A U.S. Federal District Court has fined Mississippi's third largest public school district $7,500 after a minister opened up a districtwide honors assembly with a prayer invocation, an act that violated a 2013 court settlement that ordered the district to stop "proselytizing Christianity."
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves has for the second time ordered the Rankin County School District to stop allowing prayers to be held at school events. The judge has also banned the distribution of Bibles on school campuses.
The school district was ordered to pay a student plaintiff from Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood, who was represented by the American Humanist Association, $2,500 because the student attended an assembly at Brandon High School in May 2014 that began with a prayer led by local Methodist pastor the Rev. Rob Gill. more >>
A Hindu nationalist organization has converted 39 people from Dalit Christian families to Hinduism in a controversial ceremony aimed at making them eligible for a government benefits program.
"We are moving ahead with our initiative and more families from other religions will be reconverted to Hinduism soon. We are being approached by many people who want to come back to their original faith," said Viswha Hindu Parishad Alappuzha District Chief Prathap G Padickal, according to the Times of India.
The "ghar wapsi" programme in Kerala's Alappuzha district previously oversaw another 30 Dalit Christians convert to Hinduism in December 2014. more >>
An 18-year-old student from an academic institution in Wisconsin has accused a professor of forcing her to omit references to the Bible for a class assignment.
University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County Professor Annette Kuhlman is guilty of religious discrimination for not allowing biblical references in a sociology project, student Rachel Langeberg claims.
An appeals court has ruled against a Catholic order of nuns in their lawsuit against the Obama administration's birth control mandate.
The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday against the Little Sisters of the Poor, concluding that having to fill out a form requesting that an another party provide insurance for contraceptives does not violate the order's religious liberty.
"Although we recognize and respect the sincerity of Plaintiffs' beliefs and arguments, we conclude the accommodation scheme relieves Plaintiffs of their obligations under the Mandate and does not substantially burden their religious exercise under RFRA or infringe upon their First Amendment rights," read the Tenth Circuit's decision. more >>
Conservative organizations remain concerned about the religious liberty implications of the Department of Health and Human Services' birth control mandate following the release of the mandate final rules.
The Family Research Council, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C., denounced the final rules immediately following their release last Friday.
FRC Legislative Assistant Jamie Dangers stated that the HHS "is offering a variation of an old accounting gimmick which still mandates that the Little Sisters of the Poor, Notre Dame, and many other religious non-profits offer coverage with objectionable benefits." more >>
Two Baptist universities in Texas and a Pennsylvania-based seminary are taking their lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services' birth control mandate all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Houston Baptist University, East Texas Baptist University, and Westminster Theological Seminary filed an appeal on Wednesday with the Supreme Court seeking exemption from the HHS mandate.
"Petitioners are two religious colleges and a theological seminary that provide generous healthcare plans to their employees. Those plans include free access to fourteen different kinds of contraceptives," reads the petition for appeal. more >>