PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — Paducah officials have approved an amendment to an anti-discrimination ordinance to protect religious liberty.
The Paducah Sun reports the council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to...
PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — Paducah officials are debating possible amendments to an anti-discrimination ordinance to protect religious liberty.
The Paducah Sun reports , the ordinance that passed...
China protests US criticism of policies on religion
HONG KONG (AP) — China has issued a protest over remarks the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom made criticizing Beijing's polices toward Muslim and Tibetan Buddhist...
Turkey renews criticism of China over Uighur minority
GENEVA (AP) — Turkey has renewed its unusual criticism of China's treatment of its Muslim minority group, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu calling on the country to make a distinction...
Ukraine: Leader pledges church choice for Orthodox faithful
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president has promised the country's Orthodox Christian faithful they will be free to remain part of the Russian Orthodox Church after the creation of an independent Ukrainian church.
Amid deteriorating ties with Moscow, Kiev has been pushing for the creation of an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church that would be free of control from the Moscow Patriarchate.
Montana inmate claims religious right to smoke pot in jail
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana inmate says the Missoula County jail is violating his constitutional right to freedom of religion by not letting him smoke marijuana.
The Missoulian reported Tuesday that 34-year-old Adam Owen Grady filed a complaint in federal court, citing a Bible verse that says God gave people "every herb bearing seed."
Group: Officials destroying crosses, burning bibles in China
BEIJING (AP) — China's government is ratcheting up a crackdown on Christian congregations in Beijing and several provinces, destroying crosses, burning bibles, shutting churches and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith, according to pastors and a group that monitors religion in China.
The campaign corresponds with a drive to "Sinicize" religion by demanding loyalty to the officially atheist Communist Party and eliminating any challenge to its power over people's lives.
George Washington letter to be read at oldest US synagogue
NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — A letter from George Washington will be read at the nation's oldest synagogue to celebrate freedom of religion.
The annual reading is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday at the 255-year-old Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island.
PHOENIX (AP) — A wedding invitation business is appealing an Arizona court ruling that upheld a Phoenix anti-discrimination law making it illegal for businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples.
The Brush & Nib Studio on Monday asked the Arizona Supreme Court to review a June 7 state Court of Appeals ruling that the ordinance is constitutional and does not violate freedom of religion or speech.
PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona appeals court on Thursday upheld a Phoenix anti-discrimination law that makes it illegal for businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples because of religion.
The impact of President Donald Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban extends beyond the immigration context. It is an attack on the character, hopes and dreams of American families, children and youth who are Muslim and those perceived as Muslim.
This has resulted in an increase in anti-Muslim discrimination and violence targeting these families and children.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Selling or advertising gay conversion therapy may soon be classified as a fraudulent business practice in California under a bill passed Thursday by the state Assembly.
Conversion therapy, the practice of trying to change someone's sexual orientation, has been shown to be ineffective, said Assemblyman Evan Low, who wrote the bill that now heads to the state Senate.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Growing up on the Indonesian island of Java in the 1970s, Dewi Kanti practiced an ancient form of indigenous traditional beliefs whose origins predate the arrivals of Christianity, Buddhism and Islam here by centuries.
In response to T Allen’s letter about our Constitution stating we have “freedom of any religion,” and the Supreme Court affirming that freedom, I say Amen, Ameen, Thathaasu, Om Tat Sat-- and Thanks!
Judge rejects polygamy law challenge in Canada
CRANBROOK, British Columbia (AP) — A judge has rejected a challenge of Canada's polygamy laws that was launched after two men were found guilty in British Columbia.
Winston Blackmore and James Oler were found guilty in British Columbia Supreme Court last July of having multiple wives, but a lawyer for Blackmore argued the law infringes on constitutional right of freedom of religion and expression.
Sister Jean B. Bingham, general president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was a guest speaker at the “Women in Faith: A Freedom of Religion or Belief Perspective” conference hosted by Anna Zaborska, member of the European Parliament.
Most of world lacks real religious freedom, UN official says
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Three-quarters of the world's people live in countries that either restrict the right to religion or belief or have "a high level of social hostility involving religion or belief," the U.N. special investigator on religious rights said Tuesday.
Ahmed Shaheed told the General Assembly's human rights committee that religious intolerance is prevalent globally — and rising around the world.
- Idaho State JournalResolution introduced decrying Christian persecutionMarch 18, 2019
- The Washington TimesAlabama reviewing cleric policy at executions following Supreme Court justices' dissentMarch 1, 2019
- The Times-TribuneLetters To The Editor 1/5/2018January 5, 2019
- The Washington TimesJeff Sessions forms Religious Liberty Task Force to protect freedom of religionJuly 30, 2018
- The Washington TimesSessions: Trump administration will defend religious freedomsMay 18, 2018
GOP’s Josh Mandel targets act barring church politicking
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel announced Tuesday the creation of a faith outreach team whose first goal is the repeal of a federal law prohibiting religious organizations and other charitable groups from backing political candidates.
Mandel, Ohio's state treasurer, said the 1954 Johnson Amendment is "overreaching."
Vietnam criticizes US religious freedom report
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam on Thursday criticized the U.S. State Department's annual international religious freedom report, describing it as containing partial and false information about the country.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang told reporters that the government respects and ensures citizens' right to freedom of religion and belief, which is enshrined in the constitution and ensured in practice.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The U.N. expert on religious freedom has praised Albania's interfaith tolerance, considering it to be an example for other countries.
Ahmed Shaheed says that Albania is a model for interfaith harmony, with a Muslim majority, and Orthodox and Catholic communities among its 3 million people.
The communist regime banned religion from 1967 until its collapse in 1990, turning churches, mosques and other places of worship into shopping centers, sports halls and theaters.
German high school bans prayer rugs as “provocative”
BERLIN (AP) — A high school in western Germany has banned the use of prayer rugs and other traditional Muslim rituals saying it is "provocative" to other students, sparking a debate about freedom of religion.
The Wuppertal school sent a letter to staff in February saying Muslim students had been using prayer rugs and performing ritual washing in the restrooms, and that they should get a "friendly reminder" it's not permitted and will be reported to the administration.
Indiana House OKs bill on prayer in schools
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A legislative proposal whose author says it would put prayer back in schools has cleared the Indiana House.
The measure by Democratic Rep. John Bartlett of Indianapolis directs school corporations to adopt policies allowing students to pray aloud at school events. He argues it would not mandate that students pray in school, but would affirm their right to do so.
Bill opponents question whether it's needed because freedom of religion is already acknowledged in schools.
Indiana House education committee backs school prayer bill
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Students' right to pray aloud in Indiana schools would be reaffirmed under a measure a House education committee has approved.
Democratic state Rep. John Bartlett's measure was approved Tuesday on a 10-2 vote.
Bartlett has said his measure would give students an opportunity to pray in school, but not mandate it.
Indiana lawmakers consider school prayer measure
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana public school students could pray aloud in a public forum under a measure lawmakers are considering.
Democratic state Rep. John Bartlett says his measure would give students an opportunity to pray in school, but not mandate that they do so. He envisions a designated moment for students to pray aloud according to their individual faith and believes prayer would benefit the student body.
Catholic hospital denies unfair bias against transgender man
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A Catholic hospital denies that it unfairly discriminated against a transgender man who sued after the hospital refused to allow a surgeon to remove the man's uterus as part of his sex transition.
Saint Joseph's Healthcare System said that a court ruling in Jionni Conforti's favor would violate its constitutional right to freedom of religion. The hospital filed its response to the lawsuit Friday in federal court.
Supreme Court nominee has defended free speech, religion
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has been a defender of free speech and a skeptic of libel claims, an Associated Press review of his rulings shows. His record puts him at odds with President Donald Trump's disdain for journalists and tendency to lash out at critics.
Court backs Swiss that Muslim girls must attend swim class
GENEVA (AP) — A European court has rejected an appeal by a Turkish-born couple who were fined in Switzerland for keeping their daughters out of mixed-gender, mandatory public school swimming lessons for reasons linked to their Muslim faith
With the presidential election concluding recently, Americans have been immersed in debate over gun rights, free speech and freedom of religion. Coincidentally, the landmark document that protects those individual freedoms marked its 225th anniversary of ratification in 2016.
In commemoration, the National Archives has created a traveling pop-up exhibit, “The Bill of Rights and You,” which is on display through mid-February at the Alliance Public Library.
The United States might be majority Christian -- though if you break it down by denomination, none is a majority -- but it is most definitely not a Christian country.
Trump the new Scrooge
Joe Fitzgerald talks about Christmas as a cultural expression of our religious freedom and I agree that’s important (“On making ‘Christmas’ great again,” Dec. 19). I’ve always believed the old idea that we have freedom of religion — not freedom from religion.
Fitzgerald approves of President-elect Donald Trump shouting out “Merry Christmas” during his victory rallies. And indeed about 80 percent of white evangelicals, for example, voted for Trump.
Shazeeda Khan’s recent piece in Forum on Faith (“Dispelling Fox News-fueled myths about Shariah,” Oct. 15) really strains the reader’s credulity. The News-Times’ publishing it with a straight face undermines its credibility.
As the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words,” and the actions of Shariah in Moslem countries belies Chaplain Khan’s assertion that Shariah is no threat to Western civilization.
Santeria priestess found guilty of animal cruelty
STERLING, Va. (AP) — A Loudon County woman has been found guilty of animal cruelty after she sacrificed roosters as a Santeria religious practice.
Media outlets report that 43-year-old Mercy Carrion, a Santeria priestess, said in court Wednesday that the charges against her violated her First Amendment right to freedom of religion.
Prosecutor Alexandra Hazel argued that Carrion could sacrifice the birds, but said she broke the law by failing to care for them...