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The Hill: President Obama will back a United Nations effort to secure Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, the White House said Tuesday.
Religion Clause Blog: France’s Education Minister yesterday unveiled a new Secularism Charter designed to keep religion out of French schools.
AP: Momentum to avoid Western missile strikes on Syria intensified Tuesday, as President Bashar Assad’s government accepted a plan to turn over its chemical weapons stockpile and France pitched a U.N. Security Council resolution to verify the disarmament.
Christian Science Monitor: Hindu-Muslim violence 80 miles from Delhi in Muzaffarnagar in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, has left 31 dead and 40 more in the hospital raising fears of a return to widespread communal violence.
FoxNews: The Coptic Orthodox priest would only talk to his visitor after hiding from the watchful eyes of the bearded Muslim outside, who sported a pistol bulging from under his robe.
Washington Post: A court in Bangladesh’s capital indicted four bloggers Sunday for their allegedly inflammatory writings about Islam and its Prophet Muhammad.
Christian Mother Killed, Boy Kidnapped in Somalia: Al Qaeda-linked rebels continue campaign to rid country of Christianity
Morning Star News: Islamic extremists from the Al Shabaab rebel group are suspected of killing a Christian woman in one town last week and kidnapping a 13-year-old boy from another, sources said.
PolicyMic: Even as politicians fight to shut down Planned Parenthood and other family planning facilities across the U.S., many African women are fighting their own battles when it comes to sexual health and are often dying as a result. Thanks to a failing health care and education system in many nations, as well as a ubiquitous stigma against the use of contraceptives or abortions, an increasing number of women are turning to unsafe abortions across the continent to terminate unwanted pregnancies.
Nightional Right to Life: The Associated Press reported last week that Spain’s Justice Minister says the conservative government will present by the end of October its proposed changes to the country’s abortion law, with the amendments expected to introduce new restrictions on pregnancy terminations.
Canada Free Press: Despite there being a “realistic prospect of conviction”, according to (CPS) they say going forward with prosecution is not in the public interest. CPS stated in their report that “in this case there are public interest factors both in favour of and against prosecution”. However they have so far declined to state what interest factors exist to oppose prosecution.
Wall Street Journal (via Google): After all, Mr. Abbott is skeptical about alarmist claims of man-made global warming. He is a former Catholic seminarian who opposes abortion and same-sex marriage. His gaffes—he recently said a female parliamentary candidate had “sex appeal”—have provided fodder for left-leaning satirists. He is an Anglophile, a former Oxford boxing blue, and an unashamed constitutional monarchist who sides with America in the world.
The Guardian: Charity claims women who terminate pregnancy in such cases are being forced to go through labour to deliver dead children.
Politico: White House and State Department officials said Monday they’re open to proposals by Russia to put Syria’s stocks of chemical weapons under international control, but that such talk is no reason for the U.S. to back away from President Barack Obama’s threat of a military strike.
Voice of America: In an amateur video, Islamist militants said they are withdrawing from the strategic Christian town of Maaloula, near the Lebanese border, as Syrian government forces launched an offensive to wrestle back control.
CNSNews: Fifteen months ahead of the planned withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan, an anti-Christian hate campaign involving several leading Afghan lawmakers and some media outlets is raising additional concerns about the future of religious freedom in the conservative Islamic country.
MorningStarNews: An estimated 40 people on Vietnam’s north-central coast were seriously injured after authorities on Wednesday (Sept. 4) broke up a protest over the arrest and detention without charges of two Catholics.
Breitbart: In a surprise move, Russia promised Monday to push its ally Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control and then dismantle them quickly to avert U.S. strikes.
AP: The head of the Sochi Olympics asked the IOC on Sunday to help “stop this campaign and this speculation” related to the anti-gay law that has been overshadowing preparations for next year’s Winter Games in Russia.
AP: Syrian troops launched an attack Monday on hills overlooking a Christian-majority village near the capital Damascus, two days after rebel forces captured the ancient community, an activist group said.
McClatchy: A coalition of Syrian rebel groups that includes members of al Qaida took control of one of the oldest Christian villages in the world on Sunday, raising concern about the potential destruction of ancient shrines and churches.
Catholic Culture: Hindu extremists have attacked two Protestant pastors in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka, the Fides news agency reported.
Christian Science Monitor: Opposition to Western intervention on behalf of beleaguered Christian minorities emerged as a key theme of a regional Arab Christian conference hosted by Jordan this week.
Baptist Press: Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said in an article on Religion News Service Sept. 3 that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad is “lawless and tyrannical,” and the first principle of just war — a just cause — has been met.
Stefano Gennarini at Turtle Bay and Beyond: After decades of population control programs to avert a seemingly inevitable population Armageddon, the people and institutions that are primarily responsible for the false alarmism are on their way out. While some at the United Nations, UNFPA, USAID and the Obama administration still cling to their condoms and bad science under the pseudonym “family planning program” or the oxymoron “reproductive rights” ( it never has to do with women choosing how many children to have and always with USAID telling women not to have any more children), economists and demographers are all agreed that the problem the world is facing is population aging and population decline – caused by human beings. Unfortunately, it will takes decades, and maybe centuries to re-trace the trail of misery and ignorance they have left.
BBC: The CPS’s decision not to prosecute two doctors who have been accused of offering to arrange abortions based on gender is “concerning”, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.
Morning Star News: “Within minutes, bullets were piercing into our rooms,” Anthony told Morning Star News. “I escaped from my room by jumping through the window.”
Breitbart: While the United Nations worries about a local shooting in Florida, in Egypt, a group of Islamists who back their nation’s ousted leader, fellow Islamist Mohammed Morsi, have taken over the town of Dalga where 20,000 Christians now live under oppression, fear, and violence. Already, a 1600 year old monastery has been burned and looted, 40 Christian homes and businesses have been attacked (looted and burned), including the home of an 80 year-old priest
Forum18: In what appears to be a new development under Kazakhstan’s harsh controls on religious activity, Jehovah’s Witness Zarina Burova was fined in June for illegal “missionary activity” after inviting friends by text message to attend a religious meeting.
AP: In a setback for Western efforts to tighten sanctions against Iran, a top European Union court on Friday threw out penalties imposed on several Iranian businesses for their alleged ties to the country’s disputed nuclear program.
Robert George at Wall Street Journal (via Google): Elshtain recognized, however—as have just-war theorists going back to St. Augustine through the modern popes—that even when force is used in a just cause there are additional requirements that must be met. Critically in the current debate, these include the likelihood of improving, and not worsening, the situation for the people of Syria and other potential victims of undeterred tyrants or violent extremists. Another concern is “proportionality”—the requirement that the collateral damage inevitably caused by the use of force not be so great as to render the use of force disproportionate and unfair to the innocent.
AP: The Syrian government sent reinforcements, including tanks and armored personnel carriers, to a predominantly Christian village north of Damascus where rebels have battled regime troops this week, a monitoring group said Friday.
BBC: The US-founded sect says it believes in spanking children if disobedient. But it said a “small reed-like rod” was used intended only to inflict “pain and not damage” and was not abusive.
Christian Institute: Same-sex marriage could be “illiberal” because religious groups may be forced to perform same-sex weddings, the leader of UKIP has said. Nigel Farage criticised the legalisation of gay marriage in an interview with YouTube channel ChatPolitics.
Christian Institute: Doctors who agreed to abort babies because they were girls will not be prosecuted, despite there being a “realistic prospect of conviction”.
C-FAM: With its announcement of possible reforms, China has implicitly admitted its forty year-old one child per-family policy has been a failure. The rules led to draconian abuses. There were an estimated 336 million abortions, including forced abortions and sterilizations at the hands of a powerful and intrusive family planning establishment controlling the most intimate aspects of Chinese life.
LifeNews: When the Quebec National Assembly opens this fall, one of the most important issues it will be voting on is Bill 52, a bill to legalize euthanasia. The legislation proposed offers end of life care to those living in Quebec which will include both terminal palliative sedation, as well as medically-assisted dying, or medical aid in dying, a euphemism for euthanasia.
Catholic Culture: A week after meeting with Pope Francis, King Abdullah II of Jordan spoke at a conference on the plight of Christians in the Middle East and decried violence against them.
NY Times: This scene, documented in a video smuggled out of Syria a few days ago by a former rebel who grew disgusted by the killings, offers a dark insight into how many rebels have adopted some of the same brutal and ruthless tactics as the regime they are trying to overthrow.
AP: Pope Francis urged the Group of 20 leaders on Thursday to abandon the “futile pursuit” of a military solution in Syria as the Vatican laid out its case for a negotiated settlement that guarantees rights for all minorities, including Christians.
AP: The International Criminal Court has only indicted Africans, a fact that has opened the court to severe criticism on the continent. The chairman of the African Union earlier this year said that ICC prosecutions “have degenerated into some kind of race hunt.”
AP: Syrian government troops battled al-Qaida-linked rebels over a regime-held Christian village in western Syria for the second day Thursday, as world leaders gathered in Russia for an economic summit expected to be overshadowed by the prospect of U.S.-led strikes against the Damascus regime.
Vatican Information Service: To the leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution. Rather, let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported by the international community. Moreover, all governments have the moral duty to do everything possible to ensure humanitarian assistance to those suffering because of the conflict, both within and beyond the country’s borders”.
Christian Concern: The Scottish Government will fast-track its same sex ‘marriage’ bill through Parliament over the next six months, with the aim of introducing the legislation by March 2014.
Breitbart: Al-Qaida-linked rebels launched an assault on a regime-held Christian mountain village in the densely populated west of Syria and new clashes erupted near the capital, Damascus, on Wednesday — part of a brutal battle of attrition each side believes it can win despite more than two years of deadlock.
Israel National News: Security forces were prepared for a riot as this incident follows renewed incitement by Islamic Movement leader Sheikh Raed Salah, who called for Muslims to physically prevent Jews from visiting the Temple Mount last week.
“Despite Country’s Own Laws, Costa Rica Continues to Deny Women Legal Abortion” | Center for Reproductive Rights
Center for Reproductive Rights: The Costa Rican government continues to violate women’s fundamental human rights and its own laws by denying pregnant women medically necessary abortion services, according to a new petition filed today by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Colectiva por el Derecho a Decidir before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Hotels and the Pornography Plague: An Example of Moral Responsibility from Scandinavia | Robert P. George and Hamza Yusuf at Public Discourse
Robert P. George and Hamza Yusuf at Public Discourse: While many American hotel executives refuse to rid their businesses of pornography, Petter Stordalen, owner of one of Scandinavia’s largest hotel chains, is leading the way forward.
The Catholic News Agency: The leader of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church has argued that despite reported chemical attacks in Syria, foreign military intervention is a destructive option that will only worsen the situation.
CNSNews: Were the Obama administration to launch an attack on Syria, as President Obama has said he intends to do, it would be “a criminal act, which will only reap more victims,” said Gregory III, the leader of the Greek Catholic Church in Syria and Lebanon . . . “Who created this hell in which our people have been living for months? Every day, Islamic extremists from all over the world are pouring into Syria with the sole intent to kill and not one country has done anything to stop them, even the U.S. has decided to send in more weapons.”
Religion Clause Blog: Last week, President Obama announced his intent to appoint Dr. James J. Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute, as a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
AP: “I assure you that I work with these people, I sometimes award them with state prizes or decorations for their achievements in various fields,” Putin said in an interview with The Associated Press and Russia’s state Channel 1 television late Tuesday. “We have absolutely normal relations, and I don’t see anything out of the ordinary here.”
AP: Over the years the unions developed a virtual lock on teacher hiring and promotion. Almost every new teacher must go through a union to gain a school assignment, a practice that has spawned notorious levels of corruption, including the sale and inheritance of teaching positions.
BBC: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has delivered a strong defence of gay marriage on live television, days before the 7 September election.
Christian Concern: Traditionally, university regulations have required male graduates to wear dark suits with a white bow tie and academic bands, whilst women have been required to wear dresses or skirts.
Christian Institute: The Bill sets strict limits on campaigning in the year preceding an election, and gives sweeping new powers to the Electoral Commission.
IONA Institute: Jonas Himmelstrand, author and leading campaigner for the rights of homeschooling parents, and his wife have been fined by the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court for home educating their daughter for one year, the school year 2010-2011.
Middle East Forum: Days ago, for example, Copts held a funeral for Wahid Jacob, a young Christian deacon who used to serve in St. John the Baptist Church, part of the Qusiya diocese in Asyut, Egypt. He was kidnapped on August 21 by “unknown persons” who demanded an exorbitant ransom from his impoverished family—1,200,000 Egyptian pounds (equivalent to $171,000 USD).
Religion Clause Blog: In Tesky v. Canada (Attorney General), (Ont. Super. Ct., Aug. 9, 2013), an Ontario trial court dismissed a suit brought by a Catholic recent law graduate contending that Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms precludes Canada from consenting to legislation that discriminates on the basis of religion.
AP: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights activists said Tuesday they have been invited to meet with President Barack Obama on the sidelines of this week’s Group of 20 summit in Russia.
AsiaNews.it: Two other churches in Nicaea and Trebizond that served as museums have already been converted into mosques. With Hagia Sophia in Constantinople as the symbol of Ottoman conquest, Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman plans need such a symbol to cover up Turkey’s economic and social crises. For Bartholomew I, Hagia Sophia could only reopen to worship as a Christian church.
The Age: The pentecostal Christian school chosen by Tony Abbott as the site of his education policy launch has decided to review its policy declaring homosexuality an abomination just hours after the Coalition visit.
Wesley J. Smith at LifeNews: Belgium is really gearing up its euthanasia followed by organ harvesting regime–and apparently the transplant medical community has no moral qualms. In fact, it has become so morally ho-hum, that it was the subject of discussion at the 21st European Conference on General Thoracic Surgery held in the UK in May.
Baptist Press: Every day the numbers rise as Syria’s crisis rages out of control and spills across borders into neighboring countries. There are now more than 2 million refugees, 5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 100,000 dead.
Christian Concern: A Norwich pastor is under investigation for using “homophobic” language after sending an email expressing his disapproval of the city’s gay pride event, attended by over 5,000 people in June this year.
Guardian: She had a termination even though she was in turmoil about it. Can I get her to see that this man is no good for her?
LifeSiteNews: Chilean ex-president Michelle Bachelet, now presidential candidate for Nueva Mayoría (New Mayority), has declared in a recent interview that if elected she plans to follow her agenda on “homosexual or ‘egalitarian marriage’ and gay adoption” – a policy she plans to enact “little by little.”
HSLDA: At 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2013, in what has been called a “brutal and vicious act,” a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, forcibly removing all four of the family’s children (ages 7-14). The sole grounds for removal were that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.
LifeNews: ChinaAid learned on Aug. 26, 2013 that Chinese Christian Wang Xuebai had been out of contact for several days. It is believed that Wang was detained in connection with her appeals to the government on behalf of her husband.
Christine M. Flowers at Philadelphia Daily News: This is not about politics. This is about human rights. Westerners need to realize that just because we prize our “freedom from religion” and stand on top of that euphemistic wall screaming “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries,” people in other parts of the world are dying for their faith. And most of them are dying at the hands of people who subscribe to a twisted vision of Muhammad’s prophecy, one that feels threatened by believers in Christ. It is the same mentality that motivated Hitler to destroy God’s chosen people, the same diseased rationale that led Stalin to burn the churches and imprison its children. Wake up, people. It’s 1939 all over again.
Forum 18: Yet again a court in Turkmenistan has imprisoned a young man whose conscience will not allow him to conduct the compulsory military service. Amirlan Tolkachev, who is 20, was given an 18-month prison term in Turkmenabad on 10 July, Jehovah’s Witnesses told Forum 18 News Service.