Tag: Freedom of Religion

Pakistani Woman Accused of Blasphemy Will Remain Free, Supreme Court Rules

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A Christian woman who has been in hiding since Pakistan’s Supreme Court overturned her blasphemy conviction last year, leading to violent protests and death threats, is apparently free to leave the country, after the court on Tuesday dismissed a challenge to its earlier ruling. The woman, Asia […]

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Texas Republicans Rally Behind Muslim Official as Some Try to Oust Him Over Religion

Republicans in the third-most-populous county in Texas voted overwhelmingly against the removal of one of their party leaders from his post on Thursday. The vote was not over qualifications or any misdeed by Shahid Shafi, a surgeon and longtime Republican, who was appointed vice chairman of the Tarrant County Republican […]

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Pope Francis, in Christmas Day Message, Emphasizes ‘Fraternity’

ROME — As nationalist forces rise globally and populist leaders emphasize the primacy of their own people, Pope Francis used his annual Christmas Day address on Tuesday to voice his conviction that all humans are part of an extended holy family that has lost its sense of fraternity. “My wish […]

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As China Cracks Down on Churches, Christians Declare ‘We Will Not Forfeit Our Faith’

CHENGDU, China — For months, Gu Baoluo had been looking forward to a boisterous Christmas celebration at one of China’s best-known Protestant churches. He loved decorating trees, singing songs like “Silent Night” and watching the annual Christmas pageant recounting the birth of Jesus. But in early December, the police shut […]

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How Caste Underpins the Blasphemy Crisis in Pakistan

On June 14, 2009, Asia Bibi, a poor Christian woman, was picking fruit in the field of Itan Wali village in Pakistan, about 30 miles from the city of Lahore. On the landowner’s order, Bibi fetched drinking water for her co-workers, but three Muslim women among them accused her of […]

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Theresa May Refuses Asylum for Pakistani Christian Hunted by Lynch Mobs to Appease British Muslims

Theresa May has reportedly refused to grant a Pakistani Christian woman being hunted by lynch mobs for “blasphemy” asylum, after bureaucrats advised her it would cause upset in Britain’s Muslim community. Asia Bibi’s ordeal began when Muslim fieldworkers objected to her drinking from the same water supply as them, branding her “unclean” and telling her she […]

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Trump Proposes a New Way Around Birth Control Mandate: Religious Exemptions and Title X

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is making it easier for employers to exclude birth control from health insurance benefits provided under the Affordable Care Act, and it has come up with a new justification, saying that female employees can obtain contraceptives at family planning clinics for low-income people. That, in […]

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Pakistani Christian Freed After Being Cleared in Blasphemy Case

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A Pakistani Christian woman who was cleared last week of blasphemy charges after spending eight years on death row has been released from prison but remains under government protection in Islamabad because of threats to her life, officials said Thursday. The woman, Asia Bibi, was released from […]

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Jehovah’s Witnesses, Fleeing Russia Crackdown, Seek Shelter in Finland

TURKU, Finland — Sergey Avilkin, one of the hundreds of Russians now sheltering in Finland to avoid arrest as “extremists” in their home country, has no interest in politics or politicians and says that he has always followed the biblical injunction to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” But Mr. Avilkin, a 42-year-old […]

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The White House Is Tearing Down the Wall Between Church and State

Many Americans were shocked when Attorney General Jeff Sessions turned to the Bible — specifically, Paul’s epistle to the Romans — to justify President Trump’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents. This scriptural justification for a political decision should not have surprised anyone, because Mr. Trump’s administration has consistently treated the separation of […]

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Two Judges Exemplify the Choice Trump Faces in a Supreme Court Pick

“I believe that the president should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship while serving in office,” Judge Kavanaugh wrote in 2009 in The Minnesota Law Review. Among those burdens, he said, were responding to civil lawsuits and criminal charges. “Even the lesser burdens of a criminal investigation — including preparing for […]

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New Amsterdam Figured Out Religious Tolerance 361 Years Ago

“The religious leaders in the community were up in arms about the Quakers,” Charles Gehring, translator of the documents, told me. “People believed they were outside the norms of the faith — that if they didn’t punish them for their behavior it might bring down the wrath of God.” Whether out of his own bigotry […]

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Editorial: Bigoted and Feckless, the Travel Ban Is Pure Trump

On Tuesday morning the five conservative justices of the Supreme Court — including the one who got the job only because Senate Republicans stole a seat and held it open for him — voted to uphold President Trump’s travel ban, which indefinitely bars most people from five majority-Muslim countries, and certain citizens from two other […]

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The Supreme Court Used to Oppose Discrimination. What Happened?

The court saw through the smoke screen Abercrombie was trying to set up and exposed the religious discrimination at the heart of the matter. Three years later, Justice Scalia has been replaced by Justice Neil Gorsuch and the country has what Justice Kagan has described as an “out-of-the-box kind of president.” Over the course of […]

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Unchecked Power Is Still Dangerous No Matter What the Court Says

Government officials cannot discriminate on the basis of race or religion. Except when they can, as the Supreme Court reminded us today. The court’s decision to uphold the entry ban illustrates how immigration has become a “Constitution-lite” zone, and the Trump administration’s recent policies prove why that’s not just a bad idea — it can […]

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Contributing Op-Ed Writer: How the Supreme Court Avoided the Cake Case’s Tough Issues

The case was brought by two non-Christians who complained that they were effectively forced to listen to the prayers when they showed up to conduct business before the board. While acknowledging that the prayers made the two plaintiffs “feel excluded and disrespected,” Justice Kennedy wrote for the 5-to-4 majority that “adults often encounter speech they […]

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Colorado, Once Called the ‘Hate State,’ Grapples With Cake Baker Decision

Now, he said, “it’s not really an issue,” and people want to vote for the candidate “who is going to do something about traffic.” On Monday, when the Supreme Court justices handed down their decision in the cake case, they kept it narrow, ruling in favor of Mr. Phillips on the grounds that the state’s […]

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