On December 10 we celebrate the Human Rights Day. Such a celebration always is a source of hope and optimism in solving different issues regarding the human rights, raising the humanitarianism and morality in the world.
This year, 2021, Soteria International, was invited to participate to a webinar – “Human Rights and Anti-Corruption: The Tai Ji Men Case”, organized by International Forum for Human Rights, in the celebration of the human rights day and also to raise awareness and celebrate December 9th – the Anti-corruption Day.
Soteria International was represented by the Deputy Director, Camelia Marin. Here is her presentation:
“Today, rule of law is challenged not only from arbitrary application of the law within certain states, but increasingly by how the tools regulating the interaction between different national judicial systems lacks a precision to hinder abuses and misinterpretations. Thus, the very tools for securing the rule of law open a risk for its corruption.
"During a cold night, a man whose last name starts with the letter K. arrives in a Central European village dominated by a mysterious Castle. He claims to be the new land surveyor, invited there by the Castle.
So starts one of the most famous novels of European literature, “The Castle,” that German-speaking Czech novelist Franz Kafka started writing in 1922 and left at his death in 1924 in the unfinished form in which it was published in 1926.
The novel continues with K. meeting the mayor, who informs it that his appointment as the local land surveyor was due to what initially he calls a mistake. But then the mayor corrects himself, explaining to K. that “One of the principles that governs the work of the administration is that the possibility of a mistake must never be contemplated. […] Mistakes are not made, and even if this happened by exception, as in your case, who could say in the end that it was really a mistake?” Besides, K. is told, the question is not whether a bureaucratic decision is reasonable or stupid. If it is properly stamped, it should be obeyed.
By Alessandro Amicarelli
On November 15, 2021, on the eve of the International Day for Tolerance, CESNUR and Human Rights Without Frontiers co-organized one of the bi-monthly webinars on the Tai Ji Men case, with the title “Witnessing for Tolerance: Scholars, NGOs, and the Tai Ji Men Case.”
Camelia Marin, Deputy Director of Soteria International, introduced the webinar, noting that intolerance is prevailing in several countries, and spread by the media, against certain new religious and spiritual movements, and is present even where many would not expect it, including in Taiwan, as the Tai Ji Men case, of which she offered a short summary, proves. She also introduced a video where specific, and in some cases tragic, victim cases evidenced the prevalence of tax injustice and the use of taxes as a tool for intolerance in Taiwan.
The full video of the webinar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=sWoW-YEZFbI&feature=emb_logo
Two events organized by CESNUR and Human Rights Without Frontiers to celebrate the 2021 International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. With Camelia Marin – Massimo Introvigne – Willy Fautré – René Wadlow – Christine Mirre – Rosita Šorytė – Alessandro Amicarelli – Hans Noot – Thierry Valle – Eric Roux – Kenneth A. Jacobsen – Konrad Swenninger, and witnesses from Tai Ji Men.
August 22, 2021 – Two webinars (no registration needed)
10 a.m.-12 noon Brussels time: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84836642427
7-9 p.m. Brussels time: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88145723947
By Luigi Berzano (University of Torino, Italy), Boris Falikov (Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia), Willy Fautré (Human Rights Without Frontiers, Brussels, Belgium), Liudmyla Filipovich (Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University, Lutsk, Ukraine), Massimo Introvigne (Center for Studies on New Religions, Torino, Italy), and Bernadette Rigal-Cellard (University Bordeaux-Montaigne, Bordeaux, France)
In 2020, the USCIRF (United States Commission on International Religious Freedom), a bipartisan commission of the U.S. federal government, identified the anti-cult ideology as a major threat to international religious liberty (USCIRF 2020).
The anti-cult ideology, or anti-cultism, is based on the idea that “religions” and “cults” are different. “Cults,” it claims, are not religions, although they may falsely claim to be religious. While religions are joined freely, “victims” join “cults” because of the latter’s coercive practices.
International terminology needs a preliminary clarification. The derogatory English word “cult” should not be translated with “culte” in French, and similar words in other languages. As scholars of religion have noticed from decades, the French word having the same derogatory meaning of the English “cult” is “secte,” rather than “culte.” “Cult” should be translated with “secte” in French, and in turn “secte” should be translated with “cult”—not with “sect,” which does not have the same negative meaning (for example, the different mainline Buddhist schools are often referred to in English as “Buddhist sects,” with no negative judgment implied).
Saturday, 31st July, starting 4 pm will take place the webinar disscusing about friendships around Tai Ji Men case, an event organized by CESNUR and Human Rights Without Frontiers to celebrate the 2021 International Day of Friendship (July 30). With Willy Fautré – Konrad Swenninger – Daniela Bovolenta – Massimo Introvigne – Hans Noot – Camelia Marin, and witnesses from Tai Ji Men.
July 31, 2021 – 4 p.m. Brussels Time
Zoom (no registration needed): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85112759031"
" Tai Ji Men is a spiritual group with various chapters in Taiwan and the U.S. It has self-funded trips to 101 nations to promote love, peace, and conscience. A video presentation show that Tai Ji Men has been highly praised by President Tsai Ing-wen, three former presidents of Taiwan, and other leaders in Taiwan and around the world for its peace endeavors.
However, such an avid promoter of love and peace has been persecuted for 24 years by a few unscrupulous bureaucrats in Taiwan.
An event organized by CESNUR and Human Rights Without Frontiers after the 2021 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. With Camelia Marin - Daniela Bovolenta - Massimo Introvigne - Willy Fautre - Alessandro Amicarelli - Marco Respinti, and witnesses from Tai Ji Men.
Scheduled for May 24, 2021 at 4 pm
On 29th January, LIREC's webinar will present and discuss the recent annual USCIRF report, by the Policy Analyst Jason Morton, on the violations of religious freedom worldwide.
The report has confirmed the concerns of LIREC, and other NGOs, for the persecution against religious minorities as Jehovah’s Witnesses, in Russia and elsewhere, carried out by some controversial anti-cult organizations.
This is a problem that LIREC formerly brought to the attention of OSCE/ODIHR in 2013, when Italy was the object of recommendations due, precisely, to these associations’ legal and media-related activism.
On the one hand, the USCIRF Report will hopefully allow for a greater international engagement in support of human rights in those areas; on the other hand, however, some anti-cult organizations like FECRIS (European Federation of Centres for Research and Information on Sectarianism), whose methods and purposes have been censured by the US commission, keep on carrying out its activities undisturbed in Europe.
JANUARY 29, 2021 - 3 p.m. Rome Time
CESNUR – Center for Studies on New Religions, Torino, Italy and HRWF – Human Rights Without Frontiers, Brussels, Belgium, 2020
Authors: Massimo Introvigne, Willy Fautré, Rosita Šorytė, Alessandro Amicarelli and Marco Respinti
A WHITE PAPER
This White Paper is about a tax case in Taiwan, which has important international implications. It is an egregious example of how tax laws are used, or rather misused, against spiritual groups some politicians or governmental bureaucrats do not approve of, for whatever reason.
CESNUR – Center for Studies on New Religions, Torino, Italy
and HRWF – Human Rights Without Frontiers organize on the Human Rights Day the webinar about the Tai Ji Men Tax Case in Taiwan.
Massimo Introvigne, Willy Fautré, Rosita Šorytė, Alessandro Amicarelli, Marco Respinti and Camelia Marin will present and discusse about the respect of human rights on the mentioned case.
You are invited to join, no registration needed:
Meeting ID: 841 4547 5018