Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Hindustan Times: “The Union Cabinet on Monday agreed to grant the Jain community — followers of an ancient faith often confused to be a sect of Hinduism — the status of a ‘national minority.’ This fulfills a long-standing demand by the 7-million-strong community that has sought to maintain its religious and cultural identity.”
Z News: “Khan, a staunch votary of quota for minorities, said a ‘new tendency is emerging to interpret the Constitution in such a way to deny the legitimate rights of religious minorities as based on religion.’”
TimesofIndia: Premarital sex is “immoral” and against the “tenets of every religion”, a Delhi court has said while holding that every act of sexual intercourse between two adults on the promise of marriage does not become rape.
NY Times: They try to coax him, reminding him that Hindu and Muslim families lived together in his village for generations before September, when a two-day spasm of religious violence engulfed the area, sending about 50,000 people fleeing from their homes.
Charisma News: The eight UNHRC member states on the group’s second annual World Freedom of Religion or Belief Prisoners List, released Monday, are Morocco, China and Saudi Arabia (whose new three-year terms begin Wednesday) and current members India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Libya and South Korea.
OnIslam.net: A decision by different schools in India’s southern tropical state of Kerala to ban Muslim students from getting a permission to attend Friday prayer has triggered a row, after hundreds of parents opposed the discriminatory decision.
AP: India’s government asked the Supreme Court on Friday to review a decision in which it upheld a colonial-era law that bans homosexual acts and makes them punishable by up to a decade in prison.
LifeSiteNews: On the heels of last week’s Indian Supreme Court decision that upheld the country’s laws against any form of “unnatural sex,” which has been interpreted as including sodomy, bestiality, rape and sexual abuse of children, the government is reportedly considering working to repeal the law.
AP: Witch doctors and religious charlatans beware: New legislation passed in a central Indian state aims to prosecute those who use beliefs and superstition to defraud or physically harm followers.
One News Now: Attorney Benjamin Bull is executive director of Alliance Defending Freedom Global. “When given the same choice the Supreme Court of the United States had in Lawrence vs. Texas, the Indian Court did the right thing,” says Bull, which was choose to “protect society at large rather than give in to a vocal minority of homosexual advocates.”
Knox News (AP): The United States expressed concern about the Indian Supreme Court decision, although it wasn’t immediately clear if Washington had directly raised the issue with Indian government officials. “We oppose all actions that criminalize consensual sex conducts between adults,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington. “We call on all governments to advance equality for LGBT individuals around the world.”But the court ruling was welcomed by a conservative U.S. legal advocacy group, Alliance Defending Freedom. “The India Supreme Court has ruled in the interest of the health of its society rather than the interests of activist groups trying to use the court to do their bidding,” said the group’s chief counsel, Benjamin Bull.
Yahoo News (AFP): The United States has voiced concern about a ruling by India’s Supreme Court which reinstated a colonial-era ban on gay sex which could see same-sex lovers imprisoned.
India Supreme Court refuses to engage in judicial activism in landmark decision | Alliance Defending Freedom
“Societies that uphold natural law are enduring societies, and protecting laws that best allow a society to prosper is the best protection of human dignity. The India Supreme Court has ruled in the interest of the health of its society rather than the interests of activist groups trying to use the court to do their bidding. We commend the court for declining their invitation to engage in judicial activism.”
Police in India slow to investigate torture, killing of Christian boy | Christian Today (Morningstar News)
Christian Today (Morningstar News): Attorney Tehmina Arora of Alliance Defending Freedom-India said the murder shows how elusive religious freedom is in India. “This is a tragic and brutal killing of a young child, seemingly to curb the free exercise of his and his parents’ religious beliefs,” she said. “In a nation where we have constitutionally guaranteed freedom of conscience and religion, no one should be targeted, let alone murdered, for their faith. This is a sad and painful reminder of how far we have to travel before these fundamental rights become a reality.”
MorningStar News: The body of his small son, Anugrag Gemethi, nicknamed Anmol, was found in a pond on Nov. 18 after he failed to return home from a friend’s house the previous day. His face was mutilated beyond recognition, there were burn marks on his stomach, his toes were chopped off and one hand and arm were deeply slashed, Gemethi said . . . Attorney Tehmina Arora of Alliance Defending Freedom-India said the murder shows how elusive religious freedom is in India. “This is a tragic and brutal killing of a young child, seemingly to curb the free exercise of his and his parents’ religious beliefs,” she said. “In a nation where we have constitutionally guaranteed freedom of conscience and religion, no one should be targeted, let alone murdered, for their faith. This is a sad and painful reminder of how far we have to travel before these fundamental rights become a reality.”
The Hindu: A bipartisan resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week has praised the U.S. government for holding firm to its 2005 decision to deny Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi a visa to enter the U.S. Introduced on Monday evening, House Resolution 417 . . .
The Hindu: The court ruled that the folding of hands at prayer time in state-funded schools could not be imposed on individuals as it went against Article 28 (3). However, Justice Abhay Oka ruled that Mr. Salve should respectfully remain present at prayers.
Christian Post (ANS): Morning Star News went on to say that some have suggested that the investigating officer may have neglected to question eyewitnesses at the crime site, as witnesses there at that time did not disclose information to police, said Tehmina Arora, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom-India, who appeared for the accused at the Supreme Court for their bail application. “It’s hard to understand why those who were eyewitnesses to such a tragic event failed to disclose the same to the police,” she told Morning Star News. “The reliance placed on certain witnesses by the court seems unjustifiable and based on assumptions and presumptions. Furthermore, in spite of little evidence of the same, the court has made very strong and unwarranted statements against the seven Christians.”
The Hindu: In two seemingly disconnected incidents, prayer meetings conducted by Christian groups were disrupted on Sunday in different parts of Karnataka.
Persecution.org: Some have suggested that the investigating officer may have neglected to question eyewitnesses at the crime site, as witnesses there at that time did not disclose information to police, said Tehmina Arora, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom-India, who appeared for the accused at the Supreme Court for their bail application. “It’s hard to understand why those who were eyewitnesses to such a tragic event failed to disclose the same to the police,” she told Morning Star News. “The reliance placed on certain witnesses by the court seems unjustifiable and based on assumptions and presumptions. Furthermore, in spite of little evidence of the same, the court has made very strong and unwarranted statements against the seven Christians.”
Catholic Culture: Members of the militant Hindu youth organization Bajrang Dal have burned down a church in a village in India and are now threatening individual Christians there, according to World Watch Monitor, a news agency that reports on the persecution of Christians.
EuroNews: There are close to 30 million slaves worldwide with India home to nearly half, a new report has claimed. The Global Slavery Index 2013, the first of its kind, estimates there are 13.9 million people living as slaves in India. China is a distant second with 2.9m slaves; followed by Pakistan with 2.1m; Nigeria 0.7m; and Ethiopia 0.6m.
LifeNews: The gender imbalance has grown so severe that a team of pregnant Indian women went undercover to help expose sex-selection abortion practices ravaging their country. According to India’s 2011 census, the gap between boys and girls born in India has grown even wider in the last decade. The Times of India reported . . .
Morningstar News: Police in Chhattisgarh state last week chastised and threatened a pastor when he reported that Hindu extremists beat a Bible student unconscious, area Christians said.
NY Times: But in 2006, the late Bharatiya Janata Party leader Dilip Singh Judeo arrived in Ara with the sole agenda of converting 300 Christian families to Hinduism. Mr. Kujur’s was one of them.
Morningstar News: Incidents of violence against Christians in India’s Karnataka state have spiked since June, including hospitalization of a school helper this month after Hindu extremists beat her and marched her through the streets.
LifeNews: The United Nations estimates nearly 200 million girls around the world are “missing.” Why? A new documentary entitled “It’s a Girl” asks this heartbreaking question and provides an equally heartbreaking answer: gendercide. From the film’s official website . . .
LifeNews: On Tuesday, the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, part of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, considered the issue of India’s missing girls.
Morningstar News: That night at about 11 p.m., the same Hindu nationalists forced their way into her house. “They asked me why I converted to Christianity and left all the Hindu idols, and they also told me that I should reconvert to Hinduism or else be killed,” Sovi said.
TimesofIndia: Millions of sex-selective abortions in India have skewed gender ratios, and the origins of the problem can be traced to American-supported population control strategies decades ago, a US congressional panel heard Tuesday.
Catholic Culture: Hindu extremists have twice attacked a small Protestant church in Yelahanka, a suburb of Bangalore in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka.
Reuters: India’s political parties blamed each other for religious riots that killed at least 31 people and forced hundreds to flee their homes this weekend, in a sign of rising tension between Hindus and Muslims ahead of a general election due by May.
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.
Catholic Culture: Hindu extremists have attacked two Protestant pastors in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka, the Fides news agency reported.
Christian Newswire: Shouting religious slogans, a mob estimated at 1,000 people has destroyed a Christian church under construction in northern India, according to a report received from church leaders in the region. The attack occurred Aug. 25.
Morningstar News: “The extremists wanted Vishaal and his wife to convert back to Hinduism, and they threatened that they will cut them to pieces if they do not convert back to Hinduism,” she said.
Here and Now: A rapidly changing world is altering the lives of millions of women. In India, the rising economic wherewithal of a new generation of women is transforming an institution as old as the country itself: marriage.
NY Daily News: The Rajya Sabha Tuesday passed a bill which makes it mandatory to register all marriages, irrespective of religion.
LifeNews: Officials in India found straw dogs gnawking on the body of an abandoned newborn baby girl who was abandoned on the campus of a medical college.
World Magazine: “These laws are political gimmicks used to polarize voters along religious lines—it is common knowledge that these laws have already been misused to terrorize the minority Christian community across the country,” Tehmina Arora, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom India, told Morning Star News.
Indian Converts Must Get Government Permission (One Month in Advance) or Face Prison | Christianity Today
Christianity Today: “These laws are political gimmicks used to polarize voters along religious lines – it is common knowledge that these laws have already been misused to terrorize the minority Christian community across the country,” said Tehmina Arora, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom India.
Christian Today: “These laws are political gimmicks used to polarise voters along religious lines – it is common knowledge that these laws have already been misused to terrorise the minority Christian community across the country,” Tehmina Arora, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom India, told Morning Star News.
Christian Today: “These laws are political gimmicks used to polarize voters along religious lines – it is common knowledge that these laws have already been misused to terrorize the minority Christian community across the country,” Tehmina Arora, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom India, told Morning Star News.
Morning Star News: India’s Madhya Pradesh state has passed legislation that would send those who convert and their religious leaders to prison for failing to obtain permission from authorities at least one month prior to conversion.
AsiaNews.it: A 28-year-old nun was kidnapped and raped for a week by a group of men in Bamunigam, Kandhamal District (Orissa). She was held between 5 and 11 July, but the case was made public only today. “The perpetrators must be brought to justice without delay and the law must take its course. What happened is a disgrace,” said Mgr John Barwa SVD, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar, who condemned the attack.
Times of India: The decision of the education department of Madhya Pradesh to introduce a chapter on the Bhagwad Gita in classes XI and XII has triggered a debate among city students on the viability of having religious elements in their syllabus.
Virgin Mary In A Sari: Hindus Outraged By Christian Statue Depicting Blessed Mother And Jesus In Indian Tribal Dress
International Business Times: The issue of Christian missionaries proselytizing in India has taken a bizarre turn after a church in the eastern state of Jharkhand installed a statue of Mother Mary and Baby Jesus depicted as “tribals,” the indigenous people of the state. With dark brown complexions and sporting traditional Indian tribal clothing (white sari with red border, etc.), the statue in a church in the village of Singhpur has sparked outrage from local Hindus and other non-Christians who have called for its immediate removal.
LifeSiteNews: The minor, who has only been identified as “Anjani,” became pregnant shortly after having eloped with a man police call Babulal. They say the man did not want a child and forced the girl to have an abortion last Wednesday.
Daily Mail: If an unmarried couple have sex they are considered husband and wife – and would have to ‘divorce’ if they split, an Indian court has ruled.
AsiaNews.it: A 35-year-old Christian man was beheaded for refusing to convert to Hinduism. Indian media that covered the affair revealed that the man, Tapas Bin, was killed by his own father-in-law in the village of Teliamura (West Tripura District), in the north-eastern part of the country, where the victim’s body was found a few days ago in a stream.
Telegraph: A British schoolgirl was murdered by health workers in India in a failed attempt to harvest her organs, her parents have claimed.
First Post: The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saw ministers expressing differing views on the clause which seeks to provide a share to a woman in her husband’s residential property, including inherited and ‘inheritable’ premises, in case of divorce, sources said.
CNSNews: The federal government is spending $355,825 in taxpayer dollars to develop a “culturally relevant stigma-reducing intervention” program for the transgender population in India.
LifeSiteNews: Responding to a groundswell of public opinion, the Supreme Court of India has asked the government to respond to a public interest litigation (PIL) petition that seeks to ban online pornography.
The Christian Institute: Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton, said in the debate on Tuesday that if they are to condemn the gender abortion practices of China and India, they must “be ready to condemn and challenge any suggestion that gendercide is taking place in the UK”.
AP: After a month of heated debate, the government in the tourist hotspot of Goa refused permission for promoters to open the country’s first Playboy club in a 22,000-square-foot open-air property on upmarket Candolim beach.
Christian Today: Now is not the time to visit Kashmir if you’re a Christian tourist. AsiaNews reports that local Christians—but especially foreigners—in the picturesque but contested Indian state are increasingly in danger of anti-conversion violence.
LifeSiteNews: Raw video footage shows unconscious women in saris being unloaded from a filthy plastic stretcher and lined up like butchers’ carcasses on the ground to recover from surgeries at a “mass sterilization camp” in India.
The Express Tribune: Babies born to Indian surrogate mothers for gay and single Australians may be left stateless and unable to leave the country after New Delhi changed the rules on surrogacy, an expert has said.
Religion Clause Blog: The court dismissed a petition filed on behalf of a 17-year old Muslim girl who claimed that the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act is not applicable to Muslims because Muslim Personal Law permits marriage of a girl after she has attained puberty.
Times of the India: In a first-of-its-kind step towards regulating the practice of surrogacy in India, the Union home ministry has issued stringent guidelines for visas being issued to foreigners seeking to rent a womb in India.
OnIslam.net: An Indian court has ruled that polygamy is not encouraged by the Noble Qur’an, but only allowed under certain circumstances, saying the practice does not fit modern democracies, The Indian Express reported Tuesday, January 1.
LifeNews: Colonialism used to be about the rich exploiting the resources of other lands. Now, biological colonialism (as I call it) finds well off (mostly) Westerners exploiting destitute people in developing countries for their body parts and functions, essentially using people as natural resources. Renting uteruses of destitute Indian women for their gestational capacities–just one form of BC–is apparently on the rise . . .
NCPA Policy Digest: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) have started to plan their own development bank, as well as a bailout fund to help many countries around the world. This is done in response to the growing dissatisfaction of Western banking institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), says The Diplomat.
Fides Service: A court of first instance in Orissa sentenced to six years in jail 12 persons guilty of violence against Christian communities, during the campaign of indiscriminate violence which occurred in the district of Kandhamal (Orissa) in 2008. “It is the first step toward justice. P
Benjamin Bull at Christian Post: On August 30, an Indian state High Court struck down a law requiring people who want to convert to Christianity to give a civil magistrate 30 days advance notice. Just how one provides advance notice of a future intent to convert is anyone’s guess, and was doubtlessly one of the reasons the Indian court struck this crazy law down.
LifeNews: esterday I stumbled across the trailer for a documentary called It’s A Girl. The 3-minute preview stopped me in my tracks – particularly the part in which an Indian woman matter-of-factly describes how she strangled her newborn daughters. Eight of them.
NY Times: When it was over, the men threatened to kill her if she told anyone, and for days the girl said nothing. Speaking out would have been difficult, anyway, given the hierarchy of caste. She was poor and a Dalit, the low-caste group once known as untouchables, while most of the attackers were from a higher caste that dominated land and power in the village.
The Indian Express: The Gujarat High Court today held the Government cannot give monetary benefits to any community on the basis of religion as such a move will violate Constitution that bars discrimination on religious ground.
The Hindu: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre and Chief Secretaries of all States on a petition from the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), asking for a direction to include the category of transgender people as a third category in providing various opportunities and facilities such as the voter ID card, passport, driving licence, ration card and admission to educational institutions.
Religion Clause Blog: In India, Jains are celebrating a 9-day festival of Paryushana, ending today. As reported by Express India and Times of India, in 2008 India’s Supreme Court ordered all slaughter houses and meat shops closed during the festival in deference to the Jain community.
Religion Clause Blog: Last week, Canada’s foreign minister John Baird in a visit to India promised to do “whatever we can within the limits of the Constitution” to prevent extremist activity in Canada by Sikhs who want to create a separate Sikh state of Khalistan in the Punjab area of India.
NY Daily News: A new initiative in India could jail families who force women to abort a female fetus. Current laws prohibit sex selection, but they are widely ignored.
Katherine Infantine at First Things: Such poverty remains prevalent in Mother Teresa’s homeland as Alliance Defending Freedom chief counsel and executive director of global activities Benjamin Bull says, “. . . a law designed to prevent conversions to Christianity in India is exhibit A for the truth that, in some countries, religion is but one more aspect of life controlled by government or ruthless factions that fear no government.” Bull says . . .