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Fri, 24 Dec 2021

Why did the left become afraid of celebrating Britain’s Christian heritage?

Why did the left become afraid of celebrating Britain’s Christian heritage?

"The overall decline in religious activity in the UK – driven by the drop in Anglican devotion in recent decades – has not led to a fundamental breakdown in social order. The majority of British people continue with their daily lives in a relative state of peace and prosperity when compared with most parts of the world. On a superficial level, it has not done Britain much harm – and modern secular rationalists may well say that we can do without religion and Britain's Christian traditions."

Mail Plus

How religious are Americans?

How religious are Americans?

The vast majority of Americans have a religious preference -- predominantly a Christian one -- though that percentage is declining. At the same time, much smaller proportions of Americans say that religion is "very important" to them, that they belong to a church or that they regularly attend religious services.

News Gallup

Quebec's Bill 21: Islamophobia dressed up as secularism

Quebec's Bill 21: Islamophobia dressed up as secularism

In early December, Fatemeh Anvari, was forced out of her job as a teacher at Chelsea Elementary School, in Quebec and 'reassigned' to a non-teaching position. This move took place because she chooses to wear a hijab and the province's infamous Bill 21 prohibits those who wear a 'religious symbol' from occupying a 'position of authority' in any public service job.

Counterfire

Haridwar, India: Police case after outrage over anti-Muslim hate speech

Haridwar, India: Police case after outrage over anti-Muslim hate speech

Police in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand have registered a case after a meeting of Hindu leaders called for violence against Muslims.

BBC

Biden quietly signs import ban targeting China’s abuse of Uyghur Muslims

Biden quietly signs import ban targeting China’s abuse of Uyghur Muslims

President Biden signed a major bill targeting China's abuse of Uyghur Muslims off-camera and without media in the room Thursday, forcing press secretary Jen Psaki to deny he did so in order to spare the Chinese government's feelings.

New York Post

Not so merry: Kuwait MPs demand removal of Christmas festive displays 'to protect Islamic identity'

Not so merry: Kuwait MPs demand removal of Christmas festive displays 'to protect Islamic identity'

Christmas trees are being removed from shopping centres and town squares in Kuwait as Islamist MPs share their anger at what they term as 'un-Islamic displays,' while others are expressing sadness for the disregard of the Kuwaiti Christian community.

The New Arab

Thu, 23 Dec 2021

Fear of catching Covid “not a protected belief”, tribunal rules

Fear of catching Covid “not a protected belief”, tribunal rules

A woman's fear of catching Covid-19 and need to protect herself and others is not a philosophical belief for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010, an employment tribunal has ruled.

Legal Futures

Elevating the UK’s leadership on defending religious freedom

Elevating the UK’s leadership on defending religious freedom

The UK has a unique opportunity to defend religious freedom when it hosts an upcoming ministerial meeting. Here are some suggestions to make it a success.

Royal United Services Institute

Fiona Bruce: Let’s make freedom of belief for life – not just for Christmas

Fiona Bruce: Let’s make freedom of belief for life – not just for Christmas

Fiona Bruce MP is the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, and is MP for Congleton.

Conservative Home

Intelligence, religious and political beliefs are connected to the accuracy of UK adults' population estimates

Intelligence, religious and political beliefs are connected to the accuracy of UK adults' population estimates

British people tend to overestimate the prevalence of different minority demographics, beliefs, and behaviors among the public, according to a study publishing December 22 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

Phys

Why Christmas was banned in Scotland for four centuries - and how that changed

Why Christmas was banned in Scotland for four centuries - and how that changed

ON Saturday, the vast majority of Scots will celebrate Christmas Day, probably to various degrees of excess and with perhaps even a little goodwill. This will happen despite the facts that Jesus Christ was highly unlikely to have been born on December 25 – the date was only settled in the fourth century – and that most Scots do not actually practice the Christian religion, though a majority describe themselves as Christians in the national census.

The National

Did Oliver Cromwell ban Christmas? The Puritan assault on Christmas during the 1640s and 1650s

Did Oliver Cromwell ban Christmas? The Puritan assault on Christmas during the 1640s and 1650s

Mark Stoyle investigates popular resistance to the Puritan assault on Christmas during the 1640s and 1650s.

History Extra

China’s latest crackdown targets religion on the web

China’s latest crackdown targets religion on the web

China has launched a fresh crackdown on religious groups' online activities in the communist nation, announcing rules that will effectively block almost all internet-based ministry that is not state-sanctioned starting in March.

Washington Times

Religion is on the decline in both the US and Ireland

Religion is on the decline in both the US and Ireland

There has been an increase in the amount of people in both the US and Ireland who say they do not have any religion, research has shown.

Irish Central

BJP, Congress trade charges as Karnataka assembly debates anti-conversion bill

BJP, Congress trade charges as Karnataka assembly debates anti-conversion bill

While discussing the anti-conversion Bill in the Karnataka legislative Assembly Thursday, leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government and from Opposition parties traded harsh words, leading to occasional chaos in the House.

The Indian Express

Arrests, beatings and secret prayers: Inside the persecution of India's Christians

Arrests, beatings and secret prayers: Inside the persecution of India's Christians

"They want to remove us from society," a Christian farmer said of Hindu extremists. Rising attacks on Christians are part of a broader shift in India, in which minorities feel less safe.

New York Times (£)

Hungary's PM denounced in Bosnia for anti-Muslim rhetoric

Hungary's PM denounced in Bosnia for anti-Muslim rhetoric

Bosnian officials and religious leaders on Wednesday denounced suggestions voiced by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his spokesman that the integration of Bosnia into the European Union will be challenging because of its large Muslim population.

Independent

Heartbreak relived: Australian Catholic Church seeks abuse victim’s abortion record

Heartbreak relived: Australian Catholic Church seeks abuse victim’s abortion record

A woman who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest says the church is now trying to subpoena deeply personal medical records, including of an unrelated abortion, as part of her lawsuit against the archbishop.

Sydney Morning Herald

Australian faith school teacher shares gay students’ struggles with vile bullying

Australian faith school teacher shares gay students’ struggles with vile bullying

A former teacher at an Australian Christian school became emotional while recalling how horrific bullying of a 12-year-old gay student twice drove them to attempt suicide.

Q News

Saudi Arabia's top religious body declares homosexuality 'one of the most heinous crimes' and gay people 'a disgrace in this world and the next'

Saudi Arabia's top religious body declares homosexuality 'one of the most heinous crimes' and gay people 'a disgrace in this world and the next'

In a statement released today, Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh said the kingdom, which hosts Islam's two holiest sites, categorically rejects homosexuality, even as Riyadh seeks to transform its ultraconservative image amid a modernisation drive.

Daily Mail

Wed, 22 Dec 2021

The Battle Over Bacon

The Battle Over Bacon

Article on ethical farming mentions recent NSS research on labelling meat produced by non-stun slaughter.

Forbes

Ali Harbi Ali pleads not guilty to murder of MP David Amess

Ali Harbi Ali pleads not guilty to murder of MP David Amess

The man accused of stabbing to death the Conservative MP Sir David Amess has pleaded not guilty to his murder and planning a terrorist attack for more than two years.

Guardian

Defending Dissent

Defending Dissent

It is compassionate to sympathise with someone who is upset but this should never be a matter for the police. This principle was affirmed on Monday in a wise judgment by the Court of Appeal.

The Times*

Scots white nationalist who idolised mass killers appealing conviction for terrorist offences

Scots white nationalist who idolised mass killers appealing conviction for terrorist offences

A Scots white nationalist who idolised mass killers and spouted vile hatred of Muslims is appealing against his conviction for terrorist offences.

Daily Record

Murder charges urged over South African circumcision deaths

Murder charges urged over South African circumcision deaths

The deaths of at least 30 teenagers from botched circumcisions and dehydration in a secretive South African rite of passage have prompted calls for murder charges to be brought against those responsible.

The Times*

Catholic diocese liable for priest's abuse

Catholic diocese liable for priest's abuse

Ballarat's Catholic diocese has been found liable for the sexual abuse of a young boy by one of its priests.

Canberra Times

A new case for Christianity is rising from New Atheism’s ashes

A new case for Christianity is rising from New Atheism’s ashes

"I considered this last week, on the 10th anniversary of the death of the writer Christopher Hitchens. Not all his ideological positions have stood the test of time, but his witty, barbed and gloriously versatile writing – on everything from Harry Potter to Hillary Clinton – certainly has."

The Telegraph*

Muslim families like mine aren’t ‘hijacking’ Christmas. We’re celebrating it our way

Muslim families like mine aren’t ‘hijacking’ Christmas. We’re celebrating it our way

"Like everyone else, I'm looking forward to Christmas Day. Though I was brought up in a Muslim household, we still get together as a family and celebrate. Of course, it doesn't have the same significance for us as the two Islamic festivals of Eid, which require weeks of planning, hours of cooking – and new outfits."

Mail Online

Tue, 21 Dec 2021

Man who wore Palestine terror group clothing in Golders Green avoids jail

Man who wore Palestine terror group clothing in Golders Green avoids jail

A man who wore T-shirts supporting banned Palestinian groups among Jewish communities in north London has been handed a suspended jail sentence.

Jewish News

Court of Appeal rules police's definition of a 'hate incident' is unlawful and had 'chilling effect' on freedom of expression

Court of Appeal rules police's definition of a 'hate incident' is unlawful and had 'chilling effect' on freedom of expression

A former police officer has won a Court of Appeal challenge over police guidance on 'hate incidents' after claiming it unlawfully interferes with the right to freedom of expression.

Daily Mail

Persecution folly

Persecution folly

Letter from Neil Barber of the Edinburgh Secular Society.

The Scotsman*

ISIS-linked extremists decapitate Christian pastor before handing his severed head to his wife to show authorities in Mozambique

ISIS-linked extremists decapitate Christian pastor before handing his severed head to his wife to show authorities in Mozambique

Suspected ISIS-linked extremists have decapitated a Christian pastor before handing his severed head to his wife to show authorities in Mozambique.

Daily Mail

Mother and baby home survivors want redress scheme scrapped after High Court victory

Mother and baby home survivors want redress scheme scrapped after High Court victory

In a hugely significant victory for campaigners, the High Court has declared that the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation treated survivors unlawfully.

Irish Examiner

Islamic extremists sidestep Facebook’s content police

Islamic extremists sidestep Facebook’s content police

Photos of beheadings, extremist propaganda and violent hate speech related to Islamic State and the Taliban were shared for months within Facebook groups over the past year despite the social networking giant's claims it had increased efforts to remove such content.

Politico

Troops find religious exemption for vaccines unattainable

Troops find religious exemption for vaccines unattainable

More than 12,000 military service members refusing the COVID-19 vaccine are seeking religious exemptions, and so far they are having zero success.

The Associated Press

Christian schools defend right to discipline divorced or gay staff

Christian schools defend right to discipline divorced or gay staff

Two Christian education groups say the ability to discipline a teacher who becomes divorced, is unfaithful to their partner, or enters a same-sex relationship is an example of how faith schools could exercise their right to employ staff who reflect their religious values.

WA Today

United Arab Emirates to end censorship of cinematic releases

United Arab Emirates to end censorship of cinematic releases

The United Arab Emirates announced on Sunday that it will no longer censor films released in cinemas, the country's latest effort to boost its brand as a liberal hub attractive to foreigners.

The Associated Press

Satanic Temple’s holiday display coming back to Illinois Capitol Rotunda

Satanic Temple’s holiday display coming back to Illinois Capitol Rotunda

The Illinois state Capitol Rotunda will feature a controversial holiday art display from the Satanic Temple that will stand alongside other religious exhibits.

The New York Post

Mon, 20 Dec 2021

Closure of Wigan primary school may break the law, council is cautioned – NSS quoted

Closure of Wigan primary school may break the law, council is cautioned – NSS quoted

The closure of a community school in Wigan may be unlawful, the National Secular Society has warned.

Wigan Today

Religious weddings to be allowed outdoors

Religious weddings to be allowed outdoors

Religious weddings will take place outdoors for the first time under plans to be published by ministers today.

The Times*

Board of Deputies protests to Archbishop of Canterbury over comments about Christians in Israel

Board of Deputies protests to Archbishop of Canterbury over comments about Christians in Israel

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has called for a meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, to discuss "deeply troubling" passages in an article on Christians in Israel he co-wrote for this week's Sunday Times.

The Jewish Chronicle

Ireland: Hospital accused of ignoring calls over anti-abortion group’s protests

Ireland: Hospital accused of ignoring calls over anti-abortion group’s protests

The UL Hospitals Group has been accused of not taking complaints about anti-abortion protests outside the gates of Limerick Maternity Hospital seriously.

Limerick Post

Austria's parliament legalises assisted suicide

Austria's parliament legalises assisted suicide

Austrian lawmakers have approved a law that legalises assisted suicide for seriously ill people, subject to tight rules.

Deutsche Welle

US: Christian photographer told she can’t refuse gay weddings

US: Christian photographer told she can’t refuse gay weddings

A Christian wedding photographer who sued the state of New York rather than take photos at gay weddings has lost her case.

Pink News

NYC’s next comptroller says he will push Haredi Jewish schools to teach secular subjects

NYC’s next comptroller says he will push Haredi Jewish schools to teach secular subjects

Brad Lander vows to do everything in his power; law says ultra-Orthodox kids have a right to a secular education, but opponents say it infringes on religious freedom.

The Times of Israel

Man beaten to death for 'sacrilege' attempt at Sikh Golden Temple in India

Man beaten to death for 'sacrilege' attempt at Sikh Golden Temple in India

Police in the Indian city of Amritsar say a man suspected of trying to commit a sacrilegious act at Sikhism's holiest shrine has been beaten to death.

BBC

Outraged Iranian pet owners kick back against new proposal to ban all pets

Outraged Iranian pet owners kick back against new proposal to ban all pets

Iranian animal lovers have ridiculed a new law that could ban people from owning pets after the country's government floated legislation aimed at protecting the country from "unclean" animals.

The Telegraph*

‘Selfies with the Taliban? Come on, let’s never forget their repression of women’

‘Selfies with the Taliban? Come on, let’s never forget their repression of women’

Girls are barred from school, women can't work. But too much reporting and diplomacy fails to note their absence, says Emma Graham-Harrison.

The Guardian

Nigerian lawmakers reject bill seeking gender equality

Nigerian lawmakers reject bill seeking gender equality

Nigerian senators have for the third time in five years rejected a bill that sought to promote gender equality, citing "socio-cultural and Islamic concerns."

The Associated Press

‘Nonbelievers across Africa risk freedom and family support’

‘Nonbelievers across Africa risk freedom and family support’

According to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, 25 African nations — nearly half the continent's sovereign states — have statutes outlawing blasphemy.

The Associated Press

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