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8 years ago
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8 years ago

WASHINGTON – In a case that pits nondiscrimination policies against freedom of religion, the Supreme Court is grappling with whether universities and colleges can deny official recognition to Christian student groups that refuse to let non-Christians and gays join.

The high court was to hear arguments Monday from the Christian Legal Society at the University of California's Hastings College of the Law. The Christian group said its constitutional freedoms of speech, religion and association were violated when it was denied recognition as a student group by the San Francisco-based school.

The group has made this argument at several universities around the nation with mixed results. The high court's decision could set a national standard for universities and colleges to follow when Christian and other groups that want to exclude certain people apply for money and recognition from the school.

8 years ago
s there a difference between "freedom of religion" and "freedom of worship"? Some advocates for international religious freedom are monitoring what they fear is a change in the language being used by Obama administration officials.  They are concerned that the broad emphasis on spreading "freedom of religion," which the President used when he spoke in Cairo last June, is being subtly replaced by the more limited concept of "freedom of worship."  Read more >>
8 years ago

DENVER – A watchdog group objected Tuesday to an evangelist's invitation to speak at the Pentagon next month, saying his past description of Islam as "evil" offended Muslims who work for the Department of Defense and the appearance should be canceled.

Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said inviting evangelist Franklin Graham to speak May 6, the National Day of Prayer, "would be like bringing someone in on national prayer day madly denigrating Christianity" or other religious groups.

It would also endanger American troops by stirring up Muslim extremists, Weinstein said.

Graham is the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham and president and CEO of both Samaritan's Purse, a Christian international relief organization in Boone, N.C., and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, in Charlotte, N.C.

8 years ago
AP – Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, speaks about letters her group …

MADISON, Wis. – To pray or not to pray? That's the issue government leaders across the country are facing after a federal judge ruled that the National Day of Prayer set for May 6 was unconstitutional.

The ruling can't take effect until all appeals are exhausted, but that's not stopping atheists and prayer advocates from firing off letters, e-mails and even planning to put up billboards to convince state and local leaders across the country to see things their way.

Nothing's changing in Topeka, Kan., says Mayor Bill Bunten.

"Some of these judges have lost their way," Bunten said. "Every day is a day of prayer in most Kansas lives, whether they are Christian or Muslim or Jewish or whatever, and to say that a prayer day is illegal is just ridiculous. That judge better go back and read some history about how this country was formed. Next thing you know we won't be able to sing 'God Bless America.'"

The ruling raised a furor among religious advocacy groups, who say the day has become an American tradition. And the announcement this week by President Barack Obama's administration that it would appeal galvanized atheists, who are trying to persuade officials not to attend local events. Their campaigns illustrate the persistent tensions over any combination of religion and government.

Congress established a national prayer day in 1952 and in 1988 set the first Thursday in May as the official day for presidents to issue proclamations asking Americans to pray. Many state and local officials follow suit on that day.

Two years ago, the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation sued the federal government, alleging the day violated the separation of church and state. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled April 15 that the day amounts to a call to religious action. She included a caveat, though, that said her ruling would have no effect until all appeals are exhausted.

8 years ago

June 10, 2010

Dear Donna

"…And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” 
- Matthew 10:22

Urgent Call to Prayer for Afghanistan

Devastating reports have been released from various news agencies that a member of the Afghan government has called for the public execution of Christian converts from Islam. This is in response to a video broadcast by the Afghan television network Noorin TV, which showed footage of Christian men being baptized and praying. The deputy secretary of the Afghani parliament said, "Those Afghans that appeared in [the footage] should be executed in public.” The video clip, along with inflammatory statements against the Christian faith, has repeatedly been broadcast on different television stations.

According to Afghan law, proselytizing is illegal and conversion from Islam is punishable by death. Many Afghan followers of Jesus have been frightened by these events and have gone into hiding while others have fled. Afghan Christians want the world to know about their situation, that in a country, where they have few rights and no voice, they want their voice to be heard. They are asking for our prayers.

Father, we plead with You to intervene on behalf of the Christians in Afghanistan. Please provide protection over current Afghan believers, as well as those who are coming to know You right now. We ask that this call for Christian executions would be reversed and that Your hand of justice will be in the midst of all government decisions. We know that You are sovereign, and we thank You for your abounding love on those who call upon You.


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