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Factsheets

Places of worship and other religious sites should be sanctuaries where worshippers feel safe to practice their faith. Tragically, as the 2019 incidents in New Zealand and Sri Lanka attest, attacks on places of worship are occurring with greater frequency around the globe. Alongside these horrific attacks, places of worship are often harmed more subtly through the misuse of registration procedures to prevent their construction or renovation, or the malicious surveillance of holy sites to intimidate worshippers.

The Southeast Asian nation of Malaysia has a rich, multicultural, and largely harmonious society. Nevertheless, ongoing social tensions pertaining to race, ethnicity, and religion continue to simmer below the surface, as they have for several decades. Aspects of these tensions are manifest in formal legal structures that hinder the life of anyone who is not a Sunni Muslim...

Mass atrocities are large-scale, deliberate attacks against civilians. Legally, crimes considered mass atrocities include war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. When these crimes occur, states have an obligation, under international law, to see that those responsible are held accountable through criminal prosecutions...

Freedom of religion is both America’s first freedom and a universal human right. Yet many people around the world live in countries where this right is denied or restricted...

In response to the threats to peace and security that arise from violent extremism, many states have adopted legislation to counter extremism and/or terrorism. These laws aim to stem violence resulting from extremist beliefs and counter the underlying ideology...

Registration is often vital to religious groups. Registration laws govern the acquisition of legal personality, which means that entities are capable of holding legal rights and obligations within a legal system...

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