CP World Report: Prayer Ban, Syria, Whitney Houston, Religious Freedom


A ban on prayers at local council meetings by the British High Court has effectively been overturned. The Court ruled last week that prayers at council meetings were unlawful after a legal action was brought against Bideford Town Council by the National Secular Society. But now, British Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is pushing through a section of the Localism Act that will give local councils the authority to decide whether or not they want to include prayers in formal business.


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People in Syria are dying continuously while diplomats argue over a non-binding resolution in the United Nations. A makeshift bomb shelter in Homs is packed with women, children and infants huddled together for safety. Children are getting sick and mothers cannot find the medicine they need.

Meanwhile…Christian families are in desperate need. They are trapped in villages with little access to food and other basic supplies. Barnabas Aid is a charity organization and one of the very few Christian aid agencies helping Christians in Syria. It's working to get families urgent supplies . Christians make up about two million, or 10 percent of the Syrian population. And they are fearful of what will follow if or when the Assad regime falls.

Chinese officials reportedly denied a visa to the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom just days before a visit from the Chinese Vice President. The reason given: she had no appointments necessary for a diplomatic visit. Suzan Johnson Cook was also reportedly refused appointments with Chinese officials prior to her scheduled trip. Still White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reported…Chinese officials are working on dates for Ambassador Cook's future visit..

Canada's top court has rejected an appeal from parents in Quebec who sought the right to keep their children out of an ethics and religious culture program taught in the province's schools. The program was introduced in 2008 to elementary and high schools by the provincial Education Ministry. It actually replaced religion classes with a curriculum covering all major faiths found in Quebec culture. It became mandatory. Two Drummondville parents tried to get an exemption but failed, then went to court. They were rejected by Quebec's Superior Court, appealed but was denied. The case ended up before the Supreme Court which has just rejected it.

Germany's president, Christian Wulff, has resigned. He stepped down publicly in a televised statement, saying he could no longer devote himself to the challenges of the job. He's recently been accused in a series of political scandals. Although the German presidency is mainly a ceremonial role, his resignation could be damaging for German chancellor Angela Merkel, who was one of his key supporters.


It was like a homecoming as Legendary Pop star Whitney Houston was put to rest in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey. Her ex-husband Bobby Brown left in tears as he was asked to leave the Church moments after he arrived. Legendary singer Stevie Wonder and Alicia keys were among those who sang their tribute in a service that had a strong Christian theme….