The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud at 90 years of age early Friday is being mourned by thousands of gatherers in Riyadh. U.S. President Barack Obama praised the leader for his "enduring contribution" in the search for peace, though Saudi Arabia remains a country with one of the worst religious freedom records in the world.
"We will, with God's will and power, adhere to the straight path this country followed since its establishment by King Abdulaziz and his sons after him, and will not deviate at all from it, since our constitution is the book of Allah (Quran) and the teachings of prophet Mohammed," said his brother, 79-year-old Salman bin Abdulaziz, who has been appointed as successor to the throne.
CNN noted that Abdullah had been suffering for weeks from pneumonia, though the royal court has not yet released an exact cause for his death. Funeral services for the king are to be held later on Friday at Riyadh's Imam Turki Bin Abdullah Grand Mosque. more >>
A state-funded free Christian school in the United Kingdom will be forced to shut down after government inspectors deemed the school "inadequate" and claimed that the school's students displayed "discriminatory views" toward people of other faiths.
After the British government created new guidelines for how school inspectors rated schools, inspectors were told to evaluate schools, in their annual Ofsted inspection reports, on how school's promote "British values."
After inspectors visited the Durham Free School, which educates 94 students aged 11 to 13, last November, it was deemed that the school did not meet the required standards for just about every aspect of the inspection: leadership and management, behaviour and safety, quality of teaching and achievement of pupils. more >>
WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of people from across the United States and abroad gathered at National Mall for the annual March for Life. The large gathering calling for the advancement of the pro-life cause in America took place as the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives gave the demonstrators a mixed message.
While the lower House of Congress passed a bill to strip abortion providers of taxpayer funds, called the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act, they delayed a vote on a ban for abortions performed twenty weeks after fertilization, known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Rick Santorum, former Republican member of the U.S. Senate and participant in the March for Life, told The Christian Post that he was happy with the vote to approve the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act. more >>
Saudi Arabia and the Islamic State terrorist group have a nearly identical justice system in their interpretation of Shariah law and the use of capital punishment, according to a Middle Eastern news site.
Known as Middle East Eye, the news site posted a chart on Twitter Tuesday noting the similarities between the legal code of the Saudi Kingdom and ISIS.
Several weeks ago, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and American Renewal Project's founder David Lane invited 100,000 ministers to consider running for elected office in 2016. From becoming a city council or school board member, to becoming a county commissioner, mayor, or state legislator, pastors, Lane argues can contribute positively to their communities-- both in and out of the pulpit.
Lane hopes ministers will consider how they can influence and raise up the next generation of America's leaders. "There is great need today for wise leaders like the men of Issachar from the Old Testament," Lane says, references 1 Chron. 12:32 in the Bible.
In response to their invitation, several hundred ministers will attend American Renewal's first Public Policy event for ministers in Baton Rouge on January 23rd. The goal is to encourage and equip pastors by hearing from politicians and political operatives as well as other ministers who have run for political office. Lane hopes to prepare 1,000 ministers this year to run for office in 2016. more >>
"It is the test of good religion," G. K. Chesterton wrote, "whether you can joke about it." If the reactions of religion's proponents is any judge, Judaism and Christianity fair pretty well. Islam—at least a large segment of Islam—doesn't think its very funny.
Of course no practicing Jew, Christian, or Muslim considers the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo as funny. At best their cartoons are sophomoric, at worst pornographic. Anyone familiar with the paper knows its stock-in-trade is poking a stick in religion's eye, hoping to rid French society of God. The way they've chosen to do this is through what they purport to be satire—though it's hardly Jonathan Swift.
Webster defines satire as "a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn." Charlie Hebdo has mastered the art of ridicule and scorn. But their judgment that all religions, particularly the three great religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, are merely "human vices and follies" is imbecilic. Some lunatic practices and practitioners of these religions no doubt are worthy of mockery and contempt, but to consider the totality of these religions as wicked or foolish is a gross misunderstanding of these faiths and a deliberate distortion of history. more >>