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Ahead of the National Day of Prayer, Franklin Graham expressed dismay at how Islam is receiving preferential treatment by the Obama administration. “[Islam] is not the faith of this country. And that is not the religion that built this nation. The people of the Christian faith and the Jewish faith are the ones who built America, and it is not Islam.”
Millions of Americans will be uniting in prayer today in observance of the 59th Annual National Day of Prayer. Since 1952, when both houses of Congress passed legislation establishing an official Day of Prayer, Americans from various religious groups have used the observance to pray for their nation despite claims by a minority that such a day is an unconstitutional “establishment of religion.”
A Florida school district is being sued for “persistent and widespread” restrictions on religious expression. Liberty Counsel, a legal group often representing Christians in religious freedom and family cases, filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of two dozen individuals against the Santa Rosa County School District and its Superintendent, Timothy Wyrosdick, for violations of First Amendment rights.
Opponents of Washington, D.C.’s new same-sex marriage law took the battle to the court of appeals Tuesday, demanding that the issue be decided by the people, not by legislators. Led by Maryland megachurch pastor Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. – who filed the lawsuit against the city on behalf of Stand 4 Marriage D.C. – traditional marriage proponents are asking that residents be given their right to vote on the same-sex marriage law.
The arrest of a street preacher has renewed concern over religious freedom for Christians in the United Kingdom. Dale McAlpine, 42, was arrested in his home town of Workington, in Cumbria, last month after he mentioned homosexuality as one of a number of sins listed in the Bible, alongside idolatry, blasphemy, fornication, and drunkenness.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates advised members of Congress to wait until the Pentagon completes its review of the effects of repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy before changing the rule. In a letter to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) on Friday, Gates said he “strongly opposed any legislation that seeks to change this policy prior to the completion of this vital assessment process.”
President Obama has issued a proclamation declaring this Thursday as National Day of Prayer. In his proclamation, he states that prayer has long been an important part of U.S. history. The nation upholds as fundamental principles the exercise of religion and freedom of conscience, he said. Thus Americans have long considered it “fitting and proper” to publicly observe the importance of prayer on May 6.
A Christian relationship counselor has lost his bid to bring his dismissal before the Court of Appeal. Gary McFarlane was dismissed by Relate Avon in October 2007 after admitting to his employers that he felt he could not advise same-sex couples because of his Christian beliefs.
Prison Fellowship launched a movement this week in one of the most dangerous states in the country to keep former inmates out of prison for life. Out4Life was launched in Arizona which has the sixth highest incarceration rate among the 50 states and where one in 33 adults is under correctional control.
Every year the issue of religious freedom is becoming less important to the White House and State Department, a bipartisan U.S. government panel complained in its annual report on Thursday. Though the U.S. government should be increasingly mindful of religious freedom in its foreign policy and national security decisions, the opposite has occurred, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom stated its its 11th annual report.
Despite the notable lack of significant evidence, the media and the blogosphere are abuzz over the cries of a team of Chinese and Turkish explorers who claim that the wooden structure they found on Mount Ararat in Eastern Turkey is none other than Noah’s Ark.Experts in history, archaeology, and bibliology, meanwhile, are making note of the claim but not taking the bait.
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the 75-year-old war memorial cross in the Mojave Desert of California can remain in place. In a splintered 5-4 ruling, the justices said “the constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public acknowledgment of religion’s role in society.”
The religious freedoms of military chaplains and service members are at risk if the Obama administration repeals the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, conservative and evangelical leaders warned on Wednesday. Already, some Christian chaplains have threatened to leave their posts if the Pentagon’s policy on gay service members is overturned.
Less than a week after Franklin Graham was disinvited from the Pentagon prayer event, the evangelist faces another attempt to remove him from a National Day of Prayer observation. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a group that is widely accused of having ties to terrorists, has called on congressional sponsors of the National Day of Prayer event on Capitol Hill to rescind Graham’s invitation to speak at the May 6 gathering.
Though a majority of teens and young adults identify as Christian, a new study suggests that only 15 percent of them have personal relationships with Christ and are deeply committed. Most American “Millenials” – those born between 1980 and 1991 – don’t pray regularly. Few read their Bibles or other religious texts, and many don’t attend church on a weekly basis, according to a LifeWay Research study.
Kidnapping and criminal association charges against 10 U.S. Christians who tried to transport Haitian children out of the country to an orphanage have been dropped. However, the leader of the group of volunteers, Laura Silsby, still faces a charge of arranging irregular travel and will stand trial in Haiti, Judge Bernard Saint-Vil said Monday.
Sixty-four percent of Americans believe that rulings by judges in recent years have been more anti-religious than the Founding Fathers intended, a new poll shows. Only 21 percent of adults think the judges’ rulings regarding religion in public life have correctly interpreted the U.S. Constitution.
The Army rescinded its invitation to Franklin Graham to speak at the Pentagon for the National Day of Prayer over concerns about his remarks about Islam. Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins said Thursday that Graham’s comments about Islam were “not appropriate.”
Evangelist Franklin Graham is scheduled to speak at the Pentagon on the National Day of Prayer. But his invitation has riled up at least one group which is demanding a more “inclusive speaker” for the event on May 6. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation opposes the invitation because Graham said Islam is an “evil” religion, and because of his ties to the National Day of Prayer Task Force.
Exodus International released a statement Tuesday expressing sadness that popular communicator and radio talk show host Dawson McAllister chose to remove Exodus from its referral list over a homosexual flap.
Just weeks away from the annual National Day of Prayer, a federal judge ruled on Thursday that the day is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down a federal statute creating the “National Day of Prayer,” concluding that it connotes endorsement and encouragement of a particular religious exercise.
A Christian legal group has launched a new effort aimed at protecting churches from excessive and unconstitutional government intrusion. Launched Wednesday, Alliance Defense Fund’s Church Project provides legal information to pastors and ministry leaders on how to defend their religious freedom in America as well as practical guidelines on issues such as public funding and hiring policies.
For the past few years, Christian groups have been divided over how to respond to the annual Day of Silence. Some urge parents to pull their children from school that day in protest. They say the observance is not as innocuous as it seems. Others encourage Christian students to attend school and show support for school safety for all students, not just homosexual ones.
On the third anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre, a pastor dares to ask the question most Christians would rather avoid: Should we fire God?
Homosexual activists failed to get enough signatures to put on the November ballot an initiative to repeal California’s marriage protection act. It has been more than a year since 52 percent of California voters supported Prop. 8, the constitutional amendment that defined marriage as between a man and woman.