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Weekly Briefing
Weekly briefing: Christian student group, Trump defends unborn, pope in UAE

Weekly briefing: Christian student group, Trump defends unborn, pope in UAE

President Donald J. Trump delivers his State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Washington, D.C. | Photo: White House/Andrea Hanks)

We've compiled the top stories of the week. Here's what you need to know:

University can’t ban Christian group

A federal judge ruled in favor of Business Leaders in Christ, saying that the University of Iowa cannot selectively enforce its nondiscrimination policy.

The Christian student group requires that its leaders agree to a set of beliefs and was thus banned from campus for violating the school’s human rights policy.

“She really made a ruling that should have an impact across the country for university officials who think it is OK to discriminate against religious groups because of their beliefs.” — attorney Eric Baxter of the legal nonprofit Becket

Trump defends the unborn in State of Union, Prayer Breakfast speeches

In response to New York’s new expansive abortion law and comments by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam that some interpreted as support for infanticide, President Donald Trump called on Congress during the State of the Union to “reaffirm a fundamental truth” that “all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.” 

He echoed his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast.

His comments came just after Senate Democrats rejected a bill meant to protect the life of babies who survive an abortion. 

Supreme Court blocks Louisiana abortion law

A Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital was put on hold by the Supreme Court on Thursday, a day before it was slated to go into effect.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal justices in the 5-4 vote.

Newly confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the dissent, arguing that it would have been better if the three doctors who currently perform abortions in the state filed a motion after they actually made attempts to obtain admitting privileges so as to determine the actual effect of the law.

First papal mass on Arabian Peninsula

Pope Francis became the first pontiff to visit the Arabian Peninsula this week. He delivered a mass in the United Arab Emirates, which proclaimed 2019 as the “Year of Tolerance,” that was attended by nearly 200,000 people. 

Some believe the invitation to the pope served as a cover for the Islamic country’s poor human rights and religious freedom record. Christian worship can be done in private but not in public.

Nevertheless, the public mass proved to be historic and with the event splashed all over the front pages of Arabic newspapers, Johnnie Moore, who serves on the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom, believes it makes a “profound statement to the broader Islamic world.”

Misconceptions about missions to the unreached

Read our feature piece about how missions to the unreached has evolved and what many get wrong about it. 

Pray for

The family of Pastor Tun Nu, who was kidnapped and killed in Myanmar 

Nigerians who have endured massacres at the hands of the military and security forces 

New releases

Album:

The Work, Vol. I by Elias Dummer (Feb. 8)

Songs of the House (Live) by Corey Voss & Madison Street Worship (Feb. 8)

Books:

The Theft of America’s Soul: Blowing the Lid Off the Lies That Are Destroying Our Country by Phil Robertson (Feb. 5)

The Truth About Men: What Men and Women Need to Know by DeVon Franklin (Feb. 5)

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