Sexual abuse is a serious problem within the Jehovah's Witnesses, they do not report such abuse allegations to the police, and a more intensive investigation is needed into this "closed community", researchers from Utrecht University said in a report that will be published on Thursday, AD reports based on the summons of the summary proceedings the Jehovah's Witnesses filed against the publication of the investigation.
Gerrit Jan van D. regularly beat and abused his children in the around nine years they were kept secluded on a farm in Ruinerwold, according to accounts of how he drove "evil spirits" out of them that he wrote down himself and testimony the children gave the police. In some of those "exorcisms" Van D. used his "spiritual sword", the Telegraaf reports based on those accounts, which are described in the book Spookhoeve Ruinerwold set to publish later this week.
The year 2019 was a busy one for the Netherlands, with elections and strikes, multiple high profile murders and shootings, and a summer full of heat records, severe storms and poisonous caterpillars. Here follows a review of the top ten stories of this year.
Homosexual priest Pierre Valkering successfully appealed in Rome against his dismissal as priest of the Amsterdam Vredeskerk, he said on radio program Dit is De Dag, The Congregation for the Clergy, the Vatican department that deals with priest issues, ruled that his dismissal was unjustified because of procedural errors, NOS reports.
Junaid I. was sentenced to 10 years in prison for threatening an attack on PVV leader Geert Wilders by the court in The Hague on Monday. The court convicted the 27-year-old Pakistani man of preparing for a murder with a terrorist purpose. The sentence is higher than the six years the Public Prosecutor demanded.
The Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) must do more against sexual abuse in its churches, according to a project group that evaluated the church's current policy on sexual abuse. The project group recommends that the PKN gets a declaration of good conduct from the thousands of volunteers and professionals in the church, to show that they had not committed criminal conduct in the past, Trouw reports.
A police judge sentenced a 31-year-old man to community service for child abuse because he shaved his 9-year-old daughter's head after she made a mistake while copying bible passages. The judge instructed the man to "think about his parenting methods" while working for the community, AD reports.
On Friday afternoon the Blauwe Moskee an Amsterdam will sound its first enhanced call to prayer. A specialized company connected the speakers and performed noise measurements on Thursday, to make sure the Adhan does not exceed any noise limits, imam Yassin Elforkani said to Het Parool.
Online friends of Gerrit Jan van D. are shocked by the accusations that he kept his children trapped on a farm in Ruinerwold for nine years. They describe him as a nice man who was "good to his children" to newspaper AD. The Telegraaf found - now deleted - posts on Facebook and LinkedIn that indicate that son Jan visited Canada in 2015 and earlier this year, indicating that he maybe was not being held captive, according to the newspaper.
The 67-year-old father of six adult children kept concealed on a remote farm was ordered back into custody as the investigation into the case continues. The magistrate presiding over the case sent Gerritt Jan van D. back to jail for a 14-day period, which may be further extended at the court's discretion, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
Gerrit Jan van D., a man found living with six of his children in a hidden space on a farm in Ruinerwold last week, recorded a series of religious videos in 2006. In these videos he speaks of a spiritual war that is not quite over, but that god declared to be 'won'. The Telegraaf discovered these videos and posted excerpts on its site.
The Blauwe Moskee in Amsterdam Nieuw-West wants to boost it's weekly call to prayer - the Adhan - through loudspeakers. A few dozen mosques in the Netherlands already do so, but the Blauwe Moskee will be the first in Amsterdam. The mosque's board is organizing a neighborhood meeting on Sunday afternoon to inform local residents about their intentions, imam Yassin Elforkani said to Het Parool.
A 21-year-old man was arrested in his jail cell on September 10, accused of placing a hand grenade on a mailbox in Amsterdam. The grenade forced an evacuation in the Czaar Peterbuurt in Amsterdam Centrum near the border with the city’s Eastern district.
The explosive was discovered on April 19 at the letterbox belonging to a board member of an Amsterdam Oost mosque, police said. “The police are still investigating the motive,” authorities wrote in a statement.
The Essalam Mosque in Rotterdam, the largest mosque in the Netherlands, decided to break ties with imam Said Abarkan over Salafist remarks he made in the past. The decision was made after extensive deliberation. "We're parting ways in good consultation. In the interest of the future of the mosque. He understands that", Abdel Sadni said to AD on behalf of the mosque.
A majority of Dutch people are in favor of abolishing religious primary schools, according to a poll by Maurice de Hond. 59 percent of respondents said that all schools based on a religion in the Netherlands should be closed.
Children at Salafist mosque schools in the Netherlands are taught Sharia law, and are taught the death penalty is appropriate for people with a different religion or belief system, according to a study by Nieuwsuur and NRC. The report has parliamentarians concerned.
Jawed S., the 20-year-old Afghan man who stabbed two American tourists at Amsterdam Central Station last year, came to the Netherlands to "kill unfair and cruel people", he said during the first day of his trial at the high security court in Amsterdam on Monday. "That was the intention with which I came to the Netherlands to protect my prophet. You gave the pig the space to express himself like that", S.
Angela Kempeners, a 36-year-old Limburg woman who was removed from an Arriva bus in Stein on Monday because she was wearing a niqab, is shaken by the event, but will continue to take the bus to work. "I felt just like a black person in the United States. This really hit me", she said to newspaper Trouw.
A 41-year-old woman from Nijkerk and her 39-year-old husband disappeared from their home in Blerick in Limburg last week Monday. Their four children, aged 17, 15, 12 and 9, were taken in by the Child Protection Board. Missing couple Andrea and Marcel suffer from a serious form of religious insanity and have been preparing for the "end of the world" for some time", Marcel's sister said to De Limburger.
The police and Andrea's sister confirmed the disappearance, according to the newspaper.
The police want to offer an alternative for burka or niqab wearers who want to come to a police station to make a report after the ban on face-covering clothing takes effect on August 1st. A police directive states that people who do not want to take off their veil "for religious reasons" can go to a separate area, a so-called reporting area, to make their report. This alternative is against the law, the Ministry of Home Affairs said to NRC.
Dutch people who regularly attend their church or mosque are more often active as volunteers than their fellow-believers who don't attend religious services. Practicing religious Dutch are also more likely to have confidence in their fellow human beings and in civil society organizations, Statistics Netherlands reported on Friday.
The diocese of Haarlem dismissed gay priest Pierre Valkering of Amsterdam. Valkering was first suspended in March after he came out during a mass in the Vredeskerk in Amsterdam and revealed in his biography that he did not abide by his vow of celibacy.
The Healthcare Inspectorate will look into circumcisions performed by people with no medical training. Every year in the Netherlands, 10 to 15 thousand Jewish and Muslim boys are circumcised by non-doctors for religious reasons, Nieuwsuur reports based on its own investigation.
The rainbow crosswalk in Hardewijk was vandalized. A seemingly religious message was found spray painted on the crossing on Wednesday morning. "Sodom and Gomorrah are still there as a warning example", the text read, translated from Dutch. And: "Choose life."
Martijn Pijnenburg, D66 leader in Hardewijk, posted photos of the vandalism on Twitter "The rainbow crosswalk in Hardewijk smeared with religious insanity", he tweeted. "In one word: disgusting."
The municipality removed the text later on Wednesday morning.