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Fri, 24 Dec 2021
"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."
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.
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.
Police in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand have registered a case after a meeting of Hindu leaders called for violence against 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
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
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.
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 MP is the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, and is MP for Congleton.
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.
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.
Mark Stoyle investigates popular resistance to the Puritan assault on Christmas during the 1640s and 1650s.
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.
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.
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
"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 (£)
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.
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
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.
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.
Wed, 22 Dec 2021
Article on ethical farming mentions recent NSS research on labelling meat produced by non-stun slaughter.
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.
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.
A Scots white nationalist who idolised mass killers and spouted vile hatred of Muslims is appealing against his conviction for terrorist offences.
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.
Ballarat's Catholic diocese has been found liable for the sexual abuse of a young boy by one of its priests.
"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."
"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."
Tue, 21 Dec 2021
A man who wore T-shirts supporting banned Palestinian groups among Jewish communities in north London has been handed a suspended jail sentence.
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.
Letter from Neil Barber of the Edinburgh Secular Society.
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.
In a hugely significant victory for campaigners, the High Court has declared that the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation treated survivors unlawfully.
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.
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
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.
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
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
The closure of a community school in Wigan may be unlawful, the National Secular Society has warned.
Religious weddings will take place outdoors for the first time under plans to be published by ministers today.
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
The UL Hospitals Group has been accused of not taking complaints about anti-abortion protests outside the gates of Limerick Maternity Hospital seriously.
A Christian wedding photographer who sued the state of New York rather than take photos at gay weddings has lost her case.
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
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.
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.
Girls are barred from school, women can't work. But too much reporting and diplomacy fails to note their absence, says Emma Graham-Harrison.
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
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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