Category: Religious Freedom

Quebec passes religious symbols secularism bill

A Canadian province has passed legislation that would bar civil servants in positions of “authority” from wearing religious symbols at work.

The Coalition Avenir Quebec’s (CAQ) bill covers judges, police officers, teachers and other public figures.

It prevents the wearing of symbols such as the kippah, turban or hijab at work.

Also passed was an immigration bill that scraps some 18,000 pending applications from skilled immigrants, affecting some 50,000 people.

That controversial move is part of an immigration programme overhaul the government says will help the province meet labour market needs and improve the integration of newcomers.

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Hong Kong extradition bill could further endanger Christians, advocates say

Though a proposed change to extradition laws in Hong Kong is on hold for now, Christian leaders and advocacy groups are continuing to speak out, warning that under the proposal those in Hong Kong who support Chinese Christians could be unjustly brought to mainland China for trial.

“If the extradition law is passed, it is a death sentence for Hong Kong,” Lam Wing-kee, a bookseller imprisoned for eight months by the Chinese for selling books critical of the government, told

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Supreme Court Engages on Same-sex Marriage Cake Case, Hands Win to Baker, for Now

For the second time in as many years, the Supreme Court on Monday engaged on a major religious liberty case involving same-sex marriage, but is sidestepping for now the substantive issue of alleged religion-based discrimination.

The court granted the petition of Christian bakers in Oregon who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple because of their religious beliefs and wiped away a lower court ruling against them. The justices sent the case back to the Sixth Circuit for further consideration.

Instructing the appeals court to reexamine the matter in light of a similar, narrowly-decided case last year from Colorado, the justices left open the key question of when discrimination on religious grounds can override civil rights protections written into law.

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Tony Perkins Elected Chair of Bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today elected Tony Perkins as Chair for the 2019-2020 term.

“Chair Perkins is an effective leader and an experienced advocate for freedom of religion or belief,” said retiring Chair Tenzin Dorjee, noting that Perkins has spoken out on the plight of religious minorities in Iran and of Uighurs in China. He also travelled to Egypt in 2018 where he raised religious freedom concerns with foreign leaders, including King Abdullah II of Jordan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. As part of USCIRF’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project, Chair Perkins has adopted Boko Haram-held captive, 16-year-old Nigerian Leah Sharibu, and he was instrumental in securing the freedom of Pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkey.

Said Perkins, “I would like to thank my fellow commissioners for entrusting me with the responsibility of guiding this Commission. It is an honor to work with this diverse group of dedicated professionals on such an important issue. I look forward to continuing our efforts to promote the fundamental human right of religious freedom for all people.”

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Ricky Martin Helps Kill “Religious Freedom” Bill in Puerto Rico

The power that he has! The intelligence that he has! The influence that he has!

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló instructed legislators to axe an anti-LGBTQ “religious liberty” bill this week just hours after Ricky Martin, pride of the Caribbean island, denounced it in an open letter, NBC News reports.

House Bill 2069 would have allowed government employees to not serve citizens if they felt it went against their religious beliefs. The House of Representatives had voted in favor of the bill, which was filed at Rosselló’s request.

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Confused about religious freedom and LGBT rights? Most Americans are

The clash between religious freedom and LGBT rights is a key feature of today’s “culture wars,” but it turns out that Americans are deeply confused about what actually happens when these two realms come into conflict. In fact, according to the latest survey conducted by PRRI, Americans are more united in their lack of knowledge about the current state of religious freedom and LGBT protections than they are in their opinions about what should be done to ensure such protections.

Consider one such scenario: Can the U.S. government require a church to perform a wedding for an LGBT couple? Almost half of Americans are either unsure of the answer to this question (11%) or incorrectly convinced that religious organizations can in fact be required to do this (38%). Moreover, American ignorance on this matter transcends political orientation, gender and age — typically some of the most significant markers of disagreement in the debate over LGBT rights. In other words, while Democrats and Republicans, men and women, and younger and older Americans differ significantly in their opinions about whether people should be granted religiously-based refusals to serve LGBT people in a variety of contexts, these groups are indistinguishable in their confusion about the legal protections that actually currently exist.

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Religious education given Ofsted boost

There’s hope the teaching of religious education (RE) in schools will improve thanks to changes made in the way regulator Ofsted inspects.

Campaigners for better RE say the new school inspection framework will put more pressure on schools to prioritise the subject.

It’s understood two-day long inspections will now put greater emphasis on the broad curriculum while a small number of subjects will also be chosen as a focus for examination. These subjects could include religious education.

Ben Wood from the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE) told Premier this is a good change of direction.

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Reason at risk from transgender activists – and the Catholic Church comes to the rescue

The Catholic Church has emerged as this week’s unlikely champion of open dialogue and intellectual freedom. As lesbian, gay, bisexual, and especially transsexual activists seek to close down society’s debate over the nature of sexuality and gender, the Vatican seems determined to pry it open.

On Monday, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education published a report called Male and Female He Created Them to lay out the church’s views on the proper role of modern gender theory in Catholic education. The title is a quote from Genesis (the book, not the band), chapter 5. The report, unsurprisingly, comes out in favour of traditional sex roles and gender identitie

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Catholic restaurant under LGBT fire over refusal to host lesbian ‘wedding’ rehearsal dinner

Several days ago some of us learned from the St. Louis media that Madison’s Cafe, a restaurant in O’Fallon, MO, is earning the shocked indignation of the progressivist apostles of tolerance and inclusivity for politely declining – yes, even during their hallowed “Pride” month! – to host a wedding rehearsal dinner for a lesbian couple “marrying” the next day. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a report here.

The woman whose request for a pro-lesbian “marriage” event was turned down by Madison’s presented herself to the media as a tolerant, compassionate victim of bigotry: she’s reported as saying that she wasn’t really interested in causing trouble for the restaurant since she didn’t want to “repay hate with more hate.” (In that case, one wonders, why did she talk to the media about it at all? Given their firm and well-known support of the militant homosexual agenda, that was a sure-fire way to make trouble for the restaurant’s proprietors.)

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Floral artist has good reason to head back to Supreme Court

To know Barronelle Stutzman is to love her. She’s a warm-hearted grandmother, a hard-working small business owner, and an award-winning floral artist who for decades has devoted herself to creating unique floral creations for her customers. Barronelle takes deep pleasure in serving every person who walks through her door, whether it be a lovelorn teen, a husband celebrating an anniversary, or the gay man she’s served as a friend for almost a decade.

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Rainbow ‘thugs’ sue Christian baker 3rd time for refusing to do ‘transition’ celebration cake

The LGBT movement’s talk of tolerance has always been a joke: They fully intend to achieve cultural dominance, and then attempt to “punish” those who publicly disagree with them and crush those who refuse to go along with their agenda. That is why they actively seek florists and photographers and bakers who disagree with them: Because they need to make an example of people to warn the rest of us that if we do not submit to their ongoing transformation of the nation, they will hoist our heads on pikes.

The most prominent example of this is Colorado baker Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, who has unfortunately found himself in their crosshairs for a third ti

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