UNITED NATIONS – Aborting a child with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome is a gross violation of human rights and anti-discriminatory commitments, and can be considered genocide, according to speakers at a March 20 panel at the United Nations.
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The latest number of police-reported hate crimes in this country is small, but that shouldn’t be comforting news to Canadians.
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NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar – Faced with a powerful military keen to have martial law declared in Rakhine state, which nearly half a million people fled in three weeks, Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, avoided any mention of ethnic cleansing of Muslim Rohingya while broadly condemning human rights violations in her first major address on the issue.

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Provincial superiors of the English and French Canadian arms of the Jesuits wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Aug. 11 asking him to put pressure on the government of Honduras to protect the life of Jesuit Fr. Ismael “Melo” Moreno.

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VATICAN CITY – Missionaries are entrusted with bringing hope to poor Christian communities while building bridges with Muslims and protecting human rights, Pope Francis told a group of men and women missionaries.

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OTTAWA – Canada and the Holy See should hold China’s “feet to the fire” on human rights and be cautious about engaging with the Chinese government, warned Canada’s former Ambassador of Religious Freedom.

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ABUJA, Nigeria – At a recent meeting, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria gave a bleak summary of the state of their country, lamenting humanitarian crises including violence at the hands of Boko Haram and other extremist groups, poverty, government corruption, and a lack of respect for human rights or dignity.

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OXFORD, England – A Catholic bishop has urged governments to ensure human rights are given priority in trade and investment by big companies when a U.N. treaty is developed this fall.

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VATICAN CITY – While violent persecution against Christians assails swaths of territory the Middle East and Africa, one Vatican official says that Western nations face a different type of oppression, marked by the push to eliminate religion from public life.

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SAO PAULO – Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns, known as the "cardinal of the people" and one of the most active voices against Brazil's military dictatorship, died in Sao Paulo Dec. 14. The 95-year-old retired archbishop of Sao Paulo had been hospitalized since Nov. 28 with pneumonia.

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OTTAWA – Canada's former ambassador of religious freedom told a Senate committee that Canada’s focus on religious freedom has “diminished” since the Office of Religious Freedom was closed in May.

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Beating the Christmas rush in Ottawa this year seems to mean wrapping up new transgender laws in time for the holidays. It’s hard to find anything merry about that.

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Several American-based religious denominations remain defiant in the face of new laws that would ban them from proselytizing in Russia.

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WARSAW, Poland – Austrian Church leaders criticized their government for rebuilding border controls in a bid to keep out refugees.

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Churches and mosques have been centres of “searing” human rights abuses in South Sudan, where a civil war has been raging since 2013, according to a United Nations report.

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