Hollywood film star Brad Pitt acknowledged in a recent interview that he considers himself to be an atheist and does not adhere to religion despite being raised in a strict, conservative, Southern Baptist household in Missouri.
Pitt, who was raised by his Baptist father, Bill, and mother, Jane, described his early childhood life during an interview with The Telegraph.
The 51-year-old Pitt explained that at an early age, he was instilled "with all the Christian guilt about what you can and cannot, should and shouldn't do." more >>
Just last month, Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy was suspended for praying on the 50-yard line after games — something he's been doing since 2008. Apparently, the school claimed that Kennedy's personal prayer was in violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause because it would appear that a public institution was endorsing a particular religion.
In the Bremerton School District's statement on Coach Kennedy, the school district stated that his "conduct poses a genuine risk that the District will be liable for violating the federal and state constitutional rights of students or others."
But last month, the deafening sounds of brutality in Paris, France, if only for a moment, have silenced prayer opposition. As scenes of bloodshed and the murder of innocent civilians panned across our television screens, prayers seemed to be the only appropriate words to utter. After the horrific tragedy, we saw expressions of solidarity like #PrayForParis or the NFL's loosened regulations on public display. more >>
Two Coptic Christian brothers were kidnapped and executed by suspected Islamic State extremists earlier this month in Western Libya after being lured in with the promise of employment.
According to the prominent U.S.-based Christian persecution monitoring agency International Christian Concern, 37 year-old Wasfy Bakhit Gad Mikhail, his brother, 31-year-old Sabry Bakhit and their younger brother, 27-year-old Fahmy Bakhit migrated to Misrata, Libya, over a year-and-a-half ago in hopes of finding better employment opportunities to provide for their families in Upper Egypt.
As the men sought employment in construction, Wasfy received a phone call from a Libyan man on Nov. 6. asking him if he would be able to put a concrete roof on a building. more >>
An Egyptian mother of two was brutally murdered by her Muslim family members after she married a Coptic Christian man, converted to Christianity and left her hometown, Egyptian news sites are reporting.
According to Eshhad, an online clearinghouse for religious persecution violations in Egypt, Marwa Ahmed left her home and family in Tamiyyah, Faiyum at the age of 23, to marry a Coptic Christian man and convert to Christianity. The couple then moved to Alexandria where Ahmed gave birth to two children, a son and daughter.
The 26-year-old Ahmed and her husband returned to Tamiyyah this month to visit her husband's family. Eshhad reports that Ahmed's father tried to hide his daughter at her brother's house in Qalubiyah to protect her from her uncle. more >>
A persecution watchdog group has said that local government authorities in a village in Mexico are threatening to kick out 158 Protestant Christians from their community, who have already faced years of persecution and forced starvation.
International Christian Concern reported that officials from the village of Mariano Matamoros have threatened the Protestant Christians in the small Chiapas community, giving them a deadline of November 30 to either reconvert back to Roman Catholicism, or face expulsion.
ICC Advocacy Director Isaac Six noted in a press release that Mexico has ignored rising tensions among religious communities in rural areas for decades. more >>
Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, has said before a committee on racial discrimination that American states need to stop limiting low-income minority children from better educational opportunities.
"As a product of Catholic schools, I can personally attest to the life-changing academic and formative opportunities that they offered to me — opportunities that, without equal access to public education funding — are not available to most low-income families today," Gregory said on Tuesday at a meeting with members of the Geneva, Switzerland-based United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The Archbishop pointed a finger at the so-called Blaine amendments to state constitutions, which he said are getting in the way of low- and middle-income African-American and Latino families securing better educational opportunities. more >>