International Institute for Religious Freedom

Grievous religious persecution

Religious Freedom Series Vol 5: Werner Nicolaas Nel: Grievous religious persecution: A conceptualisation of crimes against humanity of religious persecution. VKW: Bonn, 2021. 496 pp. ISBN 978-3-86269-204-0, 34 Euro.


“Nel focuses on grievous religious persecution as one manifestation of crimes against humanity. In spite of shocking reports in recent years about mass-scale atrocities, the issue of religious persecution so far has received comparatively limited attention in academic literature. By meticulously putting together the various elements that jointly define religious persecution, Nel’s dissertation fills a frequently felt gap. Moreover, he reminds us that humanity cannot remain silent about manifestations of grievous religious persecution, which after all are crimes against humanity as a whole. International criminal law must be applied to overcome the gloating triumph of perpetrators over their victims.” (From the foreword by Prof. Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt, former U.N. Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief)