The Kerst Event Zwolle - the biggest living nativity scene in the Netherlands - does not allow Muslims to play a part in their nativity scene. "You can hardly play the role of Joseph if you are not a Christian yourself", co-organizer Cees Scholten said. But that reasoning does not sit well with everyone, De Gelderlander reports.
The majority of countries violate the rights of atheists and non-religious people, according to the annual Freedom of Thought report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union. Boris van Ham, chairman of the Dutch Humanist Association, calls on the Dutch government, "as a representative of one of the most secular countries in the world", to work for the freedom of belief for believers and non-believers alike, Trouw reports.
Reclaimed Voices, a foundation set up in the Netherlands to denounce sexual abuse by Jehovah's Witnesses, received 46 reports of abuse in just a week's time. The number of reports is shocking, Frank Huiting, one of the founders and himself a victim of sexual abuse in a closed Jehovah's Witnesses community as a child, said to broadcaster NOS.
The police discriminated against an administrative officer by forbidding her to wear a headscarf when interacting with the public, the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights ruled on Monday in a complaint filed by the Rotterdam officer, NOS reports.
The officer in question, Sarah Izat, was allowed to wear a headscarf while performing her administrative duties, but had to remove it when interacting with the public - such as when she took 3D declarations.
Doctorate student Michael Afanasyev filed a complaint with the College for Human Rights against TU Delft because the university forbade him to defend is dissertation dressed in a 17th century pirate suit. Pirates are an important part of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which Afanasyev is a priest of, and he therefore feels that TU Delft is discriminating against his religion, the Volkskrant reports.
Dutch Muslims experience more discrimination than Muslims in other European Union countries, according to a study among 10 thousand Muslims by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights. Of the 15 investigated EU Member States, only Muslims in Greece experience more discrimination than those in the Netherlands, NOS reports.
Islamic organizations are critical of the decision of Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice to ban controversial imam Fawas Jneid from two neighborhoods in The Hague. The ban is in violation of the constitution and is part of the state's witch hunt on anyone who has a different viewpoint than that of the public opinion, the organizations wrote on Facebook, NOS reports.
Children of Jehovah's Witnesses are easy targets for pedophiles, newspaper Trouw reports after speaking to victims, members and ex-members of the Jehovah's Witnesses. One victim called the Christian society a "paradise for pedophiles".
The victims Trouw spoke to were abused in the 80s and 90s. But according to the victims and others involved, abuse is still happening. The Netherlands counts about 30 thousand Jehovah's Witnesses.
The Maria Montessori school in the Hague must pay a Muslim mother 500 euros in compensation because her children missed being in the class photo, which was taken during Eid al-Adha, the court in the Hague ruled on Monday. The mother's lawyer called it discrimination that the photographer came when Islamic children had the day off for the so-called Sacrifice Feast, AD reports.
At least five religious leaders known for their extremist views were added to the Netherlands counterterrorism radar between January 2016 and March 2017, the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security Dick Schoof said to AD. The Coordinator would not say how many people are currently on the extremist religious leader list.
The list consists of foreign preachers and other forms of religious leaders who spread anti-democratic messages, or messages of hate and violence. The Netherlands can refuse Visas to the people on the list.
A 37-year-old priest was reprimanded by the bishop in Den Bosch for accepting money from a deeply religious, elderly woman. The 89-year-old woman gave over 100 thousand euros to the priest between 2011 and 2015, the Volkskrant reports.
If the priest accepts any more money from the woman, he will be suspended.
One of the woman's nephews discovered the money transfers. "What my aunt does with her money is her free choice", he said to the Volkskrant. "But I think this is a matter of indoctrination by a priest of a deeply religious woman."
Restaurant chain Halal Fried Chicken launched a new advertising campaign especially for Ramadan. Thanks to a clever design from ad agency Etcetera, the chain's bus stop ads in Amsterdam are blank during the daylight hours, and show a plate of delicious fried chicken after nightfall - when Muslims who follow Ramadan can break their fast.
For the first time ever in the Netherlands, a woman will lead the Islamic Friday Prayers. This will happen during a meeting in Paradiso in Amsterdam, Het Parool reports.
The woman in question is Amina Wadud, an Islamic theologian from the United States. She is known for her fight for women's rights. Wadud is visiting the Netherlands at the invitation of Hasna El Maroudi.
Wadud is leading the Friday Prayers from the Paradiso because no mosque in the country would allow a woman to do so, three mosque dome organizations said to newspaper Trouw.
Vandalism at an Apeldoorn apartment left resident Fatiha Chams Eddine (52) too afraid to sleep at home. On Liberation Day the Jewish woman discovered that someone scratched a Star of David and spray-painted the word 'whore' on her basement box in the apartment building where she lives, De Gelderlander reports.
A number of Protestant and Roman Catholic schools in The Hague are scaling back on the Christian character of their Easter celebrations in consideration of their non-Christian students. Leaders of Christian schools in The Hague's multicultural neighborhoods feel it is better to adjust their Easter celebrations to accommodate their mainly non-Christian student bodies, AD reports.
Eight in ten Dutch think that there are high tensions between different population groups in Dutch society, such as between people of different religions or between people with and without an immigration background, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Wednesday. Less than half experience these tensions in their own lives.
About 300 Muslim and non-Muslim people gathered in the Al Kabir mosque in Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon to show support to the Muslim community in the city. The organizers wanted to to show a counterpoint to the "hateful stories" spreading about the Islamic community, NOS reports.
"We want to show Muslims that they are not alone", Abdou Menebhi of the Collective Against Islamophobia said to NOS. "Politicians, stop saying things like 'the Netherlands is threatened by Islam'. The Netherlands is threatened by extremists from all sides."
The proportion of young Dutch between the ages of 15 and 25 years who see themselves as religious and belong to a church or religious group, decreased from 49 percent in 2010 to 41 percent in 2015, Statistics Netherlands said on Wednesday.
The decrease was the strongest among young adults, aged 18 to 25, decreasing from 48 percent in 2010 to 40 percent in 2015. But a decrease could also be seen among teenagers, aged 15 to 18 years. In this group the proportion of religious teens dropped from 51 percent to 45 percent in five years.
Although two pastors at the Reformed Church in Amersfoort Oost kept sexual abuse by a church member in 1986 quiet, there was definitely not a cover up, the church concluded in an investigation. The investigation revealed that the then pastor and his successor were only aware of two cases of sexual abuse of young boys by church member Piet Hein W. from Hoevelaken, AD reports.
Christian parties SGP and ChristenUnie are unimpressed by a comment posted on Twitter by SP alderman in Arnhem Gerrie Elfrink. The tweet was directed at the Kees van der Staaij avatar Elfrink is caring for on the Kamergotchi app. "Keesie I am God! If I forget to feed you, that's my wish! First be vaccinated, pervert", Elfrink tweeted.
The VVD wants more stringent integration requirements in the Netherlands including a total ban on face covering clothing, like burkas and balaclavas, in public. Wearing face covering clothing makes it more difficult for you to openly meet and greet each other, VVD parliamentarian Malik Azmani emphasizes in a broad integration agenda the ruling party is presenting on Thursday, Het Parool reports.
THe Blauwe Mosque in Amsterdam will have extra security during the noon prayer on Friday. The extra security is organized by the Security Pact against Discrimination, a group made up of Muslims, Jews, Christians and other organizations, Het Parool reports.
Small Christian party SGP created an anti-Islam manifesto with plans to set limits to the presence of Islam in the Netherlands and to protect the Netherlands against the "radical excesses" of this belief. According to the party, many Dutch are right to worry about the rise of Islam in the country, NOS reports.
Many teachers in the Netherlands feel they have to avoid talking about sensitive topics such as sexual orientation and religion in their classrooms, according to a study by DUO. So-called Islamization and terrorist organization ISIS in particular are topics to be avoided. The teachers blame failed integration for this, ANP reports.