A report by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life indicates that religious harassment is on the rise across the world. According to the findings, people of faith have been under increasing attack by their government, and social hostilities toward them have escalated as well.
A federal appeals court has ruled against a county board in North Carolina over its tradition of opening meetings with mostly Christian prayers. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, ruled in favor of two residents of Forsyth County after the county’s Board of Commissioners allowed an invocation at a December 17, 2007 meeting in which a local pastor “thanked God for allowing the birth of his son to forgive us for our sins and closed by making the prayer in the name of Jesus,” reported the Associated Press.
World renowned evangelical Christian leader John R.W. Stott died July 27 at his home in London. He was 90 years old. “Stott, considered one of the greatest evangelical thinkers of the 20th century, led an evangelical resurgence in England in the 1960s and 1970s,” reported CBN News. “He influenced Christians worldwide through his preaching and writings,” including authoring 50 books on a variety of topics of interest to evangelicals and the church at large.
It’s a few months early, but the ACLU is already beginning its annual attack on America’s beloved Christmas holiday. The Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper reported that the Broward County branch of the ACLU has warned the community of Plantation not to put up its annual display of Christian and Jewish symbols in Liberty Tree Park this holiday season, calling the display “inappropriate.”
Since California passed its controversial law requiring public schools to include a social studies curriculum that included the contributions of gays and lesbians, opponents have organized in an attempt to overturn the law. On Tuesday, those opponents moved one step closer to their goal when California’s Secretary of State cleared them to begin collecting signatures for a ballot referendum.
In what critics say is political correctness run amok, the Houston National Cemetery has banned Christian prayer at the funerals of military veterans. U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas, left) is now demanding a congressional investigation of the cemetery after he went undercover and discovered the ban is still enforced at funerals there.
Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park has made some unwanted headlines after a lesbian visiting the park with her partner was asked to turn her T-shirt, which included the message “Marriage Is So Gay,” inside out to avoid offending other park patrons.
As the symbolic World Trade Center Cross (left) was moved to its permanent display site at New York’s 9/11 Memorial Museum on July 23, an atheist group filed a lawsuit to have the inspirational symbol banned from the museum. Discovered by construction worker Frank Silecchia in the rubble of the Trade Center two days after the attack, “the 17-foot-tall cross became an icon of hope and comfort throughout the recovery effort in the wake of the 2001 attacks,” noted a museum press release.
One of the nation’s largest denominational social services networks is in danger of a major split over the decision by one of the participants to take a tolerant stance on homosexuality. According to a report by the Associated Press, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (logo, top left), a theologically conservative denomination, has announced “that direct work with its larger and more liberal counterpart, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [ELCA, logo, bottom left], has become ‘difficult if not impossible,’ because of doctrinal differences,” including the 2009 decision by the ELCA to allow for the ordination of homosexuals as clergy members.
Willow Creek Community Church, a Chicago-area mega-church that gained fame 20 years ago for its “seeker-sensitive” approach to evangelizing non-Christians, has announced that it will no longer partner with Exodus International, a national ministry that reaches out to individuals wishing to leave the homosexual lifestyle.