Republican Party nominee Donald Trump's campaign recently announced the creation of a Catholic advisory group that will assist the presidential hopeful to appeal to Catholics.
In an announcement posted to his campaign website last week, the Trump campaign provided a list of advisory group members, which include former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, longtime conservative activist Richard Viguerie, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, veteran Republican strategist Mary Matalin, and Congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin.
In a statement released as part of the announcement, Congressman Duffy argued that if elected president Trump "will fight for Catholics." more >>
An atheist group celebrating the upcoming International Blasphemy Rights Day on Friday, has said that laws around the world that restrict or punish those who criticize religion take away the rights of atheists, Christians, and other people.
"In too many countries around the world, criticizing religion is illegal. We've seen the consequences of these laws too many times — when a tweet or a post on Facebook declaring one's atheism or questioning a tenet of religion leads to arrests, beatings, prison, and sometimes death sentences," the Center for Inquiry, which set up the first event in 2009, said in a statement on Monday.
"Sometimes religious militants make their own laws, deciding for themselves that expressions of dissent justify brutal killings, like the grisly murders of secularists in Bangladesh, or attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan," the group added. more >>
The Communist Party of China has intensified its ongoing crackdown of Christianity and other faiths with the publication of new rules and regulations that tighten the government's grip on underground churches, persecution watchdog groups have said.
China Aid, which reports on religious freedom issues in China, said late last week that the new restrictions are aimed at dispersing Christian house churches and silencing Tibetan and Xinjiang separatists.
The Revised Draft of Regulations on Religious Affairs is expected to formally come into effect early in October, and includes prohibitions on "organizing citizens to attend religious training, conferences and activities abroad," "preaching, organizing religious activities, and establishing religious institutions or religious sites at schools," and "providing religious services through the internet." more >>
A Pakistani Christian boy who was arrested earlier this week could face the death penalty after he was accused of posting a picture on Facebook that Muslims consider to be blasphemous toward Islam.
According to the London-based charity British Pakistani Christian Association, 16-year-old Nabeel Masih, who lives in the town of Kasur in the Punjab province, was accused of posting a blasphemous picture on Facebook that reportedly showed the Kaaba (the building at the center of Islam's most sacred mosque in Mecca) with a pig's head on top.
Masih's alleged post was reported to local police by a Muslim friend who found it offensive. Masih was arrested and is being held at the local police station in Kasur until his trial. more >>
A school district in Mount Vernon, Washington, was advised by legal representation Wednesday to allow the Satanic Temple of Seattle to start an after-school program at one of their elementary schools because it would be costly and futile if officials chose otherwise.
Duncan Fobes, a lawyer with the Seattle-based law firm Patterson, Buchanan, Fobes and Leitch, advised the Mount Vernon School Board during a Wednesday meeting that any effort to block the proposed "After School Satan Club" by the Satanic Temple of Seattle for Centennial Elementary School "would ultimately be unsuccessful," according to the Skagit Valley Herald.
"I think that if the school district denied that application, you would face costly litigation that would be distracting from your mission," said Fobes who was hired by the district's risk-pool insurance group to assess if the district had legal standing to deny the temple's application. more >>
Earlier this summer, around mid-July, India introduced a bill to its 1955 Citizenship Act. The bill, if passed, will not only prioritize foreign ethnic and religious minorities for citizenship, but will cut their naturalization wait time from eleven to six years.
"Provided that persons belonging to minority communities, namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan … shall not be treated as illegal migrants for the purposes of this Act," reads the proposed amendment to India's Citizenship Act.
This bill is in response to the many minority groups, most with Indian origins, who have emigrated to India because of religious persecution. more >>