The convictions of 16 Amish men and women in Ohio found guilty of beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow members of their faith have been overturned by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Appeals Court determined that the jury in the case was given incorrect instructions on how to deliberate the role of religion in the attacks, documents from the case state.
"No one questions that the assaults occurred, and only a few defendants question their participation in them. The central issue at trial was whether the defendants committed the assaults 'because of' the religion of the victims," the decision from the Appeals Court read. "When all is said and done, considerable evidence supported the defendants' theory that interpersonal and intrafamily disagreements, not the victims' religious beliefs, sparked the attacks." more >>
A New York town whose unofficial prayer policy was successfully defended before the U.S. Supreme Court has adopted a formal invocation policy for its monthly board meetings.
Town of Greece voted last week to adopt the formal policy, having had an informal policy wherein people could pray sectarian invocations before the beginning of the board's public meeting.
Brian Marianetti, attorney for Town of Greece, told The Christian Post that the invocation policy was approved by the board on Aug. 19 in response to the increased attention Greece got due to the controversy over its prayers. more >>
Todd Daniels, Regional Manager for the Middle East of International Christian Concern, has cautioned that Qatar's role in recent hostage rescue missions, as well as its relationships with ISIS and the Nusra Front, could be worrying.
The role in missions "should not overshadow the concerns about Qatar's foreign policy in the region and their role in providing support to groups that are engaged in terrorist activities. The ability to mediate in these situations demonstrates the links that Qatar has to these groups … it raises serious concerns about what kind of support Qatar has given to these groups that grants them leverage to arrange the release of hostages," Daniels told The Christian Post.
The state of Qatar is currently working to help free four American hostages being held in Syria. more >>
A Satanic group that is scheduled to perform a "black mass" in Oklahoma City next month has returned some consecrated communion bread to the Catholic Church.
Last week, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City filed a lawsuit against the group, claiming that their acquisition of the Eucharist could have only been via theft.
Filed Wednesday in Oklahoma County District Court, the lawsuit described the host as being the product of only the "sacred ritual" of Catholic mass and consecrated by an "ordained priest." more >>
"Zionist" is not a term I would use to describe myself, at least, not before last Tuesday. As I found myself huddled and shaking in a bomb shelter along the Israel/Gaza Strip border as missiles fired overhead, my perspective started to change.
Last week, I participated in a "Solidarity with Israel" trip hosted by the National Religious Broadcasters and hosted by the nation's Ministry of Tourism. The trip served not only as a pilgrimage of personal faith renewal, but my life-changing encounter with a nation I have always supported but never fully understood why. Until now.
Tours of Jerusalem's Old City were thrilling, the delicious Middle East foods were unending, and the Israelis I met were warm and welcoming to everyone who came in peace. As I stood on a balcony overlooking Jerusalem, I cried as my visual senses absorbed the Garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives reminding me of the ransom Jesus Christ had paid for my sins. more >>
Some religious freedom advocates have raised concerns that the Barack Obama administration's recent changes to the Health and Human Services Department's "preventive services" mandate have not adequately addressed their religious freedom concerns.
In light of recent major court defeats, HHS will now allow for-profit employers to contact the government directly for an exemption rather than a third party.
Last week, the federal government released a document about new "interim final regulations" regarding exemptions to the HHS mandate for entities to provide birth control coverage to their employees. more >>