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The Christian Institute: A local council has been forced to apologise after issuing a letter that incorrectly demanded churches be licensed to perform same-sex marriages.
CNN: Since 1999, the U.S. State Department has tracked the world’s worst abusers of religious rights. As the most recent report notes, it has never lacked for material. Persecutions of people of faith are rising across the globe.
The Christian Institute: Almost three in ten voters say David Cameron’s same-sex marriage policy makes them less likely to vote Conservative.
Life News: The leading practitioner of euthanasia in Belgium, Dr Wim Distelmans, is organizing an instructional tour to Auschwitz, the Nazi extermination camp. In ’an invitation for a study trip for healthcare professionals,’ he describes Auschwitz as an ‘inspiring’ surrounding in which to ‘clarify confusion about euthanasia’.
Fox News: A leading human rights official says victims’ families feel “shortchanged” by the Nigerian government in their inability to find the nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
My Fox DC: At 15 years old, Deborah Peters has lived an unimaginable horror. She was 12 years old when three members of the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, stormed her family’s home in northern Nigeria and shot her father.
The Telegraph: Influential church leaders, academics and lawyers urge Beijing to respect religious freedoms as demolitions and detentions fuel fears of a campaign against China’s Christians.
Amnesty International: A heavily pregnant Christian Sudanese woman who could be sentenced to death by hanging for ‘apostasy’, and to flogging for ‘adultery’ should be immediately and unconditionally released, Amnesty International said ahead of the ruling expected tomorrow.
First Things: U.N. experts in Geneva were at it again last week telling the Holy See that Catholic teaching on abortion is a human rights abuse.
The Christian Institute: A baby born in Scotland at the legal limit for abortion – 24 weeks – has now reached ten weeks old and is thriving.
Life News: A judge in England this week ruled that a pregnant 13-year-old girl can have an abortion, even though she is 30-weeks along.
Christianity Today: ‘Jesus is garbage’ graffiti, threat to kill bishop expose anti-Christian sentiment just as Israel prepares to host Pope Francis.
Zenit: On May 16, India will announce a new national government and face a number of grave issues, including the persecution of more than 200 million Dalits throughout the country.
Religion News: The Vatican issued an urgent appeal Thursday (May 8) for the release of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
Reuters: Gunmen posing as clients shot dead a prominent human rights lawyer defending a professor accused of blasphemy, officials said Thursday, underscoring the danger facing those trying to put an end to religious intolerance in majority-Muslim Pakistan.
Newsbusters: Working to save unborn lives is apparently tantamount to torture.
Christian Post: A group of about 150 Christian clergy, leaders, and Congressmen have signed a pledge to support persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
Zenit: Prominent Christian leaders from across ecumenical lines joined together in Washington, D.C., today to pledge to do more to help religious communities who are being persecuted in Egypt, Iraq and Syria.
Zenit: Pro-life leaders from across the world met in Vatican City last Saturday for the first Rome Life Forum, an initiative which organizers plan on holding annually.
Forum 18 News Service: Members of several religious communities in Azerbaijan have expressed concern to Forum 18 News Service over texts included in a list of banned books. The list includes “Holy Book – Old Testament”, and as with other items on the list gives no details of the edition or language concerned, apart from in some cases a named author.
Religious Freedom Coalition: According to recent Arabic news media, “a Syrian nun testified to the Vatican news agency that some Christians in Ma‘loula were crucified for refusing to convert to Islam or pay jizya” (tribute subjugated Christians are required to pay to their Islamic conquerors in order to exist as Christians, per Koran 9:29).
The Christian Post: Last week, The Daily Telegraph reported that doctors and nurses in the UK who have religious or moral objections to supplying “morning-after” pills are being discriminated against. Now, similar reports are rising in the U.S.
World Magazine: The largest Christian university in Canada on Tuesday announced it will pursue legal action to secure two provincial recognitions for its future law school graduates.
Christianity Today: Oasis Trust, a sizable ministry founded by a prominent but controversial British Christian leader, has been “discontinued” as a member of the United Kingdom’s largest evangelical group after its board refused to adjust online resources and social media to “equally profile the traditional Christian view” on human sexuality.
The New American: As religious freedom continues to come under ruthless attack by governments from Communist China and North Korea to the Middle East, major new threats to religious liberty are increasingly emerging across the West.
Politico: U.S. abortion opponents are giving new life to the movement abroad, where once-stagnant European allies are pushing changes that could affect the whole continent.
The Christian Institute: MPs are demanding a criminal investigation into evidence that dozens of doctors pre-signed abortion forms.
Christianity Today: Despite the effort of hundreds of Chinese Christians who formed a “human shield” to defend their brand-new megachurch, reports of its demolition have emerged from southern China.
Life Site News: Once again, a measure to introduce same-sex “marriage” into Northern Ireland has failed, making it the only jurisdiction in Great Britain to have resisted the trend to redefine the institution of marriage.
On April 14, seven truckloads of Boko Haram terrorists drove into the Christian village of Chibok in the Borno state of Nigeria – and set buildings on fire and captured 230 female students from a secondary school.
Via Jurist: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday signed into law [press release] a controversial bill allowing polygamy. The Marriage Act 2014 brings civil law in line with customary law[BBC report], where some cultures allow a man to have multiple wives. …
Via BBC News: The DUP has tabled a petition of concern on an assembly motion due to be debated on Tuesday. The motion proposes that Stormont introduce legislation similar to other jurisdictions in Britain and Ireland. Under the …
Thousands of Chinese Christians have united in the city of Wenzhou to form a 24-hour human shield around the Sanjiang Christian Church, amidst threats from the Communist authorities to demolish the building.
Europe does not have a history of a strict separation of church and state where the state does not interfere in the internal affairs of the church. In fact, some countries in Europe still have state churches, for example, the Church of England.
Due out of prison in Sergeyevka in North Kazakhstan Region at lunchtime tomorrow (23 April) is Denis Yenenko. The 31-year-old Baptist, who is married with three young children, will have completed a six-day prison term – which included his Easter. He was imprisoned to punish him for refusing to pay an earlier fine to punish him for exercising the right to freedom of religion or belief, according to court documents seen by Forum 18 News Service.
Alan Sears, president of Alliance Defending Freedom, offered the following welcoming remarks to those attending the ADF’s March 24-27 Catholic Media Symposium in Rome. Raymond Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, also spoke at the event.
Ms. Mbuyi, a Belgian national, is being represented by The Christian Legal Centre, which is calling for Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene over her dismissal, following his recent public assertion that Britain is a “Christian country”.
Business-Standard: “The Malta’s Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties said Monday that the legalisation of abortion is a ‘categorical no at this point in time’”
KATU: “Concerned parents reached out to KATU News over demonstrations taking place near schools in the Battle Ground School District. Protesters with Vancouver Abolitionist Society were outside of Prairie High School this week promoting an anti-abortion agenda with pamphlets and graphic images.”
Malta Independent: “President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca signed the Civil Unions Bill yesterday, this paper has learnt. Ms Coleiro Preca was asked to sign the law after it was approved by Parliament on Monday evening.”
ABC: “A Christian organisation has lost an appeal against a finding that it was discriminatory towards a central Victorian suicide prevention group for young gay people. The Court of Appeal has ruled Christian Youth Camps (CYC) breached Victoria’s Equal Opportunity Act by discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.”
AzerNews: “The State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations will apply new rules for inspecting religious organizations. Developed under the law ‘On freedom of religion,’ the new rules aim to ensure the legality of the organizations’ activity and provide them with legal assistance, the State Committee reported.”
Wall Street Journal: “The Middle East may be the birthplace of three monotheistic religions, but some Arab nations appear bent on making it the burial ground for one of them. For 2,000 years, Christian communities dotted the region, enriching the Arab world with literature, culture and commerce. At the turn of the 20th century, Christians made up 26% of the Middle East’s population. Today, that figure has dwindled to less than 10%. Intolerant and extremist governments are driving away the Christian communities that have lived in the Middle East since their faith was born.”
Edinburgh News: “TWO Edinburgh churches are quitting the Kirk just weeks before the General Assembly over the issue of gay ordination. The departure of St Catherine’s Argyle, in the Grange, and New Restalrig in Willowbrae, comes on the eve of the annual meeting of the Church in the city next month.”
The Economist [subscription required -- access full text via Google]: “German laws forbid parents from educating their children at home in almost all cases, citing society’s interest in avoiding closed-off ‘parallel societies.’ Germany’s highest court calls schools the best place to bring together children of different beliefs and values, in the name of ‘lived tolerance.’ In plainer language, the Romeikes believe that, if they return to Germany, their children face being taken to school by force.”
The Nordic Page: “Talking to NRK, Erna solberg says that she respects the decision but personally advocates the free marriage at church.”
Irish Examiner: “A woman who underwent fertility treatment at a clinic in Rome became pregnant with the twins of another couple after their embryos were mixed up. Italy’s health ministry says it is launching an investigation into the error, which was only discovered when the woman was three months pregnant.”
New York Times: “A packed hearing on a petition calling for the protection of human embryos led to a rare outbreak of raucous exchanges in the European Parliament on Thursday — a sign that the battles over abortion and stem cell research that divide nations like Spain and the United States are making a serious incursion into European Union affairs.”
Breitbart: “Itella, the National Postage Service of Finland, has launched a range of erotic gay stamps featuring a man in police uniform sitting on the shoulders of a naked man, and another with a man looking in between some naked legs. The stamps are to commemorate the life and work of the artist Touko Laaksonen, more commonly known as Tom of Finland.”
Malay Mail Online: “Khalid declined to comment on his administration’s role leading to BSM’s exit from Selangor, choosing to highlight instead that it was duty-bound to uphold the state’s laws, when asked to comment on BSM’s apparent lack of confidence in the Selangor government’s ability to prevent a repeat of a January raid and seizure of 200 bibles at its office.”
BBC News: India’s Supreme Court has recognised transgender people as a third gender, in a landmark ruling. ‘It is the right of every human being to choose their gender,’ it said in granting rights to those who identify themselves as neither male nor female.”
The Council of Europe amends resolution on the protection of minors against “new religious movements”
The Economist: “At stake was a resolution which in its original form would have denounced ‘new religious movements’ (to use an alternative, and less loaded description of the groups sometimes described as ‘sects’) and urged European governments to monitor such bodies and restrict their influence on youngsters.”
Reuters: “The Maltese parliament approved a law late on Monday to recognise same-sex partnerships on a legal par with marriage, including allowing gay couples to adopt.”
The Globe and Mail: “A group of lawyers will launch a court challenge on Monday against the B.C. government for approving a new law school at Trinity Western University, which has caused controversy because of the school’s policy toward gays and lesbians.”