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Religious Freedom

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Kenya Bans New Churches Amid 'Miracle-Faking Spree'

After TV exposé, attorney general seeks ways to rein in fake pastors.
Kenya Bans New Churches Amid 'Miracle-Faking Spree'
KTN Kenya (YouTube screenshot)

Prompted by news coverage of alleged illegal activity by pastors promising miracles, Kenya’s attorney general has banned new religious organizations from registering as the East African nation moves to enforce stricter regulations on churches, mosques, and temples.

The ...

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Answered Prayer for IDOP: North Korea Frees Missionary Kenneth Bae After Two Years

(UPDATED) Bae: 'Thank you ... for lifting me up and not forgetting me.'
Answered Prayer for IDOP: North Korea Frees Missionary Kenneth Bae After Two Years
Courtesy of Derek Sciba

Update (Nov. 10): At a news conference, Kenneth Bae thanked his supporters for "lifting me up and not forgetting me" during his long captivity in North Korea. "It's been an amazing two years," he said. "I learned a lot, I grew a lot, lost a lot ...

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Into the Fiery Furnace: Christian Couple in Pakistan Burned for 'Blasphemy'

(UPDATED) Prime minister pledges justice after mob kills pregnant wife and husband.
Into the Fiery Furnace: Christian Couple in Pakistan Burned for 'Blasphemy'
Courtesy of LEAD

Update (Nov. 10): After a fact-finding trip, the Church of Pakistan claims that "revenge for unpaid bills" was the real reason a Christian couple fell afoul of blasphemy rumors that led to a mob burning them to death. The Anglican Communion News Service reports ...

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Houston Mayor Drops Pastor Subpoenas

National debate over religious freedom prompts withdrawal.
Houston Mayor Drops Pastor Subpoenas
Ed Schipul / Flickr

Update (Oct. 29): Houston mayor Annise Parker announced Wednesday morning that she is directing America's fourth-largest city to rescind subpoenas issued to five local pastors.

The decision came a day after Parker met with Houston pastors (including Chris Seay, who ...

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Winter Is Coming: Mark Burnett, Roma Downey Launch $25 Million Plan To Help Christians in Iraq and Syria

Powerhouse TV Christian couple partner with Muslim king to address 'crisis in the cradle of Christianity.'
Winter Is Coming: Mark Burnett, Roma Downey Launch $25 Million Plan To Help Christians in Iraq and Syria
Courtesy of IGE

Walking the streets of Irbil, Johnnie Moore was struck by what he saw.

"Christians were everywhere: on the streets, in abandoned buildings, in canvas tents that are not water-proof or winterized," the former Liberty University chaplain and spokesman wrote of his ...

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U.S. Visited by Only Politician Ever Banned Over Religious Freedom Violations: India's Modi

Meanwhile, Indian Christians prepare to protest persecution surge from prime minister's first 100 days in office.
U.S. Visited by Only Politician Ever Banned Over Religious Freedom Violations: India's Modi
Global Panorama/Flickr

Today the only person ever banned by the United States because of alleged religious freedom violations—India’s newly-elected prime minister, Narendra Modi—will begin a four-day tour on American shores.

After Modi failed to prevent the riot deaths of 1,000 ...

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New Iran Bible Debuts as 460 Prayer Vigils Seek To 'Save Saeed'

(UPDATED) Bad news for prominent pastor imprisoned in Iran comes amid good news for Persian Christians at large.
New Iran Bible Debuts as 460 Prayer Vigils Seek To 'Save Saeed'
Screenshot of Save Saeed campaign

Update (Sept. 29): World Watch Monitor reports on the new translation of the Bible into modern Persian and how some of its contributors were martyred.

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...

Two years ago, Idaho pastor Saeed Abedini made one of his frequent trips to Iran. A convert from Islam to Christianity, ...

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IRS to Atheists: Okay, We'll Investigate Pulpit Freedom Sunday Pastors

Tax agency and FFRF announce settlement, but Milwaukee church disputes the lawsuit's dismissal.
IRS to Atheists: Okay, We'll Investigate Pulpit Freedom Sunday Pastors
Alliance Defending Freedom

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has agreed to investigate the political activity of churches after reaching a settlement with an atheist legal group. But a court has yet to decide whether or not to close the case.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the IRS ...

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Mosul's Last Christians Flee Iraq's Hoped-For Christian Stronghold

(UPDATED) Historic community comes to 'a real end' after ISIS ultimatum tells Christians to convert, pay tax, or die.
Mosul's Last Christians Flee Iraq's Hoped-For Christian Stronghold
STR/EPA

[Added biblical archaeology finds in Nineveh]

There are no Christians left in Iraq's second-largest city after a weekend ultimatum left Mosul residents with three choices: convert to Islam, pay jizya (a poll tax levied on non-Muslims), or die at the hands of the Islamic ...

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Muslim Sues Kenya's Catholic Bishops for Discrimination

Bishops sued as they lobby for peace amidst coastal violence.
Muslim Sues Kenya's Catholic Bishops for Discrimination
Screenshot of Al Yusra

Kenya has its own religious discrimination case: A Muslim restaurateur sued the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, claiming religious discrimination after the bishops allegedly cut short the restaurant's lease.

The owner of Al-Yusra Restaurant in Nairobi claims that ...

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Gordon College Loses City Contract, Gets Accreditation Scrutiny

President Michael Lindsay among 26 CCCU presidents urging an exemption clause in pending executive order.
Gordon College Loses City Contract, Gets Accreditation Scrutiny
Wikimedia Commons

A Massachusetts town cut short its contract with Gordon College after the school's president asked President Obama to exempt religious institutions from an expected non-discrimination order.

Gordon president D. Michael Lindsay—also a CT board member—was ...

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What Does Kenya's Wave of Anti-Christian Violence Mean?

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for nearly 100 coastal deaths since early June.
What Does Kenya's Wave of Anti-Christian Violence Mean?
STR/EPA

Attacks on Kenya's coastal region over the early summer left nearly 100 people dead amid concerns over a rash of religious violence.

Over the weekend, at least 22 people died in Saturday night attacks on the villages of Hindi and Gamba in eastern Kenya, reportsThe Wall ...

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Militants Take Over Christian University in Ukraine

Insurgents gain control as thousands flee the city of Donetsk.
Militants Take Over Christian University in Ukraine
Donetsk Christian University/Facebook

Pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine have reportedly taken over a Christian university in the major city of Donetsk and are using the university to house insurgents in preparation for battle.

"They want to accommodate more soldiers, so that place becomes the number ...

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Christian Worshippers Latest Targets in Nigerian Violence

Terrorist group Boko Haram has killed more than 2,000 this year.
Christian Worshippers Latest Targets in Nigerian Violence
talatu-carmen/Flickr

At least 30 people were killed last weekend after gunmen attacked worshippers and torched at least three churches in villages near Chibok in northern Nigeria, The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian reported.

Local residents blamed the terrorist organization Boko Haram, ...

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What's Next? How Hobby Lobby Affects Wheaton College and Nearly 100 Other Cases

Wheaton College, six other organizations get temporary relief; 100 cases likely to be affected.
What's Next? How Hobby Lobby Affects Wheaton College and Nearly 100 Other Cases
Courtesy of the Becket Fund

Just hours after the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision for Hobby Lobby and fewer than 24 before the IRS could fine several corporations for HHS mandate violations, federal circuit courts granted last minute relief to Wheaton College and six Catholic organizations, including ...

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