Scores Dead After Church Bombed in Pakistan
On Sun­day, in what is called the dead­liest attack on Chris­tians in Pak­istan to date, sui­cide bombers killed at least 78 wor­ship­pers

“Mar­riage and Reli­gious Free­dom Act” intro­duced in Congress

On Sep­tem­ber 19, a bipar­ti­san group intro­duced a bill in the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives that would pre­vent the fed­eral gov­ern­ment from dis­crim­i­nat­ing through the tax code http://​beta​.con​gress​.gov/​b​i​l​l​/​1​1​3​t​h​/​h​o​u​s​e​-​b​i​l​l​/​3​133)

Many Amer­i­cans sup­port legal recog­ni­tion for same-sex mar­riage even though it is con­trary to their reli­gious beliefs. But as Mol­lie Ziegler Hem­ing­way writes in the Wall Street Jour­nal

This  con­flict of whether indi­vid­u­als really have reli­gious free­dom out­side the walls of churches will become the Amer­i­can reli­gious lib­erty bat­tle­ground of the next decade, not only on issues of mar­riage but in almost every area of per­sonal reli­gious practice. 

Michi­gan Leg­is­la­ture Con­sid­ers Reli­gious Excep­tion for Faith-Based Adop­tion Services

The Michi­gan leg­is­la­ture is con­sid­er­ing a bill that will allow faith-based adop­tion ser­vicesHouse Bill 4927 is avail­able here.

India’s “Miss­ing Girls”

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Christo­pher Smith (R-NJ) opened the dis­cus­sion (watch on YouTube37 mil­lion more men than women in the coun­try. Stud­ies show that fam­i­lies that do not have enough food are feed­ing boys before girls, and the mor­tal­ity rate for chil­dren under age 5 is 75% higher for girls than boys.

Abor­tion Clinic Num­bers Declin­ing in U.S.

Bloomberg reportsAbor​tion​Docs​.org, the source cited by Bloomberg, this is part of a gen­eral trend of decline in num­bers of abor­tion clin­ics. In 1991, there were 2,176 abor­tion clin­ics in the United States and at present, the num­bers are down to 621 sur­gi­cal abor­tion clin­ics and 167 abor­tion pill clinics.

Ani­mal Rights v. Reli­gious Rights: Rit­ual Slaugh­ter of Chick­ens in Los Angeles

Last week in the Pico-Robertson area of Los Ange­les, Ortho­dox Jews and ani­mal rights activists faced off over a rit­ual prac­tice involv­ing the slaugh­ter of thou­sands of chick­ens in makeshift stands. Known as Kaparot, the prac­tice, which began in the 16th cen­tury, involves the rit­ual killing of chick­ens in the week lead­ing up to Yom Kip­pur, the Jew­ish day of atone­ment. Accord­ing to the Los Ange­les Times, Bait Aaron, a Sephardic Ortho­dox out­reach orga­ni­za­tion set up a tent in a park­ing lot and had stacked wire cages of chick­ens. After each slaugh­ter, the blood was drained and butch­ers plucked and dressed the birds. The Los Ange­les County Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health is reluc­tant to get involved unless the prac­tice presents health and safety issues.

Rhode Island to Vote on Forced Union­iza­tion Which Would Turn Home Child Care Providers into State Employees

In Rhode Island, the Ser­vice Employ­ees Inter­na­tional Union

Mus­lim Group Sues for Zon­ing Law Discrimination

A Mus­lim group has filed a fed­eral com­plaint against the Chicago sub­urb of Des Plaines, Illi­nois which last month rejected a pro­posed reli­gion cen­ter in an area zoned for man­u­fac­tur­ing. The suit claims that the city vio­lated the fed­eral Reli­gious Land Use and Insti­tu­tion­al­ized Per­sons Act (RLUIPA) by deny­ing the per­mit in a man­ner which treated the group dif­fer­ently from other sim­i­larly sit­u­ated groups. The 1.8-acre site was for­merly occu­pied by an insur­ance company.

Hun­gar­ian Law Makes it Hard for Reli­gious Groups to Gain Recognition

Jura Nanuk, pres­i­dent and founder of the Central-European Reli­gious Free­dom (CERF) Insti­tutereports on the effects of a 2011 Hun­gar­ian law receive a 2/3 major­ity vote by mem­bers of the Hun­gar­ian Par­lia­ment to be rec­og­nized. CERF is call­ing for Hun­gary to restore its reli­gious free­dom to the pre-2011 level and that leg­is­la­tion involv­ing free­dom of reli­gion be adjusted with Euro­pean and UN guide­lines and recommendations.

Per­se­cu­tion on Increase in East­ern Europe

The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment in Brus­sels recently debated the threat to reli­gious free­dom in East­ern Europe, includ­ing coun­tries such as Hun­gary, Roma­nia, Ukraine, and Moldova which are restrict­ing the abil­ity of cit­i­zens to prac­tice their reli­gion. Accord­ing to CERF, reli­gious minori­ties are fac­ing sig­nif­i­cant per­se­cu­tion and dis­crim­i­na­tion because of their beliefs. For instance, in Geor­gia, reli­gious groups are report­ing that Geor­gian Ortho­dox priests were warn­ing lead­ers of minor­ity con­gre­ga­tions that after the Octo­ber 1 par­lia­men­tary elec­tions they would no longer be able to hold ser­vices in their vil­lages. Reports of anti-Semitism are also increas­ing in Hun­gary, Roma­nia, and Ukraine.

Adven­tist Church Sues City for Dis­cre­tionary Review Ordinance 

the Seventh-day Adven­tist Church filed suit in fed­eral court argu­ing

Adven­tist Peace Fel­low­ship Launches New Website

Adven­tist Peace Fel­low­ship, founded in 2001, has launched a new web­site. APF is a 501c3 non-profit orga­ni­za­tion, not offi­cially asso­ci­ated with the church, that seeks to raise con­scious­ness about the cen­tral­ity of peace­mak­ing and social jus­tice to the beliefs and her­itage of Seventh-day Adven­tists. The orga­ni­za­tion works on peace­mak­ing and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion projects, envi­ron­men­tal projects, free­dom of con­science, and health and human rights among others. ###


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