News
  • Pakistan may review Bibi acquittal, forbids travel

    November 7 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    Pakistan may review Bibi acquittal, forbids travel

    Christian mother Asia Bibi’s freedom is once again in jeopardy, just days after Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted her of blasphemy and freed her from death row. The government is allowing her detractors to request a review of the Oct. 31 acquittal and are forbidding Bibi to flee the country, The Guardian reported Nov. 2.

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  • International Religious Freedom Act marks 20 years of impact

    November 7 2018 by Tom Strode, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    International Religious Freedom Act marks 20 years of impact

    The International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) addressed a serious shortcoming in American foreign policy, the law’s advocates said at the 20-year mark of its stand against religious persecution. The legislation, promoted by many evangelical Christian and other religious leaders, became law with President Bill Clinton’s signature on Oct. 27, 1998, and its effect has been widespread.

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  • Housing allowance defended in appeals court

    October 26 2018 by Roy Hayhurst, GuideStone, and Tom Strode, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    Housing allowance defended in appeals court

    Lawyers for both the U.S. Justice Department and a religious freedom organization defended the constitutionality of the ministerial housing allowance Oct. 24 before a federal appeals court. A three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago heard oral arguments regarding a 2017 opinion that invalidated the allowance as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment …

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  • Christian apologetics club wins free speech battle

    October 22 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    Christian apologetics club wins free speech battle

    A Christian apologetics group will be able to display pro-life and other messages freely at a state university, the result of a settlement reached through Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Ratio Christi, a registered student organization at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., gained the right in a settlement ADF announced Oct. 18.

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  • Atlanta accepts $1.2M settlement with Kelvin Cochran

    October 18 2018 by Art Toalston, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    Atlanta accepts $1.2M settlement with Kelvin Cochran

    The Atlanta city council has agreed to a $1.2 million settlement with former fire chief Kelvin Cochran over his January 2015 termination for his views about marriage and sexuality. The city council voted 11-3 after an executive session Oct. 15 during which city attorneys recommended a settlement and legal fees negotiated with the religious liberty organization …

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  • Christian mother’s life in hands of Pakistani court

    October 10 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    Christian mother’s life in hands of Pakistani court

    Christian mother Asia Bibi only offered a Muslim coworker a drink of water. Subsequently convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in 2010, Bibi awaits the result of her final court appeal heard Oct. 8. The coworker said Bibi’s Christianity made the water ceremonially unclean, setting off a chain of false accusations …

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  • Bibles, joy visible in schools across U.S. Oct. 4

    October 8 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    Bibles, joy visible in schools across U.S. Oct. 4

    Students rallied behind the Bible and the joy of scripture in social media posts Oct. 4, as a projected half-million or more students participated in Bring Your Bible to School Day. Focus on the Family’s (FOTF) fifth annual event drew smiles and encouragement from students and parents in a diversity of grade levels, schools and Christian communities …

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  • U.S. students urged to take Bibles to school Oct. 4

    October 3 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    U.S. students urged to take Bibles to school Oct. 4

    The freedom to distribute Bibles in schools and discuss scripture openly with fellow students is being celebrated nationwide Oct. 4 at the fifth annual Bring Your Bible to School Day. The Focus on the Family (FOTF) event founded in 2014 is on track for its largest participation to date, founder Candi Cushman told Baptist Press Oct. 2.

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  • ‘Flawed,’ ‘hot mess’ precedent defeats Florida cross

    September 12 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    ‘Flawed,’ ‘hot mess’ precedent defeats Florida cross

    If the federal court had its way, a 34-foot cross would remain at its Pensacola, Fla., post. But “flawed precedent” that judges called a “hot mess” forced them to rule otherwise, the judges wrote in their opinion. Judges said their hands were tied by the 1983 ruling in the nearly identical case of ACLU v. Rabun County …

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  • Hindu nationalists host world conference in U.S.

    September 6 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    Hindu nationalists host world conference in U.S.

    An international Hindu confab in the U.S. that organizers describe as a unity initiative will include radical and violent Hindu nationalists, International Christian Concern (ICC) charged Sept. 5. The second World Hindu Congress convening Sept. 7-9 in Chicago will encourage the use of Hindu philosophy, according to event organizers, to address issues of politics, education and commerce …

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  • Army chaplain Squires cleared of all charges

    August 27 2018 by Brandon Elrod, NAMB | with 0 comments
    Army chaplain Squires cleared of all charges

    The U.S. Army has dropped its investigation against Southern Baptist chaplain Jerry Scott Squires, fully exonerating the major of all charges Aug. 24. Squires, who had been charged with discrimination against a lesbian soldier who wanted to attend a marriage retreat, handled the situation in accordance with military policy and followed the guidelines of his denominational authority, the Army said.

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  • University of Iowa reinstates religious groups for now

    August 17 2018 by David Roach, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    University of Iowa reinstates religious groups for now

    The University of Iowa has reinstated multiple religious student groups as registered campus organizations after one group threatened to seek a temporary restraining order amid pending litigation. InterVarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship sued the university Aug. 6 because school officials revoked the fellowship’s status as an official student organization over a requirement …

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  • Again: Colorado says cake artist Jack Phillips broke law

    August 16 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    Again: Colorado says cake artist Jack Phillips broke law

    Christian cake artist Jack Phillips is in court again, defending the same religious freedom right the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed on his behalf in a previous case in June. This time, transgender attorney Autumn Scardina filed a discrimination complaint against Phillips for refusing to bake a birthday cake celebrating Scardina’s transition from a male to female identity.

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  • ERLC video: Malaysian liberty burdened by I.D. cards

    August 6 2018 by Tom Strode, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    ERLC video: Malaysian liberty burdened by I.D. cards

    Malaysia’s religious registration requirement is a heavy burden to their freedom, non-Muslims say in a new documentary produced by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). The ERLC premiered the nine-minute video – “Malaysia: A Fight for Freedom and Identity” – during a July 26 Capitol Hill discussion of religious liberty in Southeast Asia.

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  • Religious liberty threats addressed at ERLC event

    August 1 2018 by Tom Strode, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    Religious liberty threats addressed at ERLC event

    Religious freedom in Southeast Asia faces threats from required registration regimes and non-government forces, panelists said at a Capitol Hill discussion co-hosted by a Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) entity. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) joined with two other advocacy organizations to hold the July 26 event – titled “Lessons from Southeast Asia: State and Non-State Threats to Religious Freedom” …

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