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Stories tagged with: religious liberty

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  • Still jailed in Turkey, Brunson gave 'bold' witness

    by David Roach, posted Thursday, July 19, 2018 (3 days ago)

    Submitted photo
    ALIAGA, Turkey (BP) -- American pastor Andrew Brunson's continued imprisonment in Turkey following a July 18 court hearing is probably an act of political maneuvering rather than Islamic persecution, two Islamic studies professors say.

    Resurgent conservative Islam in Turkey is, however, part of the background, the professors say, that led to Brunson's October 2016 arrest and subsequent imprisonment over what religious liberty watchdogs have called unfounded charges of terrorism and espionage.

    "I am not in a position to speculate on why Brunson (as opposed to other Americans, who are permitted to practice their Christianity freely in Turkey) was arrested," said Ant Greenham, associate professor of missions and Islamic studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. "False accusations seem to have played a role. However, [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan is now in a position of greater strength, following the lifting of [a] state of emergency" July 18. Read More

  • Federal court protects liberty, life in Texas case

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, July 18, 2018 (4 days ago)

    Screen capture from YouTube
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- A federal appeals court ruling that protects a church's internal communications buttressed both religious freedom and defense of the unborn, according to the Southern Baptist Convention's church-state entity.

    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans reversed July 15 a federal judge's order requiring the Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops of Texas to turn over their private deliberations on what they describe as doctrinal and moral issues.

    Though the case involved the Catholic Church, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) had said in a friend-of-the-court brief a failure to vacate the order would also endanger the religious freedom of Southern Baptist and other congregationally governed churches. Read More

  • Attorney under fire while defending religious freedom

    by Harvest Prude/WORLD , posted Thursday, July 12, 2018 (10 days ago)

    Facebook photo.
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (BP) -- An Alaska law firm representing a Christian women's shelter is defending itself from a complaint brought by the same municipal agency suing the shelter. The case raises a question: Will lawyers come under fire for defending religious clients accused of discrimination?

    The Anchorage Equal Rights Commission (AERC) previously sued the Downtown Hope Center, a women's only homeless shelter, for not admitting a man who identified as transgender. On Jan. 26, police dropped off Timothy Coyle -- who goes by Samantha Coyle -- at the center after another ... Read More

  • Experts: Guarded hope for owners' religious liberty

    by Tom Strode, posted Friday, July 06, 2018 (16 days ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Business owners can move forward in the wake of recent Supreme Court decisions with guarded hope in their battle to practice their faith convictions in the marketplace, religious liberty advocates say.

    When the high court ruled June 4 in favor of a Colorado cake artist, it sent a promising -- though not conclusive -- signal to others whose businesses have been harmed or threatened by state or local government actions.

    In their 7-2 decision, the justices ruled the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated the religious free exercise clause of the First Amendment and demonstrated in its action "religious hostility" toward Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, a Christian who had declined to design and decorate a cake in celebration of the wedding of two men. Read More

  • FOURTH OF JULY: My favorite holiday

    by Daryl C. Cornett, posted Tuesday, July 03, 2018 (20 days ago)

    Daryl C. Cornett enjoys all the "red, white and blue" of the Fourth of July while also seeing it as an "opportunity for important spiritual perspective and reflection." Read More

  • UN-related religious liberty committee led by ADF rep

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, July 02, 2018 (20 days ago)

    NEW YORK (BP) -- Days after the U.S. withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council of 47 nations, a U.S. attorney has been named head of a multifaith nongovernmental group advising the U.N. on religious freedoms globally.

    Alliance Defending Freedom International's Kelsey Zorzi began serving June 28 as president of the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, formed in 1991 to advocate for international agreements upholding such freedoms from within U.N. headquarters in New York. Read More

  • Court ruling to help Christian teachers, supporters say

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, June 27, 2018 (25 days ago)

    iStock
    WASHINGTON (BP)-- Christians and other teachers in public schools, as well as the school-choice movement, stand to benefit from the U.S. Supreme Court's decision today (June 27) that public-sector unions may not require fees from nonmembers, supporters of the ruling say.

    In a 5-4 opinion, the high court ruled against such mandates by government and public-sector unions and overturned a 41-year-old Supreme Court decision in the process. The justices decided such a requirement on workers who refuse to join the union is a violation of free-speech protections in the First Amendment.

    "States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees," Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the court's opinion. Read More

  • Kennedy's departure opens 2nd seat for Trump to fill

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, June 27, 2018 (25 days ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced his retirement effective July 31, ending 30 years of service that began with his 1988 confirmation in the Ronald Reagan administration.

    Kennedy's resignation opens a second seat for President Donald Trump to fill. In 2017, Congress amended rules to allow confirmation of justices by a simple majority vote, enabling the appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch.

    Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore noted the gravity of the upcoming appointment. Read More

  • Cake baker's 7-2 SCOTUS win affirms religious liberty

    by Tom Strode, posted Monday, June 04, 2018 (one month ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court delivered an important, if not wide-ranging, victory for religious liberty Monday (June 4) in its continuing faceoff with sexual liberty.

    In a 7-2 opinion, a high court majority that included conservatives and liberals ruled the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated the religious free exercise clause of the First Amendment by penalizing Jack Phillips for declining to design and decorate a cake for the wedding of two men. The commission demonstrated "religious hostility" toward Phillips in its action, the justices said in a decision on one of multiple court ... Read More

  • Free speech fight returns to the University of Mich.

    by Bonnie Pritchett/WORLD , posted Thursday, May 17, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Photo from umich.edu
    ANN ARBOR, Mich. (BP) -- A new student organization stepping into the college campus free speech fight has sued the University of Michigan over its speech code. In a lawsuit filed May 8, Speech First alleges the University of Michigan's "vaguely worded" speech code protects hearers' sensibilities at the expense of speakers' constitutional right to free speech.

    The lawsuit marks the first in what could be a series of legal battles brought by the group against offending campuses, Speech First president Nicole Neily said. Read More