CSW welcomes significant engagement on religious freedom in India’s UPR *New Zealand Bishops on iPad: Stick to the Book

June 18, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

India, May 25, 2012: The Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) welcomed the wide-ranging engagement between India and a large number of states during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN today, which included a significant focus on religious freedom issues.  The interactive discussion included repeated recommendations that India put in place effective measures to deal with communal violence, ensure access to justice for disenfranchised minority groups, and repeal anti-conversion laws.  CSW had made recommendations on these issues, among others, in its submission into the UPR process in November 2011.

CSW’s South Asia Team Leader, David Griffiths, said, “India indicated its readiness to engage with the full gamut of recommendations made during this UPR process, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of this across numerous human rights areas.  In terms of freedom of religion or belief, the agenda of Indian civil society groups working on this issue was reflected in numerous statements.  There were clear calls to deal effectively with communal violence, abolish poorly-framed anti-conversion laws, and end the specific religious discrimination that exists against Christian and Muslim Dalits.  It was unfortunate that India offered no substantive response to criticism of anti-conversion laws, and surprising that it took a defensive stance on its proposed bill to tackle communal and targeted violence, when this could be trumpeted as a pioneering example of best practice.  However, we hope the UPR process will encourage further progress towards safeguarding religious freedom and access to justice for all in India.”

– csw

New Zealand Bishops on iPad: Stick to the Book


New Zealand, June 6, 2012: New Zealand’s bishops are praising the usefulness of the iPad and other such electronic devices, but clarifying that for the liturgy, it’s important to “stick to the book.”

Priests are to use the printed missal and not use tablets, e-readers or mobile phones when celebrating the liturgy, the bishops affirmed in a letter dated April 30.

The bishops explained that since the publication of the new translation of the Roman Missal they were asked if priests could use electronic devices when celebrating Mass and other liturgies.

“All faiths have sacred books which are reserved for those rituals and activities which are at the heart of the faith,” the bishops said.

“The Catholic Church is no different, and the Roman Missal is one of our sacred books,” they continued. “Its physical form is an indicator of its special role in our worship.”

The bishops acknowledged that electronic devices are “excellent for study purposes,” but the “iPad (and its equivalents), e-readers and mobile phones may not be used by the priest at liturgy.”

– zenit

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