom of religion or belief
- United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
- Special Rapporteur On Freedom Of Religion Or Belief Concerned About Treatment Of Followers Of Bahá'í Faith In Iran
- About.com section on Religious Intolerance
- U.S. State Department 2006 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom
- xTome: News and Information on Religious Freedom