Church & State / Religious Freedom
Ky. rejects $18M in tax incentives for Noah's Ark park
A proposed Noah's Ark theme park in northern Kentucky has been turned down for around $18 million in state tax incentives amid concerns that it will promote religion and violate the separation of church and state. Answers in Genesis — says it is considering legal action in federal court.
Putin wants monasteries, church rebuilt inside Kremlin
Putin has cultivated strong ties with Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, adopting more conservative policies and prompting some critics to suggest the line separating state and church has become blurred. (Reuters)
CRIMEA: Old and new place of worship problems, Greek Catholic clergy restrictions - 27 June 2014
Crimean officials deny that a decree which will lead to a substantial rise in the rent the Kiev Patriarchate Ukrainian Orthodox Church pays on its nearly 20-year-old cathedral in the Crimean capital Simferopol is a targeted move. Sevastopol's Roman Catholic community is less optimistic since March about being able to regain its historic church. It lodged a European Court of Human Rights case over earlier denials in 2001. Greek Catholic priests from elsewhere in Ukraine can serve in Crimea only for three months in any four. All 1,546 religious communities with Ukrainian registration will have to re-register under Russian law.
Fire destroys St Sebastian’s Church New Delhi, foul play suspected
The church was opened on December 30, 2001, by then Archbishop Vincent Concessao of Delhi. It belongs to Delhi Latin rite archdiocese but also serves as worship place for the Syro-Malabar Catholics living in and around Dilshad Garden, one of the largest residential areas in Delhi.
Quiet fade-out for Obama’s faith council
Three years into his presidency, Obama’s marquee council of faith advisers has gone dark — a little-noticed postscript for a panel that he rolled out with fanfare and high expectations during his first weeks in office but ended up playing only a limited role in West Wing deliberations. (Politico)
Opinion: Faith-based farce
It seems George W. Bush’s “armies of compassion” have become Barack Obama’s armies of contraception. (Jim Towey, The Hill)
A More Secular Europe, Divided by the Cross
A commemorative euro coin with Christian imagery became the latest source of discord between the profoundly religious and those who prize a more rigid church-state divide. (The New York Times)
Texas a battleground for church and state issues
National advocacy groups have focused much of their efforts in Texas, most recently over Hays County commissioners opening their meetings with prayer, the Cedar Park Police Department putting a cross on its chaplain’s seal and Kountze High School cheerleaders carrying Christian signs at football games (Austin American-Statesman)
Christians Claim Workplace Discrimination in Landmark Case
Four Christians went to the European Human Rights Court this week to complain that their faith was under fire in the workplace. Do believers have an absolute right to religious expression at work, or do the requirements of employers and the rights of other members of society come first? (International Herald Tribune)