The International Director of the International Institute for Religious Freedom (IIRF), Dr. Dennis P. Petri, was invited by the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University to publish about religious regulation in various Latin American countries in their digital publication “Canopy Forum,” a platform that shares expert analysis for scholars, lawyers, clergy, journalists, policy makers, and the broader public.
Dr. Petri published two essays: “Politics and Religion in Cuba and Nicaragua” and: “Religious Regulations and Discrimination in Venezuela.”
In the first entry, Dr. Petri discusses how religious groups have long been viewed with suspicion by the Cuban government, as they are perceived as potential threats to the socialist state. This mistrust has resulted in subtle forms of repression, including surveillance and interference with religious activities, thereby limiting the ability of religious groups to freely practice their faith.
The second essay illustrates the state of religious freedom in Venezuela and analyzes the factors that affect its exercise. The essay first describes the presence of religious communities in the country and their relationship with the government. It then reviews the regulatory framework and the impact of recent government regulations on religious freedom. Finally, it delves into the actions of both government and non-state actors that undermine the free exercise of religious freedom.
To read the full essays, you can find them here: https://canopyforum.org/