Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
International Business Times: A group of vigilante Christians have killed at least 12 Muslims, including a pregnant woman and 10 children, in the Central African Republic. The gang of Christians disembowelled the pregnant woman and slashed the children with machetes in the attack against Peuhl Muslims.
Religion Today: About 70 Christians were murdered in Nigeria in November, according to Release International. The organization says the attacks stem from Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram, a group the U.S. government has labeled a “Foreign Terrorist Organization.” The name of the group, Boko Haram, means “Western education is forbidden.”
Aaron Klein at World Net Daily: The reports of stepped-up activism to ensure non-Muslim prayer on the Temple Mount comes as the Obama administrations continues to quietly push a plan in which the Palestinian Authority and Jordan will receive sovereignty over the holy site.
CNSNews: Pope Francis yesterday called for people to pray for the release of 12 Greek Orthodox nuns who were kidnapped on Monday from their convent in Maaloula by Syrian rebels possibly tied to the terrorist Al Nusra front.
AP: Nigeria’s military is recommending immediate trial for 500 suspected extremist militants and the president is promising an economic boost for the northeast region confronting an Islamic uprising – both issues that address concerns expressed by the United States.
Daily Caller: Two private, religiously affiliated schools are in the news this week for their prayer rooms: Texas Wesleyan University and the University of St. Thomas.
AP: Egypt’s interim president has received the final draft of the country’s amended constitution, setting the stage for a referendum on the revisions made by two secular-leaning panels to the 2012 constitution drafted under the ousted Islamist president.
Washington Post: A small but growing movement by Jewish activists demanding the right to pray at the site of their destroyed temple, in the heart of this disputed capital’s Old City, is creating a potentially explosive clash with the Muslim world, which considers the spot holy and bans Jews from public worship there.
Catholic Culture: Eight months after his acquittal, Younis Masih, a Pakistani Christian imprisoned since 2005 on blasphemy charges and once sentenced to death, has been released from jail.
Gatestone Institute: The same month that Obama tried to wage war on behalf of the jihadi rebels in Syria (citing “human rights” concerns), some of the war’s worst atrocities were committed against that nation’s Christian minority, most notably in Ma’loula, an ancient Christian region where the inhabitants spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus
NY Times: On paper, a draft Egyptian Constitution — which was made publicly available in its entirety for the first time over the weekend — appears to afford citizens important new rights, including by criminalizing torture and human trafficking and requiring that the state protect women from violence.
Morningstar News: The same day Islamic extremists from the Nigerian rebel Boko Haram abducted a French priest in Cameroon, Nov. 13, the U.S. State Department designated the group a terrorist organization.
Religion Clause Blog: Yesterday, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights heard oral arguments (video of full arguments) in S.A.S. v. France, (Application no. 43835/11). As described in a press release from the Court . . .
AP: Hundreds of Islamic militants in trucks and a stolen armored personnel carrier attacked an air force base and international airport on the outskirts of a Nigerian city before dawn Monday, officials and witnesses said, possibly leaving scores of people dead in one of the insurgent group’s most daring attacks.
“NSA Reportedly Sought to Discredit ‘Radicals’ By Disclosing Online Sexual Activities, Visits to Porn Sites” | ACLU
ACLU: The targets of the NSA’s plan were all Muslims whom the NSA characterized as “radicals” but who were not believed to be involved in terrorism. The documents say one of the targets was a “U.S. person,” a term describing American citizens and legal permanent residents, but all of the targets were reportedly outside the United States.
Morningstar News: Suspected Muslim herdsmen slaughtered 37 Christians in coordinated attacks on four Plateau state villages early this morning after Boko Haram terrorists killed at least 34 Christians in Borno state earlier this month, sources said.
CNSNews: Tens of thousands of Christians who have fled violent attack by Muslim rebels are sheltering at a Catholic mission in a town called Bossangoa, about 250 miles north of the capital, Bangui.
AP: Egypt’s police fired water cannons Tuesday to disperse two protests by dozens of secular anti-government activists in Cairo, the security forces’ first implementation of a controversial new law forbidding protests held without a permit from authorities.
Telegraph: Parents have criticised a school after children as young as eight were told they would be punished for racism if they did not attend a religious workshop about Islam.
Religion Clause Blog: In Farah v. A-1 Careers, (D KA, Nov. 20, 2013), a Kansas federal district court dismissed a claim by a Muslim former employee of a temporary staffing agency that the agency unreasonably failed to accommodate his need to pray at noontime. The court held . . .
Religion Clause Blog: A report today from OnIslam indicates that the largely Christian country of Angola is stepping up its enforcement of the ban on Islam as an unrecognized religious group operating in the country. The U.S. State Department’s 2012 International Religious Freedom Report described Angolan policy . . .
AFP: “We will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians,” he said after meeting with patriarchs from Syria, Iran and Iraq, before calling for “the universal right to lead a dignified life and freely practise one’s own faith to be respected.”
Religion Clause Blog: The Detroit News reported yesterday that CAIR-Michigan has asked the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to look into charges that JPMorgan Chase is closing bank accounts of Muslim customers in the metropolitan Detroit area.
Morningstar News: After Iran’s secret service learned he was evangelizing in the Christian rehabilitation center, Davoodi was falsely convicted of selling drugs in the facility and was sentenced to prison. His probation officer also told him he would face death if he failed to show up for his weekly meeting with him.
AFP: Awshalim Benjamin is desperate to leave Iraq, where a sack of faded photographs is all that remains of the happy life he and his ancient, dwindling Christian community once knew.
Raymond Ibrahim at Middle East Forum: One of the worst Christian massacres—complete with mass graves, tortured-to-death women and children, and destroyed churches—recently took place in Syria, at the hands of the U.S.-supported jihadi “rebels”; and the U.S. government and its “mainstream media” mouthpiece are, as usual, silent (that is, when not actively trying to minimize matters).
Less than Half of the World’s Countries Support U.N. Resolution Criticizing Iran’s Human Rights Abuses
CNSNews: As a new round of nuclear talks begins with Iran, international criticism of Iran’s human rights record at home appears to be waning.
Morningstar News: As Sudan prepares to draft a new constitution, personnel from Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in Khartoum this year questioned the lawyer, Nahmia Ibrahim Omer Shaloka, about conducting training on religious freedom and reconciliation in Sudan, he told Morning Star News.
Christian Concern: He added: “The simple fact is that Islamic law as it is applied in Egypt (where apostasy is extremely difficult and dangerous, and family law was based on Sharia even before the revolution), Iraq and the Gulf States is incompatible with religious liberty. There is no way around that. I
allAfrica.com: “The State Department is right to finally respond to the calls of many in the international community who see this designation as clearly needed,” Benjamin Bull, chief counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, said. “Terrorist groups must not be allowed to engage in genocidal terror, especially when available steps can be taken to help curtail such violence.”
Nigerian Terrorists Reportedly Abducting Christian Women, Forcing Them To Convert And Then Marry Islamic Militants
The Blaze: The Al Qaeda-affiliated Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram has begun abducting Christian women, forcing them to convert to Islam, then marrying them off to jihadi fighters, according to several media reports.
Boston Globe: Officials with the American Center for Law & Justice say Monday’s visit marked the first time Saeed Abedini was able to see family since his transfer to Rajai Shahr prison more than two weeks ago.
DFW Catholic (CNA): Alliance Defending Freedom and the Jubilee Campaign co-authored a July 2013 report on Boko Haram and authored a formal petition seeking its designation as a terrorist group.
Religion Clause Blog: The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom last week issued its most recent Policy Brief, this one titled Sudan’s Enduring Question: The Role of Shari’ah in the Constitution and Law, (Nov. 2013). The Policy Brief says in part . . .
Religion Clause Blog: Under the settlement in Dowdy-El v. Caruso, (ED MI), the state will provide Muslim inmates meals that comply with halal standards. The settlement does not require the meals to include meat, and the state says it plans to furnish vegan meals to meet its obligations
BizPacReview: Republicans and Democrats are gearing up for a big fight Monday afternoon in Volusia County over the controversial 10th grade World History book that has been accepted as part of the Common Core State Standards.
Indian Express: Abdulla Yameen, the man who projected himself as the defender of Islam in the Maldives, swept to unexpected victory in the presidential run-off election on Saturday, defeating Mohamed Nasheed, the former president who was forced out of power last year.
Religion Clause Blog: In an unusual order (full text) yesterday, the United States Supreme Court issued an injunction barring the Arkansas Department of Corrections from enforcing its grooming policy against Muslim inmate Gregory Holt “to the extent that it prohibits applicant from growing a one-half-inch beard in accordance with his religious beliefs.” The order entered in the case of Holt v. Hobbs, (Docket No. 13-6827) . . .
Morning Star News: An illiterate vendor in Pakistan beaten by an Islamic mob for unwittingly using pages containing Koranic verses received “forgiveness” from his accusers, but the complainant filed a blasphemy case against the Christian anyway under direction from Islamic leaders.
The Guardian: UK government minister Lady Warsi says Christians are being driven out of regions around the world where they are a minority
Zvi Mazel at Jerusalem Post: Unfortunately any Moslem will tell you that this is not true. Democracy and Islam are fundamentally opposed and lofty rhetoric cannot change that fact.
Morningstar News: Gunmen who killed four family members in their home in Plateau state this month, including 2-year-old and 4-year-old boys, were likely Muslim herdsmen, church leaders said.
The Legal Project: A Danish appeals court recently upheld the conviction under a Danish hate speech law of an Iranian-Danish woman for her remarks condemnatory of Islam. Coming amidst the controversial statements by another Dane of Muslim background, this conviction raises troubling questions about who may say what about Islam.
AP: Clashes between supporters of toppled leader Mohammed Morsi and residents in Alexandria killed a 16-year-old boy, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. It said Ihab Selim suffered a gunshot wound to the chest in the fighting and it was unclear who fired the shot.
Morningstar News: Gunmen who said they intended to kill a Christian in Mogadishu, Somalia for spreading his faith shot him to death last month, the victim’s neighbor said.
Religion Clause Blog: Norway’s health minister Brent Hoie says that by this spring the government will introduce new legislation on non-medical circumcision of boys under 18.
Charisma News: “Terrorist groups must not be allowed to engage in genocidal terror, especially when available steps can be taken to help curtail such violence,” says Alliance Defending Freedom chief counsel Benjamin Bull. “The State Department is right to finally respond to the calls of many in the international community who see this designation as clearly needed.” . . . Alliance Defending Freedom and Jubilee Campaign co-authored the formal report and petition submitted to Secretary of State John Kerry . . .
he U.S. State Department announced Wednesday that it is designating the Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram as a “foreign terrorist organization.” Numerous concerned organizations, including Alliance Defending Freedom, have formally requested the designation for years.
CNSNews: Although the U.S. State Department recently singled out Russia by name to criticize its law prohibiting homosexual propaganda aimed at youth, the same State Department refused to comment on Saudi Arabia where homosexual conduct is punishable by death.
AP: Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi accused the military chief who deposed him of treason in a message from prison read by lawyers on Wednesday, saying the country cannot return to stability until the coup is reversed and those behind it are tried.
Jerusalem Post: The top Jordanian government official responsible for the custodianship of religious holy sites in Jerusalem is quoted in local press on Tuesday as saying that he is “adamantly opposed” to any Jewish worship atop the Temple Mount.
Daily Mail: A pair of Islamic converts joined a ‘Muslim Patrol’ in east London to impose Sharia Law, threatening to stab people they believed to be anti-islamic and confiscating their alcohol.
World: In Pakistan, authorities recently arrested three Muslims on charges of forcible conversion to Islam. Boota Masih, a Christian, said a man “bluntly asked me to convert to Islam,” issued threats, and pistol-whipped him and his nephews when they refused, theMorning Star News reported Oct. 24.
Findlaw: The organization’s total worth is difficult to pinpoint because of the secrecy of its accounts. But Setad’s holdings of real estate, corporate stakes and other assets total about $95 billion, Reuters has calculated. That estimate is based on an analysis of statements by Setad officials, data from the Tehran Stock Exchange and company websites, and information from the U.S. Treasury Department.
Morning Star News: young evangelist in Pakistan, in hiding after being accused of blaspheming Islam’s prophet, has surrendered to police due to serious threats to his life from Islamic extremists, his lawyer said.
AP: Supporters of Egypt’s toppled president clashed with opponents Friday as security forces fired tear gas to break up their demonstrations over detained female protesters, part of an effort to draw wider support for their dwindling rallies.
Christian Concern: MPs raised concerns over the increasing persecution of Christians in the Middle East in a debate held in Westminster Hall this week.
Morningstar News: Islamic extremist Boko Haram insurgents have driven thousands of Christians from areas of Borno state, with some of those remaining unable to hold worship services, church leaders said.
WCPO.com: A formal complaint will be filed against global shipping giant DHL after 24 Muslim employees say they were fired from a Northern Kentucky facility for protesting a rule change that undermined their ability to pray at work.
Britain Looking At Issuing Shariah-Compliant Bonds; London Stock Exchange Islamic Index | Religion Clause Blog
Religion Clause Blog: In a press release last week (Oct. 29), The Prime Minister’s Office in Britain announced plans for a new Islamic index on the London Stock Exchange, as well as hopes for Britain to become the first country outside of the Islamic world to issue an Islamic bond . . . [Thanks to Alliance Alert for the lead] . . .
Christian Institute: David Cameron has announced plans to issue a Sharia law bond in the UK, making it the first non-Muslim country to do so.
WFTV.com (includes video): Hundreds of people in Volusia County are preparing a protest against a textbook that’s in public schools across Florida.
Washington Times: Hundreds of parents, angry at what they say is a biased student textbook with a decided pro-Islam slant, have launched a campaign demanding equal religious representation and planned a protest at the school board meeting this week.
American Center for Law and Justice: The ACLJ has confirmed through Pastor Saeed’s family members in Iran that he has been moved from Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj – an even more dangerous prison where he faces life-threatening conditions and treatment.
WorldWatchMonitor.org: Another Christian leader in northern Tanzania has been killed in what appears to be a targeted attack, with two other worshippers from the church badly injured.
AP: A court in Egypt upheld Wednesday an earlier ruling that banned the Muslim Brotherhood and ordered its assets confiscated, the state news agency reported.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide: Two of the four members of the Church of Iran denomination sentenced to 80 lashes for taking wine during a communion service were lashed yesterday. Behzad Taalipasand and Mehdi Dadkhah (Danial) received 80 lashes on 30 October. According to CSW’s sources, Behzad Taalipasand was whipped “with extreme violence.”
Gregory Tomlin at Baptist Press: It is not solely religious speech (such as witnessing) that raises issues of accommodation, however. Accommodation of religious practices at work is of equal concern, a fact that prompted Alliance Defending Freedom to issue a lengthy explanation of workers’ religious rights as workplace diversity increases. The ADF guidelines, published in February 2013, come as numerous cases have been filed in the past decade over circumstances such as the wearing of hijabs by female Muslim employees and the firing of Christians who refused to work on Sunday . . . For the Alliance Defending Freedom guide on religious rights in the workplace, go to: http://www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/content/docs/issues/school/The-Rights-of-Religious-Employees-3.22.13.pdf. [more]
BBC: Concern is growing that the Central African Republic is sliding into religious conflict following the overthrow of President Francois Bozize in a rebellion in March, as the BBC’s Laeila Adjovi and Abdourahmane Dia report.
Haaretz: Arab and right-wing Jewish MKs clashed during an Interior Committee hearing, exchanging insults such as ‘savages’ and ‘pyromaniacs.’