Conscience and the Legal Fight over Religious Liberty

The religious right of conscience was once a powerful legal idea. But when weighed against the right for equal treatment in recent gay rights cases, it has consistently lost ground. Part 3 of seven.

CHR Comment: This is an interesting reflection upon current inconsistencies in American law and its application with respect to religious liberty and the right not to violate one’s conscience. It illustrates why this issue continues to be discussed and must be sorted out.

Source: Behind legal fight over religious liberty, a question of conscience – CSMonitor.com

Pakistani Christian Accused of Blasphemy for Online Poem

The man is accused of sending a poem that insults Islam to a friend online.

CHR Comment: Pakistan has strict blasphemy laws. The article describes several examples of the law used against Christians, some of which may be based on false charges. However, a Muslim sect in Pakistan has suffered most from accusations of blasphemy.

Source: Police in Pakistan hunt Christian accused of blasphemy for online poem – The Washington Post

Russian Terrorism Law Restricts Evangelism

The law will prohibit evangelism anywhere outside a church or religious site – including private homes and online – and those in breach of it will be fined.

CHR Comment: Russian Protestants are opposing the new restrictions of religious liberties that are part of an effort to curb terrorist activities. They believe the laws will prevent them from sharing their faith outside of specifically defined religious contexts. The bill has already passed through the Russian Duma and Federation Council (their congress) and could be signed into law. Church historian Lloyd Harsch notes that after the initial openness following the collapse of Communism, Russian policies have become more and more restrictive on Protestant church activities.

I’ve added a second story to this topic below.

Source: Russia: Evangelicals pray, fast and lobby Putin as severe restrictions placed on evangelism | Christian News on Christian Today

http://www.christianpost.com/news/russia-seeks-to-ban-evangelism-outside-of-churches-no-religious-gatherings-at-home-165964/

Unmarried Couples Today Need No Nups Agreements

Couples who won’t say ‘I do’ to marriage need to say ‘I will’ to financial planning, or they could find themselves in legal, and financial, trouble.

CHR Comment: Financial issues naturally arise when there is no legal basis for two persons living together. Marriage and sex are automatically about family and property rights. As long as those rights are unclear, individuals and households are at risk. A good illustration of why the Bible teaches marriage as the blessed estate.

Source: Forget prenups: Unmarried couples today need ‘no nups’

Baby Left in Manger in New York Church

A mother who left her newborn baby in a manger in a nativity scene in a New York church has been found and will not be charged, officials say.

CHR Comment: New York has a law that allows babies to be left at churches anonymously. However, the mother was supposed to present the child to someone rather than leave it in the manger of a nativity scene. This story illustrates the long standing role of churches as havens of mercy.

Source: New York nativity baby: Mother found and will not be charged – BBC News