The Apple Corporation has recently pulled from its iTunes store a mobile app created by Setting Captives Free, a nondenominational ministry which offers free courses aimed at helping users battle "habitual sins," such as sexual impurity, substance abuse, self-injury, and gambling.
The app was pulled by Apple following protest over one of the courses, titled "Door of Hope," seeks to free users from "the bondage of homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ and the cross!"
"If you will apply the biblical principles found here, you can walk through the Door of Hope into a new life with Christ, free from sexual impurity and self-gratification," the course description reads. more >>
Egyptian rights activists expressed their resentment over the ruling by the South Cairo Court to suspend the investigations into the Maspero massacre. The massacre, which led to the death of 24 Copts in October of 2011, took place during a peaceful demonstration to protest a demolished church in Aswan.
Dr. Mounir Megahed, coordinator for Egyptians Against Religious Discrimination (MARED), told Mideast Christian News that he could not see the merits of this ruling and that the decision undermines the judicial process.
Megahed added that the situation of Copts is no different under President Mohamed Morsi than it was before the "Arab Spring" revolution. The Mubarak regime used sectarian tensions to serve its own interests and the Brotherhood adopts the same approach, he said. more >>
WASHINGTON – Freedom of religion in 2013 can best be described as an endangered species, argued the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, at the Ethics and Public Policy Center's 2013 National Religious Freedom Conference Thursday in Washington, D.C. He urged those in attendance, representing many different faith communities, to "rise up" and defend that freedom by speaking truth to power with civility and grace.
Rodriguez began by reminding his audience of all that faith does for them personally and for their communities: "We gather today as Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs motivated by a spirit of interfaith cooperation. We are here by faith and for faith."
Faith, he said, "equips us to cross over obstacles," "encourages us to survive the fires of life," "empowers us to see the invisible, embrace the impossible, and hope for the incredible," and "exhorts us to care for the poor, speak for the marginalized, welcome the stranger all while doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly before God." more >>
Members of Louisiana's House Education Committee voted on Wednesday to keep the Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act, a 1981 law which allows teachers to give equal weight to the teachings of creationism and evolutionary science in the classroom.
The law, which the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional in 1987 in the case Edwards v. Aguillard, ruling that it violates First Amendment rights, has remained on state statutes since its drafting in 1981.
The text of the law states that "balanced treatment" of creationism and evolutionary theory entails "providing whatever information and instruction in both creation and evolution models the classroom teacher determines is necessary and appropriate to provide insight into both theories in view of the textbooks and other instructional materials available for use in his classroom." more >>
In light of recent concerns regarding religious expression in the U.S. military, members of Kansas' state legislature are calling on the military to defend religious freedom, namely the Judeo-Christian faith.
Last Friday, Kansas Senate members passed resolution 1767, in which they state that they "strongly support the 200+ years of Judeo-Christian tradition and its open expression in the U.S. Military."
The resolution calls on U.S. legislators to "aggressively defend the rights of religious conscience and the free exercise of the Judeo-Christian tradition in the U.S. Military and support the professional chaplaincy." more >>
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Roman Curia, said he carries greetings of Pope Francis not only for Christians, but for all inhabitants of the region. He highlighted particularly those who still languish under injustice, suffering and bloodshed.
Cardinal Sandri visited three Syrian refugee families in the Jordanian city of Zarqa Wednesday. The cardinal oversaw the distribution of aid provided to them by Caritas Jordan and was informed what the Latin Patriarchate School in the Zarqa Church can offer to Syrian students of the school.
Cardinal Sandri appreciated the important role played by Jordan, describing it as "a country with a historical, humane and civilized legacy for the good of humanity." He commended the Jordanian openness and hospitality in sheltering Syrian refugees. more >>