The annual report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom shows that 12 of the 17 nations with the worst record of religious freedom are Islamic or Muslim-majority countries.
USCIRF, an independent federal government advisory body, has recommended that the State Department add eight more nations and retain nine existing nations to its list of "countries of particular concern," or CPCs, where particularly severe violations of religious freedom are perpetrated or tolerated.
Of the eight new additions to the CPC list, seven are Islamic or Muslim-majority nations: Central African Republic, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria and Tajikistan. The other nation is Vietnam. more >>
An atheist organization in Pennsylvania has filed a lawsuit against a local transit system over its refusal to run advertisements that promote "the non-existence of a supreme deity."
The transit system claims that it has refused to run the ads that include the word "atheist" because such issues are contentious and could lead to hostile debates in a "confined space like the inside of a bus."
Former Florida governor and potential Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush stated that Christians in America and abroad should have protection to act upon their beliefs.
In a speech at a major Hispanic evangelical gathering, the former Florida governor shared his thoughts on religious liberty and other issues.
"There is no more powerful or liberating influence on this earth than the Christian conscience in action and today in America it is important to respect and to protect Christians acting on their faith," said Bush. more >>
GoFundMe, an online fundraising website, has taken down the donation webpage for 70-year-old Christian grandma-florist Barronelle Stutzman, who is at risk of losing her flower shop and life savings after she declined to work a same-sex wedding because of her Christian beliefs.
After GoFundMe caved to LGBT-activist pressure and shut down another fundraising page earlier this week that supported the Oregon bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which was court ordered to pay $135,000 to a gay couple after declining to bake a cake for their wedding, TheBlaze's Dana Loesch tweeted on Monday that GoFundMe discreetly removed Stutzman's campaign from its site, which had been operating for about two months.
Stutzman, who owns Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, was ruled guilty of violating the state's anti-discrimination ordinance in late March, and was ordered to pay a fine of $1,001 and is also liable for paying court costs and legal fees incurred by the same-sex couple. more >>
As the Supreme Court's oral arguments on whether states should be constitutionally obligated to issue same-sex marriage licenses adjourned Tuesday afternoon, Heritage Foundation's Ryan Anderson said in a news conference outside the building that the likely swing vote justice, Anthony Kennedy, was "not persuaded" by LGBT arguments.
As many are predicting the Supreme Court's decision in June to come down to a narrow 5-4 vote, Justice Kennedy has been pegged again as the justice who is likely to decide which way the court leans in making the tough decision on whether the 14th Amendment requires states to uphold same-sex marriages and validate same-sex marriage licenses given out by other states.
Kennedy pointed out in the hearing that "one of the problems" in this case is that the traditional man-woman definition of marriage has been the norm for "millennia," while the LGBT definition of marriage as being a union between two loving and consenting adults has only existed inside the United States for a decade, as Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in June 2004. more >>
A Christian print shop owner who refused to print pro-LGBT T-shirts in 2012 has the constitutional right not to print messages that conflict with his Christian beliefs, a Kentucky court ruled on Monday.
After Blaine Adamson, the managing owner of a Lexington print shop called Hands on Originals, refused to print T-shirts for Lexington's 2012 gay pride festival, he was found to be guilty of discrimination by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission last year, even though doing so would have violated his religious conviction. Additionally, the print shop was ordered to serve future requests from LGBT activists.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal advocacy group that defends the right of Christian expression, came to HOO's aid and filed an appeal of the decision. Fayette Circuit Court Judge James D. Ishmael Jr. reversed the Human Rights Commission's decision on Monday and stated the commission went above its statutory authority in siding with the LGBT legal group, the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington. more >>