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The Christian Institute: Northern Ireland’s Department of Justice is recommending weakening abortion law in the Province, despite overwhelming opposition shown in its own consultation.
The Christian Institute: A woman in the Republic of Ireland appeared in court this week, charged with assisting in the suicide of her friend.
Religion News Service (Reuters): A video purportedly made by Islamic State militants and posted on social media sites on Sunday (April 19) appeared to show the shooting and beheading about 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya.
Christian Today: India’s Hindu nationalist government has denied that “communal” politics were behind a series of attacks on churches and the rape of a nun in recent months, as it seeks to quell rising concerns among religious minorities.
Christian Today: Christians in Nigeria are feeling both hope and anxiety as the country’s government transitions to a new leadership under General Muhammadu Buhari.
The New York Times (Subscription Required): When Kim Dong-shik, a South Korean pastor with permanent resident status in the United States, was abducted 15 years ago in northeastern China, his friends and family suspected North Korean involvement. The Pyongyang government loathes clergymen like Mr. Kim, who worked and proselytized among North Koreans who had fled to China.
Religion News Service: Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that a small town in Quebec may not open its council meetings with prayer.
CBC: The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled the municipal council in the Quebec town of Saguenay cannot open its meetings with a prayer.
Irish Examiner: “We the under-signed, for reasons of faith, consider the state of marriage the exclusive province of a man and a woman. This is the understanding of all revealed religions,” a petition reads.
The Independent: The Church of England is at risk of an unprecedented schism as conservative Anglican leaders gather to discuss forming a “parallel” church in protest against women bishops and gay marriage.
Mohabat News: Mojtaba Seyyed-Alaedin Hossein was conditionally released from Adel-Abad prison on March 18, 2015, just a couple of days before Iranian New Year. He endured more than three years in prison.
Reuters: Boko Haram Islamic militants have kidnapped at least 2,000 girls and women since the start of last year, turning them into cooks, sex slaves and fighters, and sometimes killing those who refused to comply, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
AL Monitor: The people of the war-ravaged city of Aleppo have been through some very bad times during the past 2½ years of civil war, and they have gotten used to living in constant fear and uncertainty. The specter of death was ever-present; it never left them, not even inside their own homes or in their own beds. Yet, for all their tenacity, the events of Good Friday — April 10, according to the Eastern Christian calendar that most Syrian Christians observe — were a terror-filled nightmare that sent new shockwaves of despair and terror.
ACNS: Pakistan is one of the world’s most troubling epicentres for terrorism where minorities are targeted by religious extremists for having different beliefs or affiliations. Yet the persecuted Christian community – 1.5 per cent of 180 million people – remains steadfast in faith despite the daily persecution they face.
The Telegraph: Hopes that a government demolition campaign targeting Chinese churches had ended have been dashed after the crosses were stripped from at least three places of worship in recent days.
Associated Press: Guam’s attorney general directed officials to immediately begin processing same-sex marriage applications Wednesday, putting the island on course to be the first U.S. territory to allow gay nuptials.
Life Site News: The Mexican Neydy Casillas, who was present representing Alliance Defending Freedom, stressed that the manipulation that has been taking place at the Summit of the Americas is a “new form of ideological dictatorship” trying to eliminate the cultural values of the Latin American peoples. “This is a paradox considering that the OAS was born to neutralize the threat of political dictatorships,” she said.
Aleteia: With the spread of the so-called Islamic State group throughout Syria and Iraq over the past year, things have seemed bleak for the future of Christianity in the region.
The Week: Media coverage of Christian persecution in the Middle East was once all but non-existent. (A representative headline on this website last year declared, “The world’s most ancient Christian communities are being destroyed — and no one cares.”) And while awareness of this troubling topic hasn’t quite reached Biblical proportions yet, it’s certainly increasing. CBS’s 60 Minutes devoted severalsegments to the matter, National Geographic gave it a large spread in their magazine, and most recently, Newsweek devoted their cover story to “the new exodus” of Christians from the Middle East.
The Christian Institute: A pro-life organisation has addressed the United Nations, calling for the medical establishment to discontinue the use of the term ‘incompatible with life’.
The Christian Institute: The Employment Appeals Tribunal has ruled against Miss Westeney, claiming that it was inappropriate for her to pray with her colleague and invite her to church.
The Christian Institute: Schools should be required to give children a positive portrayal of same-sex relationships, according to a major teachers’ union.
The Christian Institute: Medical ethics experts have robustly challenged the suggestion that an assisted suicide Bill is needed in Scotland because of a ‘lack of clarity’ in the law.
The Christian Institute: When mum Michelle Macaulay was 12 weeks pregnant she was told that her baby was “incompatible with life”.
Aleteia: Pope Francis on Wednesday devoted his general audience catechesis to children, calling them the “greatest blessing which God has bestowed on man and woman.” Even if they suffer in this life, he said, “children are never a mistake.” In fact, he added, “their sufferings are only reasons for us to love them even more.”
The New York Times: Recently, Sex and Society, a nonprofit group that provides much of Denmark’s sex education, adjusted its curriculum. The group no longer has a sole emphasis on how to prevent getting pregnant but now also talks about pregnancy in a more positive light.
Christian Concern: An Employment Tribunal has ruled that the employer of a senior occupational therapist in London was justified in disciplining her for giving a Christian book to a Muslim colleague.
Aleteia: Details are emerging of the lives snuffed out in the al Shabaab attack at Garissa University College last Thursday—at the beginning of the Easter Triduum. Attackers killed 147 persons, mostly students. The Islamist terrorist group targeted Christians, attacking the campus in the early morning and storming into a prayer service.
AP: Guam on Wednesday rejected a marriage license application from the first-same sex couple to apply for the document in the U.S. territory.
The Guardian: China’s top official in Tibet vowed on Wednesday to evaluate Buddhist monks and nuns for their “patriotism” and install national flags in monasteries to strengthen ideological control in the region.
The Washington Post: The pregnant Jehovah’s Witness came to a Sydney hospital with leukemia and a directive against blood transfusions, a decision stemming from her religious beliefs.
The Washington Post: More than 100,000 Iraqi Christians, already a tiny minority, are fleeing the Islamic State. They are torn between staying in a war zone or abandoning their 2,000-year-old cultural roots.
Yahoo News (AFP): Thousands of Christians across Niger tried to forgive and move on as they celebrated the first Easter since their churches were torched during deadly riots spurred by the publication of a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.
Reuters: After al Shabaab gunmen massacred nearly 150 people at a Kenyan university on Thursday, singling out Christians for point-blank executions, churches in Kenya are turning to armed guards to protect their Easter Sunday congregations.
Al Arabiya News: Islamist Boko Haram militants disguised as preachers killed at least 24 people and wounded several others in an attack near a mosque in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, a military source and witness said on Monday.
WND: Since then, the dispute has been going on in courtrooms, where the HSLDA, together with the Alliance Defending Freedom, twice petitioned the European Court of Human Rights.
The Christian Institute: The Supreme Court in Canada has upheld the right of a school to continue teaching religious studies in line with its religious ethos.
The Christian Institute: The controversial ‘British values’ rules brought in by the Department for Education last year should be ignored, according to the head of a successful all-boys school.
The Christian Institute: Happy customers of Ashers Baking Company have told a Northern Ireland newspaper of their support for the Christian-run bakery at the centre of a major court case.
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.’”
Life News: Recently, the Canadian British Columbia Court of Appeal saved a disabled woman from being literally starved to death.
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.
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.
National Catholic Register: ADF International’s executive director, Benjamin Bull, said the government “cannot require a private religious school to tell its students that their faith is no more valid than a myriad of other, conflicting faith traditions. All faith-based organizations must be free to speak and act consistently with their faith or religious freedom is not at all free.”
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.
Panam Post: “This decision means that faith-based schools are free to operate according to the faith they teach and espouse,” said lawyer Gerald Chipeur, [allied attorney] from the Alliance Defending Freedom. “This ruling makes clear that the government is on dangerous ground if it seeks to force a private organization to act in a manner completely contrary to its deepest faith convictions.”
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.