Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
The Conversation: All Australian anti-discrimination laws provide for some exemptions. Among the most controversial are those granted to religious schools.
The Salt-Lake Tribune (AP): A Chinese province where authorities have forcibly removed hundreds of rooftop crosses from Protestant and Catholic churches has proposed a ban on any further placement of the religious symbol atop sanctuaries.
Aleteia: In this exclusive interview, Aleteia asks Rabir Sinjari about the rescue of young girls held captive by ISIS in Iraq.
DNA India: Around 214 women freed from the Islamist Boko Haram militants are pregnant, Chief of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) was cited as saying by the local Nigerian media.
The Washington Post: Men in Iran wanting to get a spiky haircut, a tattoo or a good ol’ eyebrow plucking from barbers are out of luck. Officials have banned such styles, describing them as “devil-worshipping” and “homosexual.”
Religion News Service: USCIRF, an independent watchdog panel created by Congress to monitor religious freedom conditions worldwide, issued its 16th annual report last week.
Acton Institute: Many Muslims believe the use of tobacco products is forbidden (haram) because “tobacco is unwholesome, and God says in the Qur’an that the Prophet, peace be upon him, ‘enjoins upon them that which is good and pure, and forbids them that which is unwholesome’.” Similarly, the Quran prohibits the use of intoxicants, such as alcohol, and considers such use to be sinful. For these reasons, many Muslim shopkeepers consider it against their religious beliefs to sell alcohol and cigarettes.
Aleteia: The Iraqi Interior Ministry has announced the creation of a joint task force to start military operations aimed at freeing Mosul and Nineveh province, currently in the hands of the Islamic State group, according to Fides news agency.
Rome Reports (Translated via Google): “He asked permission to his family doctor, whom he knew for 20 years. The doctor told him that his request came too soon. It also asked a psychiatrist who dismissed his petition.” -Roger Kiska, ADF International
Public Discourse: The European Convention on Human Rights does not require European nations to redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships. However, the European Court of Human Rights may rule in the future that member states must recognize same-sex civil unions.
Christianity Today: Maili Tamang clapped and sang along as the remnants of her husband’s Kathmandu church gathered for a noon prayer one week after a massive earthquake collapsed the “roof of the world.”
Religion News Service: In the weeks leading up to Easter, Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo was starting to sense, finally, that the war that had ravaged Syria since 2011 was finally beginning to ease.
Deseret News: Beheadings, enslavement, kidnappings and rape plague minority religious communities across the Middle East, and it’s time for President Obama to fill a job created to address their plight, a group of prominent evangelicals, scholars and other religious leaders told the White House.
Religion News Service: When a 7.8-magnitude earthquake roared through this Himalayan nation last Saturday (April 25), leaving an estimated 5,500 dead and more than 11,000 injured, shrines and temples were sent crashing to the ground, many of them centuries old and irreplaceable cultural treasures.
The Jerusalem Post: Christians are currently experiencing record numbers of abuse and persecution due to a state-sponsored crackdown on dissent.
The Telegraph: Across the world, two thirds of citizens believe they are a religious person but the UK is one of the least religious countries in the world, according to a new study.
Religion Clause: In Turkey yesterday, the Armenian Christian church filed suit in Turkey’s Constitutional Court seeking to regain ownership of its historic headquarters, the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia.
The Telegraph: Workers with traditional views on marriage would have the right to refuse to carry out tasks which they believe would amount to condoning same-sex unions, under plans put forward by Ukip.
The Christian Institute: The Northern Ireland Assembly has rejected same-sex marriage legislation by an outright majority for the fourth time.
The Christian Institute: The UK Independence Party has said that it would protect the religious freedom of Christians in the workplace by extending the concept of “reasonable accommodation”.
The Christian Institute: Eminent scientists have raised “grave concerns” about a controversial new procedure to genetically modify human embryos.
The Christian Institute: The judgment on the Ashers Baking Company case is to be given in open court on Thursday 7 May.
The Christian Institute: Church ministers who refuse to conduct same-sex weddings could be sued under European law, the Church of Scotland has warned.
The Christian Institute: A woman in the Republic of Ireland who was charged with assisting in the suicide of her friend has been found not guilty.
The Christian Post: Eight prisoners in Indonesia reformed by Christianity sang and prayed as they walked to their executions Wednesday morning, witnesses said.
Christianity Today: More than 13 million people worldwide have fled conflicts and crises in which religion has been a key factor, according to the 2015 report from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
ADF International: ADF International filed a brief with the European Court of Human Rights Thursday that makes legal arguments in defense of unborn children. The court granted ADF International permission to intervene in the case of Lia Shioshvili, a Georgian national who gave birth to a stillborn child after Russian authorities mistreated her.
Christianity Today: Once again, ISIS has orchestrated and filmed the dramatic mass killing of African Christians who refuse to deny their faith.
Al Monitor: The Directorate of Education in Giza, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Education, burned 82 mostly religious books in the yard of the Fadl Modern School in the Faisal area of al-Haram, Giza governorate.
Crux: Any Catholic who’s ever attended a parish council meeting in the States knows the kind of thing that typically comes up – how to handle turnover in the parking lot between the 10 and 11 a.m. Masses on Sunday, for instance, or whether it’s finally time to spruce up the nursery.
Life Site News: While several pastors spoke fervently about the relationship between God and marriage, and the relationship between marriage and the state of America, perhaps the most passionate of any speaker was Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Matthew Bowman. Following in the steps of other speakers in referring to Supreme Court cases where decisions caused harm to the nation — King referenced Dred Scott, which he said helped lead the nation to its Civil War — Bowman spoke of the deadly consequences of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
Baptist Press: Ken Connelly, legal counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), said the Sixth Circuit opinion “gets it right on almost every issue.”
13 News Now (AP): Also at the Supreme Court Tuesday will be people who support traditional marriage. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and the Alabama Attorney General’s Office submitted one of the more than 60 briefs filed in defense of the marriage laws challenged in the cases before the High Court — Obergefell v. Hodges and three other cases consolidated with it.
U.S. Supreme Court hears Ohio gay marriage case today: Five things to look for during the arguments (photos)
Cleveland.com: More conservative jurists hope the court will use the case to affirm states’ rights to set their own marriage policies. “Windsor doesn’t mandate same-sex marriage in every state, but does require the federal government to honor the marriages of those residing in same-sex marriage states,” Austin Nimocks of the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom wrote on SCOTUSblog, concluding: “the marriage debate belongs to the people, and not the courts.”
Chron (AP): Conservative political groups, including Concerned Women for America and the Alliance for Defending Freedom, argued that allowing same-sex marriage violates religious freedoms. Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores, R-Texas, said the voters, not courts, should get to define marriage.
The Washington Post: The Alliance Defending Freedom showed up early with a small podium, ponchos, doughnuts, a pallet of bottled water, Band-Aids, avocados, knives for cutting avocados, sweatshirts, blankets and tarps. They wanted to have enough stuff to share, one staffer said, even with their opponents. (“We’re not really enemies,” she said. “We’re just on different sides.”)
The Washington Times: Caleb Dalton, litigation counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said in an interview that the oral arguments made by the defendants would center on the Windsor decision, which said that the State of New York had the right to define marriage as it had voted, and the the federal marriage legislation had no bearing on that decision.
Reuters: Nigerian forces backed by warplanes invaded Islamist group Boko Haram’s last known stronghold, the Sambisa forest, on Wednesday, in an effort to finally defeat their six-year-old insurgency, two military sources said.
CNS News: Chinese Christians and followers of other faiths last year experienced the harshest persecution in more than a decade, according to a report released Tuesday by a Christian human rights group.
UCA News: The scale of a church demolition campaign in China’s Zhejiang province may be much greater than previously reported, US-based China Aid warned this week.
Religion and Ethics: I strongly suspect that this so-called caliphate will disappear as abruptly as it appeared when its witch doctors get tired of playing with fire. But ISIS has already achieved so much for its behind-the-scene masters.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and others who support the people’s freedom to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman in their laws will be available for media interviews outside the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday. ADF and the Alabama Attorney General’s Office submitted one of the more than 60 briefs filed in defense of the marriage laws challenged in Obergefell v. Hodges and three other cases consolidated with it.
Christianity Today: ISIS has become one of the world’s best-funded terrorist groups, earning most of its profits by selling seized oil. But details keep emerging of the estimated No. 2 source of its billion-dollar revenue stream: looting biblical-era artifacts.
Christianity Today: Shocked viewers across Armenia watching the Azdarar TV news channel on April 11 could hardly believe their eyes and ears.
CBN News: Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear cases that will likely determine whether same-sex marriage will become a legal nationwide.
CBN: Its terror has spread from Syria and Iraq to Libya and other parts of Africa. The radical ideology that drives ISIS to kidnap, murder and behead people in Iraq and Syria is gaining influence around the world, including America.
Christian News Network: A public school teacher in Canada recently explained at an educator’s conference how she convinces young children to accept homosexuality and same-sex households.
The Christian Institute: A doctor who was filmed offering an abortion on the grounds of the baby’s sex is to face a public hearing and could be struck off the medical register.
The Christian Institute: Sir Bruce Forsyth has spoken out in favour of assisted suicide but the Alzheimer’s Society and a medical ethics expert say the current law should remain unchanged.
The Christian Institute: A Canadian author who was brought up by her homosexual father and his multiple partners has expressed opposition to same-sex marriage.
The Christian Institute: A transsexual who was born a man has lost his legal fight to alter his children’s birth certificates.
The Christian Institute: A child’s right to a mother and father would be denied if same-sex marriage is legalised, says a statement by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
The Christian Institute: A Conservative election candidate has said that campaigners who opposed the introduction of same-sex marriage are bigots.
The Christian Institute:A website which helps married men and women have an affair has pledged to invest in the UK market because of its relaxed attitude towards infidelity.
Public Discourse: Americans need to understand that the endgame of the LGBT rights movement involves centralized state power—and the end of First Amendment freedoms.
The Guardian: There was something of a siege mentality at the Emmanuel Centre in central London, the venue for a conference to promote “sexual orientation change efforts” – more commonly known, and derided, as gay conversion therapy.
Reuters: Malaysia has ordered an investigation into a protest by Muslim demonstrators who forced a small church in the capital to take down its cross, the latest sign of growing religious tension in the multiracial Southeast Asian nation.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom is hosting a panel discussion Friday on the interests of children and the issue of same-sex marriage.
The Telegraph: Almost every Sunday, Ge Conghui attends a church where, Bible in hand, she joins fellow Christians to sing hymns, listen to sermons and pray.
World Council of Churches: Despite deep political divisions and unrest in the northeast of the country, Nigeria’s elections in March were judged free and fair by international observers, and the vote occasioned little violence and disruption.
Tony Blair Faith Foundation: In light of recent research showing that religion is on the rise worldwide, the Brazilian example is worth highlighting and understanding, particularly when day to day we witness stories from across the world on the role of religion in conflict situations.
The Weekly Number: Among the 26 most populous countries, Brazil has the highest levels of religious freedom, higher, in fact, than the United States, where government restrictions on religious freedom have been rising.
CNN: It has all the key points you’d expect on a birth certificate — baby’s weight, length and date of birth confirmed with an official insignia. The difference here is the governing authority’s stamp: The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
UCA News: The scale of a church demolition campaign in China’s Zhejiang province may be much greater than previously reported, US-based China Aid warned this week.
Daily Signal: Advocates of same-sex marriage have skillfully rallied around the rhetoric of liberty, claiming that laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman curtail the liberty of gays and lesbians. While that claim makes for nice slogans—like “freedom to marry”—it is not grounded in reality.
The New York Times: John G. Kallam Jr., 67, carries a worn black Bible and another copy on his iPad, and believes Scripture is unequivocal.
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission: The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is asking you to join us in praying for the preservation and strengthening of marriage as oral arguments involving several cases on same-sex marriage are heard before the Supreme Court on April 28.
The Daily Signal: Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on same-sex marriage. In a panel this week at The Heritage Foundation, Ryan T. Anderson, a senior research fellow at Heritage, discussed why the states should be free to choose whether they recognize same-sex marriages.
CBN News: And the Alliance Defending Freedom points out that the American College of Pediatricians has filed a brief with other groups and scholars that argues “of the eight total large-scale studies that purport to evaluate the welfare of children raised by same-sex couples, the four most recent ‘find that children with same-sex parents suffer substantially reduced well-being.’”
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom and The Heritage Foundation are co-sponsoring a debate Thursday on whether the U.S. Constitution requires states to recognize same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges and three other marriage cases consolidated with it.
Public Discourse: Fewer than 9 percent of the countries belonging to the United Nations have redefined marriage to include same-sex relationships—and only one of those did so via its judiciary. A judicial redefinition of marriage would make the United States an extreme outlier on the global stage.
The Christian Institute: In the run up to the General Election, Ed Miliband and David Cameron have voiced support for the freedom of Christians to practise their faith.
The Christian Institute: The Northern Ireland Assembly is to vote on redefining marriage at the end of the month, despite similar proposals having already been rejected three times in the last three years.