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May 30, 2020: 57 killed, Ill. relaxes worship restrictions, girls' rights

May 30, 2020: 57 killed, Ill. relaxes worship restrictions, girls' rights

Saturday, May 30, 2020:

Here are the latest headlines, brought to you by The Christian Post.

— Education Dept: Conn. transgender athletic policy violates girls' rights, may lose federal funding

Connecticut’s policy of allowing boys who identify as female to compete in girls’ only sports violates the civil rights of female athletes, the U.S. Department of Education said in a 45-page letter sent to the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and several public school districts in response to a complaint filed with the agency.

Three female athletes are suing the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference over its policy of allowing trans-identified males to compete in girls' sports where they have an unfair physical advantage and win titles and scholarship opportunities over their female competitors.

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference insists that males who identify as female must be allowed to participate in girls' sports.

The Department of Education has warned Connecticut that it could lose federal funding for violating Title IX rules.

— Ill. eases worship service restrictions after churches turn to Supreme Court

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has eased restrictions on in-person worship services in new coronavirus stay-at-home guidelines after churches appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for relief.

In a daily news briefing Thursday, Pritzker announced a new health department guidance for faith leaders seeking to resume in-person worship services, recommending they do so at 25% capacity or a 100-person maximum  — whichever is lower — under phase three of the state’s reopening plan.

— Islamic rebels kill at least 57 in attacks on civilians in DRC

At least 57 people were killed this week in attacks carried out by an Islamic rebel group in the northeast Democratic Republic of Congo as escalating violence near the Ugandan border has displaced hundreds of thousands of people so far this year. 

Attacks on villages have been attributed to members of the Allied Democratic Forces and a group known as MTM, which claims to be affiliated with the Islamic State terrorist group.

The U.N.'s Children's Fund reported last week that over a quarter-million people, most of whom are children, have been forced to flee violence in Ituri since the beginning of the year. UNICEF said in a May 20 report that 25,000 newly displaced people have gone into IDP camps.

The U.N. Refugee Agency estimates that over 5 million people were displaced in-country between October 2017 and September 2019, with over 900,000 refugees and asylum seekers in host countries.

— Brazil: Judge blocks missionary's appointment to head indigenous tribes agency

A judge in Brazil blocked the appointment of a former Christian missionary and pastor to head the country’s federal indigenous affairs agency after concerns were raised by advocacy groups that oppose evangelical outreach to tribes in the Amazon.

On May 22, a federal regional court judge struck down the appointment of Ricardo Lopes Dias to head the Uncontacted Indians’ Unit of the Indigenous Affairs Agency. 

Dias spent over 10 years with the evangelical mission-sending agency New Tribes Mission, which is now Ethnos360. The group’s missionaries have engaged in efforts to contact unreached people groups and tribes deep in the Amazonian rainforest and elsewhere across the globe. 

In his ruling, Judge Antonio Souza Prudente said that Dias’ appointment and connection to New Tribes Mission was a “clear conflict of interest” and would put Brazil’s policy of no forced contact with uncontacted tribal groups in jeopardy. The policy has been in place since 1988. 

Across the globe, some Christian mission agencies have received criticism for their willingness to sponsor missionaries who attempt to reach uncontacted tribes. Missionaries who attempt to evangelize to uncontacted tribal groups are trying to answer Jesus’ command to make disciples in all nations.

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