In the weeks since New Zealand passed legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage in the country, a pro-family charity in the country was notified that it will lose its charitable status because it offered support for traditional marriage.
The New Zealand charity, Family First NZ, was recently notified that it will lose its charitable status by the end of the month unless it appeals the decision.
Representatives for the group have claimed the move is solely political, aimed at quieting voices that advocate the maintaining the traditional notion of the family structure and silencing those who disagree with the current popular political culture. more >>
Saeed Abedini, the U.S. pastor imprisoned in Tehran, turned 33 years old on Tuesday, but there was little to celebrate as he found himself still in solitary confinement in one of Iran's most brutal prisons.
"With tightness in my throat, pain in my heart, and tears streaming down my face ... so very weak, I promise to stand strong in the strength of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ fighting with every strength of my being until you are united to our family again," the pastor's wife, Naghmeh, wrote in a statement posted by The American Center for Law and Justice.
"I will be a voice, where you are being silenced. I will be hands and feet where you are being bound and in chains. That the whole world would know, that the whole world would hear that Jesus is Lord. We are so proud of you. Hang in there. Hold on tight to Jesus. You have many brothers and sisters praying for you and standing with you." more >>
Public school students who've endured ridicule for their Christian beliefs created a newly released video, titled "The Thaw," in which they ask, "Why can't I pray in school? Why am I called names because I believe in marriage the way God designed it? Why can't Tim Tebow praise God after making a touchdown without causing a national uproar?"
These questions, and many others, are posed by Christian students who've experienced censorship from teachers and even bullying from classmates who ostracize them for their biblical worldview on marriage and the right to life.
Gary Brown, founder of Reach America, a national education organization based in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that one of the motivating factors that spurred the creation of the video happened last year, when a public school teacher asked students to write an essay, titled "I Believe," without using the names God or Jesus Christ in their papers. more >>
The Southern Baptist Convention issued a joint statement Monday urging Christians to avoid sensationalism and misrepresentations, while also raising issues of concern regarding recent reports that the U.S. military may be violating the religious freedom of Christians.
"We reject any and all attempts to sensationalize or misrepresent situations, in this or any other context. Having said that, we are concerned," the statement says. "While rejecting any conspiracy theory linking the reports above, we believe there are in some of these cases elements that are indicative of a troubling lack of respect for true religious diversity in our military. Furthermore, problematic attempts in some sectors of the military to compromise the free exercise of religion have given a sense of plausibility when other such reports emerge, even when those reports are not grounded in fact."
The impetus for the statement was four separate recent incidents: 1) In a presentation at a U.S. Army training briefing, evangelical Christians were listed alongside other religious sects and the terrorist group al-Qaida under the heading "Religious Extremism." 2) The Southern Baptist Convention's website was blocked on military bases. 3) U.S. military officials met with Mikey Weinstein, who has made anti-Christian inflammatory remarks, on religious issues in the military. And 4) military spokespersons announced that Christian soldiers could be punished for "proselytization." more >>
A joint statement from the Sothern Baptist's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission North American Missions Board has been issued on religious freedom on the military.
Following the recent reports about a potential court martial for proselytizing, a virulent atheist military consultant, and "extremism" claims, many were wondering what problem was coming next. Were our chaplains about to be handed a copy of Good Housekeeping or Psychology Today in place of their own sacred book?
Two national religious leaders, Russell Moore of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and Kevin Ezell of the North American Mission Board, have issued the following statement. This is an excerpt: more >>
Ten out of the 15 countries with the worst religious freedom abuses are Muslim nations, according to the recently released U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) 2013 Annual Report, which identifies the status of religious freedom throughout the world, and cites countries that are the least tolerant of religious freedom.
The 15 most intolerant countries, identified as "countries of particular concern" (CPCs), cited in this year's report are: Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tasjikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. Of these, ten are Muslim countries.
The nearly 400-page report details a range of human rights violations occurring in these countries. more >>