Forum 18 is a Norwegian human rights organization that promotes religious freedom. The organization's name is based on Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Forum 18 summarizes the article as:

  • The right to believe, to worship and witness
  • The right to change one's belief or religion
  • The right to join together and express one's belief[1]

The Forum 18 News Service, established by Forum 18 in 2003, is a Christian web and e-mail initiative to report on threats and actions against the religious freedom of all people, whatever their religious affiliation, in an objective, truthful and timely manner. The news service mainly concentrates on the states of the former Soviet Union, including Belarus and Central Asia, and Eastern Europe, but has also published reports on Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Burma, China (including Xinjiang), Laos, Mongolia, North Korea, and Vietnam.

The news service is published in two editions: a weekly news summary each Friday; and an almost daily edition published on weekdays. There is a searchable archive of reports, including religious freedom surveys of countries and regions, and personal commentaries on religious freedom issues.

In August 2005 one of the organisation's reporters was detained and deported by the authorities at Tashkent airport in Uzbekistan,[2] but it carries on covering that country.

The reports on religious freedom from Forum 18 News Service are widely used by international organizations like Amnesty International,[3] Human Rights Watch,[4] and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE),[5] as well as numerous news sites with different religious affiliation (i.e. Muslim,[6] Christian,[7] Bahá'í,[8] and Buddhist,[9]).


  1. ^ "About Forum 18". Forum 18. Archived from the original on December 14, 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Uzbekistan Draws Curtain of Secrecy Tighter". Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Search for 'Forum 18' on www.amnesty.org". Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Search for 'Forum 18' on www.hrw.org". Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Search for 'Forum 18' on www.osce.org". Retrieved October 24, 2010. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "The Muslim News website". Archived from the original on August 2, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  7. ^ "The Union of Evangelical Christian-Baptists of Russia website". Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  8. ^ "The Bahá'í Faith Index website". Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Buddhist Channel website". Retrieved October 24, 2010. 

External links