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The Christian Institute: Producing a pro-gay marriage campaign cake would have gone against the “deeply-held religious beliefs” of the McArthur family, the QC for Ashers Baking Company has said.
The Christian Institute: Watch Daniel McArthur’s full speech to thousands of supporters, prior to Ashers Baking Company’s trial for upholding biblical marriage.
The Christian Institute: Daniel McArthur yesterday praised God for sustaining his family throughout Ashers Baking Company’s three-day trial.
The Washington Post: A Muslim was jailed for six years in China for refusing to shave off his beard, while his wife was imprisoned for two years for wearing a burqa, as part of a severe crackdown on religious “extremism” in the far-western province of Xinjiang, local media reported.
Reuters: A blogger was hacked to death by assailants using machetes in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Monday, the second attack in five weeks on a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority nation.
The Economist: Over the past month, the news about religion in Pakistan has become worse, whether this is measured by the behaviour of officialdom or the horrors suffered by ordinary folk at the hands of terrorists or fanatics.
Acton Institute: ISIS and human traffickers are animals, and they choose their prey accordingly. They seek out the vulnerable, the lonely, the searching. The internet is a fine hunting ground. There have been several stories of late of teen girls being lured from home to join ISIS.
Juicy Ecumenism: Less than two weeks after suicide bombers murdered 18 worshippers at two churches in Lahore, Pakistan, the country’s Ecumenical Commission for Human Development has issued its initial report on the atrocity saying it underscores “growing intolerance” towards minority groups.
National Review: O’Neill argued, quite cogently, that if these charges stand, then (in the Telegraph’s summation of his report) “Muslim printers could be forced to produce cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed” or “a T-shirt company with a lesbian owner [could be forced] to print tops denouncing same-sex marriage as an ‘abomination.’”
The Independent: The state should pay for the dying to be cared for in their own home if that is what they and their family want, MPs have said.
BBC News: The timing of having a child has always been complicated for working women, but egg freezing parties hope to capture their attention by promoting advances in technology alongside cocktails and mingling.
Are those porn stars enjoying their jobs? The sex questions children aged 11 will be asked in government-backed lessons
Daily Mail: Children as young as 11 will be encouraged to critique the performance of porn stars under government-backed lessons. Youngsters could be quizzed about adult films by teachers in a bid to teach them about the issue of consent.
Marriage Foundation: For the second year running, Britain hangs onto the unwelcome top spot for family breakdown across Western Europe.
The Telegraph: So this column is more interested in whatever our leaders don’t want to talk about. In recent weeks, I have therefore written about our defence, lack of. Today I want to write about children.
Fox News Latino: The Chilean girl hospitalized with cystic fibrosis who requested euthanasia a month ago has now “changed her thinking,” her father told the Associated Press on Sunday.
Christian Legal Centre: A Christian street preacher has today (23 MAR) been convicted of a Public Order offence for using the ‘wrong Bible verse’ in a public conversation with a man who identifies as homosexual.
CBS News: The leader of one of Christianity’s oldest communities reluctantly says that waging war against ISIS – killing their fighters – is the only way to stop the radical Islamists from destroying Christianity in Iraq. Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil speaks to Lara Logan for her report on the plight of thousands of Christians forced to flee ancestral homes from ISIS. Her story will be broadcast on 60 Minutes Sunday, March 22 AT 7 p.m. ET/PT.
The Christian Institute: Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has backed new non-statutory sex education guidance which encourages children as young as eleven to discuss pornography.
The Christian Institute: An equality watchdog has been warned it will face an avalanche of cases if it wins its civil action against a Christian-owned bakery in Northern Ireland which refused to decorate a cake with a pro-same-sex marriage slogan.
The Christian Institute: Attempts to bring charges against two doctors accused of allowing sex-selective abortions have been blocked by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The Christian Institute: Children at primary schools should not be taught sex education because “many kids just aren’t ready for it”, UKIP has said.
The Christian Institute: A video production company in Ohio has cited religious reasons for turning down a request to film a same-sex ceremony.
The Christian Institute: The Belfast Telegraph has said an equality watchdog’s court action against a Christian-owned bakery is “ill-judged” and lacks “common sense”.
Christian Today: Only a small minority of Britons regard religious freedom as an important British value, according to a recent poll.
Al Arabiya: A United Nations investigation has concluded that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) may have committed genocide against the Yazidi minority in Iraq, urging the International Criminal Court to prosecute the militant group.
UNOG: “I am keen to learn more about the coexistence of different religious or belief communities in Lebanon and find positive examples,” Mr. Bielefeldt said. “It will also be an opportunity for me to assess the freedom of religion or belief of refugees and migrants.”
Religion News Today (Montreal Gazette): When it finally ended Thursday, the private Catholic school for boys in Montreal expressed delight with the Supreme Court’s verdict in its favour.
CBC (The Canadian Press): The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Quebec infringed on the religious freedom of a Catholic high school in Montreal by requiring it to teach the province’s Ethics and Religious Culture program.
The Globe and Mail: In a judgment that reins in Quebec’s effort to take religion out of its schools, the Supreme Court has ruled that the province infringed on religious freedoms when it refused to allow a private Catholic school in Montreal to teach Catholicism from its own faith-based perspective.
International Business Times: A Malaysian Islamist party successfully passed measures Thursday that could see harsh Islamic criminal punishments carried out in the state it governs.
Law and Religion UK: In 2012, the Daily Telegraph organized an undercover operation into gender-specific (sex-selective) abortion at various abortion clinics in England and in February that year passed evidence concerning Doctors Palaniappan Rajmohan and Prabha Sivaraman to the Crown Prosecution Service and the police. The CPS concluded that in each case there was sufficient evidence of an abortion offence, although this was a finely balanced decision; however, it was not in the public interest to prosecute and the CPS published two statements regarding its decision on 5 September 2013 and 7 October 2013.
Reuters: Chile is considering a bill to ease a complete ban on abortion that would allow the potentially life-saving procedure under certain circumstances and has a high chance of being passed by lawmakers, a rights group said.
Religion Clause: BBC News reported yesterday that a court in Myanmar has found the manager of the upscale VGastro Bar in Yangon (a New Zealander), along with the bar’s owner and a colleague (both Burmese), guilty of intentionally plotting to insult religious belief by uploading to Facebook an ad that depicted a psychedelic mock-up of the Buddha wearing DJ headphones.
BBC: A New Zealander and two Burmese men have been found guilty of insulting religion in Myanmar over a poster promoting a drinks event depicting Buddha with headphones.
Asia News: “We call on all Christians who are demonstrating in these days in Pakistan to protest in a peaceful manner, and to show patience, courage and forgiveness”, appeals.
Reuters: Christians in India said on Monday that the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not done enough to protect their religion, after a spate of attacks including the rape of a 75-year-old nun at the weekend.
Religion Clause: Adventist Review reported yesterday that a court in Brazil has issued an injunction upholding the right of a Seventh Day Adventist to keep his service station closed from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, despite a rule promulgated by the Brazilian oil industry regulator ANP that gas stations must be open Monday through Saturday for 14 hours per day. João Francisco do Nascimento began his gas station business in the city of Lagarto some six months before ANP adopted the rule he is contesting.
Christian Today: The Islamic State (IS) shared photos of the destruction of Christian relics on Twitter on Monday, increasing calls for the terrorist group to be stopped.
Yahoo News (Reuters): France’s lower house of parliament passed a bill on Tuesday allowing patients near the end of their lives to stop medical treatment and request deep sedation until they die, a move that critics say is effectively a form of euthanasia.
Yahoo News (AP): Almost one in 20 people in northern Belgium died using euthanasia in 2013, more than doubling the numbers in six years, a study released Tuesday showed.
National Review: Johnnie Moore, formerly pastor of Liberty University and currently chief of staff to Hollywood producer Mark Burnett, has lately been devoting his time to doing something to help persecuted Christians — those displaced and under threat by the grave evil that is ISIS. He is author of a recent book called Defying ISIS: Preserving Christianity in the Place of Its Birth and in Your Own Backyard.
Reuters: Muslim women teachers can wear headscarves as long as it does not cause disruption in school, Germany’s top court said in a ruling that overturns an earlier ban and may fuel debate about what some nationalist groups see as creeping “Islamization”.
Forum 18: On 10 March Shia Muslim theologian and translator Jeyhun Jafarov became the latest person to be arrested and ordered held in pre-trial detention by the National Security Ministry (NSM) secret police, apparently to punish him for exercising his freedom of religion or belief, his friends told Forum 18 News Service from Azerbaijan’s capital Baku on 12 March.
Asia News: “The Catholic Church of Pakistan strongly condemns the brutal suicide bombings against churches of Youhanabad, Lahore. Government, political parties, religious leaders and all citizens of Pakistan must stand alongside their Christian brothers and sisters, against extremist forces”, reads the official statement released by Msgr. Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan (PCBC). “The government of Punjab and federal government – he underlines – must take extraordinary measures to protect churches and religious minorities in the country”.
Aleteia: The world is seeking hide the persecution against Christians, Pope Francis said Sunday following the deadly blasts that hit two churches in a Christian neighborhood in Lahore, Pakistan.
New Indian Express: The Shiv Sena on Monday advised the courts to refrain from meddling in matters of faith and religion in the larger public interest.
Forbes: Americans take religious liberty for granted. It is the First Freedom, guaranteed by the First Amendment. But four of five people around the world lack the freedom to worship and live faithfully. And the percentage of the world’s population lacking religious liberty recently edged upward. Attacks on Jews hit a recent peak. Even Americans cannot afford to take their freedoms for granted.
Fox News: Like most 6-year-olds, Jacob Abedini sat with a black pen in hand and excitedly sent out invitations to his seventh birthday party Tuesday. But the guest whose attendance is most important won’t be there — his father, American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who remains locked inside an Iranian prison because of Christian faith.
The Federalist: Life can change in a moment. South Korean pastor Lee Jong-Rak had such a moment when his son, Eun-man, was born with cerebral palsy and a severely disfigured face in the mid-1980s. Lee sold his home and his family business to pay his son’s medical bills, and moved his small family into the hospital. Eun-man—whose name means “full of God’s grace”—was given only months to live.
Forbes: By the end of 2014, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) had identified 221 journalists in prison across the world, the second highest number since the organization started recording these figures in 1990. China and Iran were the worst offenders, holding a third of all journalists jailed globally.
IWF: An IWF study has found 100% of the sexual images and videos observed, which were produced by children (aged 15 and younger), had been taken from their original online location and uploaded to another website.
First comes love, then comes marriage… tying the knot before first baby is a key ingredient for marriage success
Marriage Foundation: In the first ever UK study of its kind, new research from Marriage Foundation, a think tank dedicated to building stronger families, has found that the recipe for relationship success lies in making the decision to commit before starting a family.
Herald Scotland: MSPs will today consider a call for official guidance to ban the teaching of creationism in schools amid ongoing reluctance by the Scottish Government and teachers to intervene.
The Telegraph: The idea that Catholics are being radicalised in state schools is “ridiculous” and “offensive”, the Conservative MP for Gainsborough will say today during a parliamentary debate on education, regulation and faith schools.
BBC News: Children from the age of 11 are to be taught about sexual consent under new government plans.
Christian Concern: The Christian Legal Centre (CLC) has called for urgent action from politicians following the publication today (12 MAR) of new research highlighting the scale and diversity of challenges faced by Christians in the UK.
Christian Concern: Mike has been preaching the gospel on the streets of Taunton for over five years. But he’s faced real opposition — police even appealed to the public in a local newspaper to record him preaching so that they could get evidence of him making “offensive remarks”.
Christian Concern: In a dramatic intervention, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has today informed lawyers representing Aisling Hubert that it will take over and drop the private prosecutions brought by Miss Hubert against doctors who were prepared to offer abortions on gender grounds.
The Christian Institute: Hospitals may have to provide atheist chaplains, according to new NHS guidelines published last week.
The Christian Institute: The results of the largest ever consultation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have revealed widespread discrimination against Christians.
The Christian Institute: The Department for Education’s controversial ‘British values’ rules have received strong criticism in Parliament.
The Christian Institute: A columnist at The Herald newspaper has praised the institution of marriage following a study by pro-family group the Marriage Foundation.
Christian News Network: A street preacher in the UK who is charged with making “homophobic” and “Islamophobic” remarks has just completed a two-day trial and awaits a verdict on whether or not biblical speech about the issues is considered a crime in the country.
Christian Legal Centre Press Release: Michael Overd faces trial for three offences under the Public Order Act. The CPS is bringing the case against Mr Overd, stating it to be “in the public interest”.
ERLC: The Pew Research Center recently released a new study on the social hostilities and government restrictions related to religion. Here are five sets of facts you should know from that report.
The Guardian: The thousands of foreign troops pouring into northern Nigeria to join the fight against Boko Haram have seized two towns from the Islamist extremists after fierce battles, accordingt to military sources.
World Religion News: Young Tibetan monks in the Qinghai Province are being blocked by Chinese authorities from returning to their monasteries following New Year visits with their families.
The Guardian: A plan to to challenge young children’s ideas about gender through play at schools in northern Italy – including with a memory game that contains images of male homemakers and female plumbers – has created a storm of protest, with some politicians saying the effort will confuse children about their sexual identity.
Christian print shop refuses to make same-sex wedding invites; ‘God is our defense,’ says Irish firm
The Christian Post: A printing company based in Ireland has refused to print out invitations for a same-sex couple’s wedding.
Associated Press: France’s Parliament started debate Tuesday on a bill aimed at allowing doctors to keep terminally ill patients sedated until death comes, amid national debate about whether to legalize euthanasia.
National Right to Life: If you were among the thousands of Irish pro-lifers rallying in Dublin to protest/lament/challenge media bias, it surely came as no surprise to you when local media dismissed the size of the crowd as “several hundred.” (Rather reminds you of the March for Life where no matter how many hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers show up January 22, the media invariably describes the attendance as in the “thousands.”)
Law and Religion UK: The ever-helpful Religion Clause blog reports a recent decision of the High Court of Madras that the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 takes precedence over the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937.
JPost (Reuters): An American missionary who was kidnapped in central Nigeria in February has been safely released to authorities and church leaders, her Free Methodist Church said in a statement on Friday.