Include them in a presentation, use them to help workshop participants learn about and analyse FORB violations, or use them to challenge stereotypes about perpetrators and victims.
FORB around the world
These brief case studies are designed to enable participants reflect on violations of FORB in different contexts. They are designed for use with the ‘FORB around the world’ exercise but can be used in many other ways. You can find the exercise in the FORB facilitators toolkit and the exercise bank (on the link below).
10 cases illustrating a range of FORB issues across the globe
Persecution of Afro-Brazilian traditional religions
In Brazil, followers of traditional Afro-Brazilian religions are facing violent attacks from neo-Pentecostal neighbours and gangs who consider their religion to be demonic and evil.
Hindu-nationalism and minorities in India
The Indian government is increasingly promoting and enforcing policies that negatively affect Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, and other religious minorities based on an ideological vision of a Hindu state.
Minorities and freethinkers in Algeria
Algerian authorities have sentenced individuals for blasphemy and proselytization, closed dozens of Protestant churches, and charged religious minorities with gathering illegally, despite providing no legal way for them to worship together.
State control and genocide in China
Underground Catholics, house church Protestants, Tibetan Buddhists and Falun Gong adherents have faced harassment, detention, demolition of places of worship and torture. In Xinjiang province, Uighurs have faced genocide.
Targeting of Muslims in the Central African Republic
The Muslim minority has borne the brunt of political and ethnoreligious violence. Attacks on individuals and places of worship, and sexual violence towards women have been widespread.
The Baha’i community in Iran
The government of Iran considers the Baha’i faith to be heretical and has systematically persecuted the Baha’i community since 1979. Adib Vali lost his place in 7th grade when the school discovered he was Baha’i.
Hate crimes in Sweden
Crimes facing religious groups range from verbal abuse, being pushed, a headscarf being pulled to threats, severe forms of violence, vandalism of religious sites and arson.
Religious law in Malaysia
Revathi Massosai was born to converts to Islam but brought up a Hindu by her Hindu grandmother. Revathi was sent to an Islamic re-education centre for six months for marrying a Hindu and refusing to return to Islam.
Minorities in Russia
A wide range of legislation is used to persecute religious minorities in Russia. The 1996 religion law sets strict registration requirements and empowers state officials to impede and monitor religious groups’ activities.
Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar
According to the UNHCR, approximately 720,000 Rohingya refugees have fled targeted violence and human rights violations in Myanmar since August 2017. Nearly 80% of Rohingya refugees are women and children.
The following case studies are designed to enable participants reflect on the multiple vulnerabilities that women and girls face based on their gender and their religious identity. They cover a range of topics from employment discrimination to harmful traditional practices to extreme societal or governmental violence, including sexual violence.
The case studies are designed for use with the ‘FORB and gender equality’ exercise which you can find in the FORB facilitators toolkit and the exercise bank (on the link below). Handouts are available for the case studies, and PowerPoint or video resources are available to illustrate some cases. Find all resources here.
FORB and gender equality
A group discussion exercise based on a selected case study.
7 case studies exploring the relationship between women’s rights and FORB
Vasha and Ayesha’s stories – United Kingdom
Muslim women in Britain are three times more likely to be unemployed that women in general. Women who wear the hijab bear the brunt of discrimination.
Sofalta’s story – Nepal
In parts of Nepal, traditional beliefs lead women to be considered bad luck during menstruation. These beliefs are so deeply held that families take extreme risks, isolating menstruating girls and women in cowsheds or menstruation huts in a centuries-old tradition of Chhaupadi.
An 8-year-old nomad girl’s story – India
In 2018, an eight-year-old girl was abducted, gang raped and murdered in a plot to strike fear in her Muslim nomadic tribe, the Bakarwal, and drive them from the rugged Himalayan region where they live as shepherds.
Maira’s story – Forced conversion and marriage in Pakistan
14 year old Maira Shahbaz was abducted at gunpoint and forced to convert to Islam and marry one of her abductors. She escaped and now lives in hiding.
Qelbinur’s story – Forced sterilisation in China
Up to 1.8 million Uyghurs have been forced into to ‘re-education’ camps. The Chinese government has also enforced systematic sterilisation policies on Uyghur women to reduce the birth rate of the minority.
Hajia’s story – Witch hunts in Africa
In at least 36 countries, many of which are in Africa, people are persecuted due to accusations of witchcraft. In 2014, 700 women were killed following accusations of witchcraft in Tanzania alone. Elderly women make up the majority of those targeted.
Andin’s story – Indonesia
Forced exorcism is a common occurrence for transgender women in Indonesia. Throughout the country it is widely believed that being gay or transgender results from being possessed by evil spirits.
The expert advisors – In depth FORB and gender case studies
Two more in-depth case studies and scenarios exploring issues of FORB and gender, focusing on the abduction and forced marriage of minority girls in Pakistan and religious personal status laws in Egypt. The scenarios are designed for use with ‘The expert advisors’ exercise which you can find in the FORB trainers toolkit and the Exercise bank (on the link below).
Abduction, forced conversion and forced marriage in Pakistan
Women and girls from religious minority backgrounds – Christians, Hindus, Hazara and Ahmadi – are disproportionately targeted with specific forms of sexual and gender based violence, such as ideologically motivated sexual grooming.
Religious personal status laws, FORB and discrimination against women in Egypt
Personal status laws impact well beyond the private sphere, for instance affecting women’s economic empowerment – the ability to open a bank account or own land and property.
These case studies from Nigeria, Pakistan and Myanmar are designed to enable participants reflect on the intersections between freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression. They are designed for use with the ‘Speaking of religion’ exercise which you can find in the FORB facilitators toolkit and the exercise bank (on the link below).