A street preacher in the U.K. has been awarded £13,000 ($21,664) by the local police after he was arrested for preaching against homosexuality in September 2011.
The Greater Manchester Police Department recently reached a settlement out of court with John Craven, a 57-year-old street preacher who frequented Market Street in Manchester, U.K., twice a week in 2011, where he would preach the Bible to passersby.
In one incident on September 17, 2011, Craven was reportedly preaching on Market Street when two young gay men asked what his thoughts on same-sex marriage were. The preacher reportedly responded, "Whilst God hates sin He loves the sinner." According to Craven's report of the incident, then two young men the reportedly began to taunt him by kissing in front of him and mimicking suggestive acts. They then reported Craven to a local police constable and the preacher was arrested for "public order offenses." more >>
Persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern asked why U.S. President Barack Obama failed to talk religious freedom with Saudi Arabia King Abdullah during his visit last week, after identifying the issue as a key component of U.S. foreign policy at the National Prayer Breakfast in February.
"This visit was an excellent opportunity for the president to speak up on an issue that affects millions of Saudi citizens and millions more foreign workers living in Saudi Arabia," said ICC Middle East Regional Manager Todd Daniels in a statement Saturday.
"Only last month the president clearly stated that promoting religious freedom is a key objective of American foreign policy, and then reaffirmed that opinion in remarks following his meeting with Pope Francis on Thursday, according to the White House. On top of this, 70 members of Congress specifically asked him to publicly address the issue, as well as other human rights concerns, with King Abdullah today. How, despite all of this, the president could stay completely silent about religious freedom during his meeting is remarkable." more >>
On Friday, March 28, in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, including by opening fire on it and setting parked cars aflame. Four people died.
One of the slain, a young Coptic woman, was savagely mauled and molested before being murdered-simply because her cross identified her as a Christian to the Brotherhood rioters.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in the Hobby Lobby case to decide whether a business that provides health-care insurance to its employees can be forced to include abortifacients in its coverage. Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the Obamacare mandate of providing abortifacients.
Hobby Lobby is a family-owned arts and crafts store, run by Christians based out of Oklahoma. The family has devoted itself to Christian mission work, and Christian music is played over the loudspeakers in its stores. The owners are not Catholic, and aren't even objecting to providing contraceptives, it is solely the abortifacients that they have a problem providing, believing that a fertilized embryo is a human life that must be protected. Conestoga Wood Specialties, also owned by Christians, is part of the lawsuit.
There is no legitimate concern, and it's frankly a waste of taxpayers' money that this has to go to court. In today's Internet society, any woman can purchase dirt-cheap abortifacients online without a prescription, or from Planned Parenthood and other women's clinics for free or low cost. They can also take an increased dosage of contraceptives to act as an abortifacient, since that is all abortifacients are. There is zero reason to force an employer to include abortifacients in coverage. Most health insurance through an employer includes co-pay, and since abortifacients have been made so commonplace, women are probably better off finding it discounted somewhere else. Employees of Hobby Lobby also have the option to choose Obamacare instead of their employer's health insurance. more >>
The Bible Society has been banned from placing a 50-foot, inflatable whale in a park near England's Tower Bridge to represent the biblical story of Jonah and the whale.
The Potters Fields Park Management Trust recently denied the U.K.-based Bible Society's request to erect the inflatable whale at London's Potters Fields Park. The whale was going to serve as a place where children could see actors re-enact the Old Testament story of a whale swallowing the prophet Jonah, and the attraction was to stay in the park during the summer months while children were out of school.
As the Bible Society states on its website, the giant inflatable whale was used at Potters Fields Park before as part of an unrelated pirate exhibit. The Christian group, which seeks to spread Bible education in schools, media, and politics, was hoping to erect the giant whale exhibit as part of its Pass It On campaign that encourages parents to teach their children stories from the Bible. more >>
A county commissioner in Carroll County, Md., disobeyed a judge's recent injunction on Thursday when she opened an official budget meeting with a sectarian prayer, saying she'd rather go to jail than give up her First Amendment rights to freedom of religion.
Carroll County Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier opened Thursday's budget meeting by referencing the recent injunction granted by U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr., who earlier this week ruled that Carroll County commissioners are prohibited from using "the name of a specific deity associated with any specific faith or belief" during pre-meeting prayers. Quarles said in his ruling that the commission may now only say non-sectarian prayers.
The injunction was granted as several Carroll County residents, along with the American Humanist Association, proceed with a civil lawsuit against the county for its pre-meeting sectarian prayers, arguing that they are official "government speech" and therefore a violation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause. more >>