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Religious Freedom

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This Unpaid Pensions Case Could Crush Christian Hospitals

Supreme Court will decide if religious organizations qualify for IRS church exemption.

Today the US Supreme Court heard a trio of lawsuits on pension plans at Christian hospital systems. So far, the panel of justices seems torn over whether religiously affiliated employers fall under federal requirements for pension benefits.

Churches are exempt from the US Employee ...

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Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot

Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Image: Alexander Aksakov / Getty

Jehovah’s Witnesses have never held much clout in Russia, where the Orthodox Church dominates both the religious and political landscape. But a government lawsuit now threatens any future for their faith in public life.

The door-to-door evangelists have historically served ...

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China Kicks Out Korean Missionaries in 'Unprecedented' Numbers

Scores of Protestants expelled near North Korean border as tensions rise over THAAD missile defense system.

In the past few months, China has expelled dozens of South Korean missionaries from Jilin, a northeastern province that neighbors North Korea.

News media reported the raids, with estimates of the total expulsions ranging from 30 to 70.

"Chinese authorities raided the homes ...

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Trump’s Revised Refugee Ban Won’t Prioritize Persecuted Christians

White House softens executive order; Andy Stanley joins evangelical leaders urging compassion.
Trump’s Revised Refugee Ban Won’t Prioritize Persecuted Christians
Image: Jeremy Weber

Christians fleeing the Middle East will not take first priority under an updated version of President Donald Trump’s executive order on travel and refugees, which he signed Monday morning after weeks of debate and holdups in federal court.

The new order does away with explicit ...

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Sudan Frees Czech Missionary Imprisoned for Life

President pardons Petr Jasek, but local ministry partners remain in prison.
Sudan Frees Czech Missionary Imprisoned for Life
Image: Voice of the Martyrs

Last month, missionary Petr Jasek was sentenced to life in prison by Sudan for allegedly spying and waging war against the state.

This weekend, he returned to his native Czech Republic as a free man.

The Czech Republic had broken off relations with Sudan in protest of Jasek’s ...

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Courts Split on US Christians Caught Up in Turkey's Crackdown

Deportation of evangelist David Byle blocked, while pastor Andrew Brunson still imprisoned without evidence.
Courts Split on US Christians Caught Up in Turkey's Crackdown

As Turkey continues to crack down on dissent in the wake of a failed coup, two longtime American Christian expats are struggling to stay in the Muslim-majority nation they have long served. So far, they have fared quite differently in Turkish courts.

Last week, dozens of US lawmakers ...

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Pakistan Convicts 42 Christians of Terrorism After Acquitting More Than 100 Muslims

Divergent verdicts on two of Lahore's biggest religious riots undercuts optimism for new law.
Pakistan Convicts 42 Christians of Terrorism After Acquitting More Than 100 Muslims
Image: AsiaNews

Two of Pakistan’s biggest religious riots have finally gotten their day in court—with strikingly different results.

An anti-terrorism court in Lahore has sentenced 42 Christians for rioting after two churches in Pakistan’s largest Christian neighborhood were ...

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Southern Baptists Back Away from Backing Mosques

Trustee scuffle over ‘unholy alliance’ leads IMB to leave ERLC’s side on religious freedom fights.
Southern Baptists Back Away from Backing Mosques
Image: Islamic Society of Basking Ridge

The trouble started last May, when several arms of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) reached out a legal hand to a Muslim community in New Jersey, publicly supporting their right to build a mosque.

The International Mission Board (IMB) and Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission ...

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US Missionary May Get Russia’s Anti-Evangelism Law Overturned

After 32 cases, lawmakers review Yarovaya restrictions on religion. Top courts could follow.
US Missionary May Get Russia’s Anti-Evangelism Law Overturned

One Sunday morning in August, three policemen came to Don Ossewaarde’s home in Russia, where the Baptist missionary from Illinois was holding his weekly Bible study.

“Afterwards, they took me to the police station and charged me with conducting missionary activities ...

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Compassion Has 'Very Little Hope' for India, Sets Deadline to Shut Down Sponsorships

About 145,000 children have already lost its assistance with food, education, and health care.
Compassion Has 'Very Little Hope' for India, Sets Deadline to Shut Down Sponsorships
Image: Compassion International

“We want to be honest with you, there is very little hope.”

So wrote Compassion International to its 130,000 sponsors of Indian children this past Friday.

One week after sharing the good news of four nations no longer needing child sponsors due to the passion of millennials, ...

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No Middle Ground: Evangelical Leaders Reject Compromise on LGBT and Religious Rights

Scores sign statement against SOGI protections.

Compromises designed to safeguard both religious freedoms and LGBT rights won’t fly among many of America’s most influential conservative Christians.

Leaders from nearly 90 evangelical seminaries, publications, ministries, and churches—as well as Catholic and ...

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‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian

Islamic extremism now has a rival, according to 2017 World Watch List.
‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
Image: Open Doors

For the third year in a row, the modern persecution of Christians worldwide has hit another record high.

But the primary cause, Islamic extremism, now has a rival: ethnic nationalism.

Thus, Asia increasingly merits concern alongside the Middle East, according to the 2017 World ...

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The Top 20 Christianity Today Articles of 2016

The bigger story behind Jen Hatmaker, visiting Ken Ham's giant ark, and Andy Stanley's 'stinkin selfish' parents comment.
The Top 20 Christianity Today Articles of 2016

Did you catch all of the most-read CT articles from 2016?

Here's a look back at what readers kept clicking this past year.

(Note: This list is a politics-free zone. For CT’s top election stories, click here.)

​20. What to Give Up for Lent 2016? Consider Twitter's ...

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The 12 Most-Read Stories of the Persecuted Church

Russia bans evangelism, Pakistan's bloody Easter Sunday, Muslims pledge to protect Christians, and more.
The 12 Most-Read Stories of the Persecuted Church

Here are CT’s most-read stories about the persecuted church in 2016.

12. John Kerry: ISIS Is Responsible for Genocide Against Christians
Days after unanimous House vote, Secretary of State finally agrees with international religious freedom advocates.

11. Congrats, Frank ...

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CT's 2016 Cover Stories, Ranked

Here are the Top 10 features that readers read most.
CT's 2016 Cover Stories, Ranked

Yes, we only publish 10 cover stories per year. But we’re proud of all of them!

Here are CT’s 2016 print features, ranked in order of which ones our online readers read most.

10. 11 Portraits of Charleston Survivors' Grief and Grace CT sent a reporter and a photographer ...

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