A conservative Christian couple from Northern Ireland who recently lost their appeal against a ruling that deemed their refusal to make a cake that read "support gay marriage" to be discriminatory, have said their faith in God remains unshakable and those who accuse them of homophobia do not understand their argument.
"We're disappointed with the way it went. They didn't consider how much our conscience affects us as Christians, in how we run our business, but we still believe that God is in control," Daniel McArthur of Ashers Baking Company said, according to Sky News.
He added that those who call them "homophobic" don't grasp their argument. more >>
The Roman Catholic Church has issued new rules for Christians when it comes to burying the dead, saying that while it's not opposed to the practice of cremation, it doesn't support the scattering of ashes in nature or keeping them at home, as it fears it might be linked to pantheism.
The Vatican released an English-language translation of its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith instructions earlier this week, where it specifically prohibits the scattering of ashes on land or at sea, as well as keeping remains in private homes.
The document notes that while the Church recommends burying the bodies of the dead, it recognized that the practice of cremation has increased in many countries. more >>
Christian parents in the U.K. are taking legal action against their local council authority after it undermined their parental rights and sided with their 14-year-old daughter who says she wants to transition to become a boy.
The Daily Mail reports that the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told local council officials that she wants to start transitioning to look like a boy. The parents have said that she is too young to be making such decisions, however, and will be meeting with teachers and social workers next month to discuss how the girl should be addressed and treated at school.
The Christian Legal Centre, which will be funding the legal costs for the parents, blamed the "transgender cultural movement" for creating what it called a new "conflict of rights" within the family. more >>
A number of Protestant churches in Austria have slammed a right-wing politician for using God's name in a campaign slogan, arguing that God shouldn't be used as a means to attack other people and cultures.
"God cannot be manipulated for personal intentions or political purposes," declared the joint statement of Protestant leaders as read by Bishop Michael Buenker.
"We consider that mentioning God for one's own political interests and using Him along with reference to the Christian West to indirectly attack other religions and cultures amounts to an abuse of His name and of religion in general," the statement continued, according to BBC News. more >>
The Christian owners of an Irish bakery who were found guilty of discrimination and fined £500 last year over their refusal to bake a pro-gay marriage cake because it would have violated their religious beliefs lost their appeal on Monday.
A three-judge appeals court in Belfast upheld a lower court's ruling that Daniel and Amy McArthur, the owners of Ashers Bakery in Belfast, were guilty of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and asserted that despite the family's religious beliefs, businesses are not allowed to refuse services that they willingly offer to the public when certain messages contradict with their deeply-held convictions.
"Thus the supplier may provide the particular service to all or to none but not to a selection of customers based on prohibited grounds. In the present case the appellants might elect not to provide a service that involves any religious or political message," the court wrote in its ruling. "What they may not do is provide a service that only reflects their own political or religious message in relation to sexual orientation." more >>
A county administration in south Sweden is considering giving state-financed driving licenses and housing grants to those Swedish Islamic State fighters who have returned to the country after fighting for the terror group in Iraq and Syria, saying it would help them reintegrate into society.
Around 140 Swedish nationals have been identified as having returned to their home country after fighting for Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, according to the U.K.'s Daily Express newspaper.
The returnees are from various counties and many of these counties have debated giving incentives to them for their reintegration, but Lund County wants to implement the idea. more >>