RECENT ARTICLES ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
VERMONT CHRISTIAN SCHOOL SUES STATE AFTER BEING PUNISHED FOR BIBLICAL VIEWS ON SEXUALITY, GENDER. Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit religious rights law firm, is representing Mid Vermont Christian School and two families after Vermont’s Agency of Education and Vermont Principals’ Association allegedly discriminated against the school because it did not adopt the state’s view on sexuality and gender. Read more here.
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS HAVING A ‘PR CRISIS.’ EXPERTS SAY. WHAT CAN BE DONE? Thirty years since the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, religious liberty rights remain essential, but they’re increasingly devalued and misunderstood, according to Sen. James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma. Read more here.
FINNISH PARLIAMENTARIAN FOUND NOT GUILTY OF ‘HATE SPEECH’ FOR BIBLE TWEET, OTHER EXPRESSION. In a victory for free speech, the Helsinki Court of Appeal has dismissed all charges against Finnish Member of Parliament Päivi Räsänen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola, who were both tried for “hate speech” in August after publicly expressing their Christian beliefs. Read more here.
VIRGINIA WON’T FORCE CHRISTIAN PHOTOGRAPHER TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR SAME-SEX WEDDINGS: SETTLEMENT. Bob Updegrove filed a lawsuit against Virginia over a law that expanded state anti-discrimination rules to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and the state attorney general and Virginia Office of Civil Rights will recognize his religious liberty for refusing to provide services for same-sex weddings. Read more here.
UK: ‘THOUGHT POLICE STILL AT IT’: WOMAN FINED FOR PRAYING IN HER HEAD. British police have again been accused of acting like “thought police” after they took action against Isabel Vaughan-Spruce for praying “in her head” near an abortion clinic, despite recent assurances from Britain’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman that silent prayer near abortion providers is not a crime. Read more here.
FEDERAL COURT: COLORADO CHRISTIAN SCHOOL CAN GET STATE FUNDS, STILL HIRE BELIEVERS. Darren Patterson Christian Academy will be permitted to participate in Colorado’s universal preschool program while maintaining its religious beliefs even though the school is engaged in a legal battle with the state. Read more here.
5 YEARS AFTER A SUPREME COURT WIN, CHRISTIAN BAKER JACK PHILLIPS’ FIGHT IS FAR FROM OVER. For the second time, Colorado baker Jack Phillips is going to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend his religious liberty from a ruling by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that, this time, claims he violated the rights of a transgender person who wanted him to bake a cake to celebrate her “gender change.” Read more here.
SUPREME COURT TO HEAR CASE OF JUDGE WHO REFUSED SAME-SEX WEDDINGS. The Texas Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a case involving a Texas Judge who refuses to conduct same-sex marriages, citing her religious beliefs. Read more here.
RELIGIOUS RIGHTS GROUP SAYS IT’S QUALIFIED TO TRAIN SOUTHWEST AIRLINES LAWYERS. The conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom argued it is well qualified to instruct three lawyers at Southwest Airlines on religious liberty should an appeals court uphold a federal judge’s order mandating the training as a sanction. Read more here.
SUPREME COURT PREVIEW: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CASES ON THE DOCKET. The U.S. Supreme Court during its new term will have the opportunity to reverse precedent that federal agencies have used to justify restrictions on religious liberty. Read more here.
RELIGION VS. LGBTQ+ RIGHTS: SUPREME COURT WEIGHS ‘CONVERSION THERAPY’ BANS FOR MINORS. The Supreme Court is being asked to weigh a ban on “conversion therapy” − the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity − in an appeal that tests the court’s appetite for engaging this term in the legal battle between religion and LGBTQ+ rights. Read more here.
COLORADO SUPREME COURT TAKES JACK PHILLIPS FREE SPEECH CASE. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Phillips and his cake shop appealed a Colorado Court of Appeals decision that would force him to express messages in support of “gender transition” that violate his beliefs. Read more here.
DIVERSE GROUPS UNITE TO SUPPORT FREEDOM OF SPEECH, RELIGION FOR OREGON EDUCATORS. A number of First Amendment advocates, a feminist group and medical professionals who care for children have united to protect freedom of speech and religion by filing friend-of-the-court briefs in support of two Oregon educators. Read more here.
UK HOME SECRETARY ANNOUNCES SILENT PRAYER NEAR ABORTION FACILITIES NOT A CRIME. Britain’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman has announced that silent prayer near abortion providers is not a crime, a statement being hailed as a “real victory for free speech, and pro-life prayer, and for those who showed courage and resilience in standing up for both mothers and babies.” Read more here.
AMICUS BRIEF DEFENDS MARYLAND PARENTS’ CASE FOR OPT-OUT. An amicus brief filed in Mahmoud v. Montgomery County (MD) Board of Education claims the Montgomery County Public School system “underestimates” how much its mandatory gender and sexuality curriculum interferes with parents’ religious exercise.” Read more here.
FINNISH BIBLE TRIAL CONCLUDES WITH FINAL ATTEMPT TO CRIMINALIZE ‘INSULTING’ CHRISTIAN SPEECH.In the Finnish trial of former government minister Päivi Räsänen, accused of “hate speech” by quoting the Bible, the Helsinki Court of Appeal expects to deliver a verdict in late November. Read more here.
‘NOT A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT’: MARYLAND COURT STRIKES DOWN PARENTS’ REQUEST TO OPT KIDS OUT OF LGBT CURRICULUM. A Maryland district court denied parents’ appeal to reinstate an opt-out policy in Montgomery County Public Schools. The case hinged on whether the decision to rescind its opt-out policy for LGBT curricula violated parents’ right to direct the religious instruction of their children. Read more here.
FRUIT GROWER WHO OPPPOSES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE WINS RULING OVER ACCESS TO PUBLIC MARKET. The decision by East Lansing, Michigan to exclude Steve Tennes and Country Mill Farms from a marketplace “constituted a burden on plaintiffs’ religious beliefs,” U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney said in applying a U.S. Supreme Court precedent to the case. Read more here.
JUDGE HALTS MANDATORY RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TRAINING FOR SOUTHWEST AIRLINES LAWYERS. A judge placed a temporary hold on an earlier court order requiring lawyers at Southwest Airlines to undergo a training session on religious liberty issues in response to the company firing a woman for expressing pro-life views, after it lost a lawsuit by the flight attendant who refused to participate with the organization’s support for Planned Parenthood. Read more here.
FINNISH POLITICIAN ON TRIAL FOR TWEET TO ADDRESS PRESS CONFERENCE. The Helsinki Court of Appeal will soon hear the free speech case surrounding Finnish member of parliament Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola, both charged with “hate speech” for publicly sharing their faith-based beliefs. Read more here.
CHRISTIAN PRESCHOOLS SUE COLORADO OVER UNIVERSAL PRE-K PROGRAM. Multiple Christian preschools allege in a federal lawsuit that the state has excluded them from participating in the Colorado Universal Preschool Program Act because it would force them to hire people who do not uphold their religious teachings on sexuality and marriage. Read more here.
NJ SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS RELIGIOUS SCHOOL’S CHOICE TO HIRE TEACHERS THAT FOLLOW THEIR FAITH. The state’s high court ruled in favor of a Catholic school allowing it to make decisions to train students in the faith without the government’s interference. Read more here.
GEEK SQUAD EMPLOYEE SAYS BOSSES MANDATED LGBT INDOCTRINATION, BANNED CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS. A Christian employee of Geek Squad, the tech support arm of Best Buy, was reportedly rebuked and told that he couldn’t display evidence of his Christian beliefs after he objected to the LGBT flags and other paraphernalia adorning the office space. Read more here.
FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS SOUTHWEST AIRLINES ATTORNEYS TO ATTEND ‘RELIGIOUS-LIBERTY TRAINING’ FROM CONSERVATIVE GROUP. A federal judge in Texas ordered three attorneys for Southwest Airlines to attend “religious-liberty training” from a conservative legal advocacy group as punishment for allegedly violating his ruling in a religious discrimination case brought against the company by a fired flight attendant. Read more here.
RED STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES UPDATED PARENTAL BILL OF RIGHTS ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita announced a fourth edition of the “Indiana Parent’s Bill of Rights” to help parents understand how and when their children can freely exercise their religion in public schools. Read more here.
FIRED CHRISTIAN BIOLOGY PROFESSOR FILES RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT. For teaching that X and Y chromosomes determine human genders, Adjunct Professor Johnson Varkey was fired, and now he’s suing St. Phillips College for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Read more here.
SUPREME COURT SAYS WEB DESIGNER CAN DENY LGBTQ+ COUPLES. NY PHOTOGRAPHER SUIT RESURFACES. Emilee Carpenter, who specializes in wedding photography, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court claiming New York’s requirement that because she photographs weddings between a man and a woman she must do likewise for same-sex couples, violating her religious beliefs and constitutional rights. Read more here.
MAJORITY OF GERMANS THINK A CHURCH DOES NOT HAVE TO FLY A RAINBOW FLAG. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of the respondents to a survey by Die Tagespost responded “no” to the question of whether or not churches should hang LGBT flags on their buildings to show tolerance and human rights. Read more here.
INDIANA MUSIC TEACHER’S RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CASE HEADS BACK TO DISTRICT COURT. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit vacated its previous opinion against the religious accommodation of high school music teacher John Kluge, who was terminated for declining to name students by their preferred pronouns. Read more here.
TEXAS NURSE WINS RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION ON ABORTION FOR VA EMPLOYEES. Stephanie Carter won a lawsuit against the Veterans Administration (VA) resulting in a nationwide policy protecting the religious liberty rights of all VA employees. Read more here.
UK MAN CLEARED FOR SILENT PRAYER AFTER HE WAS INITIALLY FINED. Authorities have ended legal action against Adam Smith-Connor, an army veteran and father who was issued a fine for praying silently within an abortion facility buffer zone. Read more here.
APPEALS COURT RULES CATHOLIC SCHOOL CAN FIRE COUNSELOR OVER HER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. The court’s decision justified Roncalli High School’s firing of guidance counselor Shelly Fitzgerald, who married a woman. Read more here.
‘MODERN-DAY INQUISITION’: GOVERNMENT POUNCING ON CHRISTIAN AGAIN FOR BELIEF. Paivi Rasanen, a Christian in Finland, was last year acquitted of hate speech charges and “ethnic agitation” but now is facing yet another legal assault for her faith. Read more here.
APPEALS COURT RULES CATHOLIC SCHOOL CAN FIRE COUNSELOR OVER HER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. The court’s decision justified Roncalli High School’s firing of guidance counselor Shelly Fitzgerald, who married a woman. Read more here.
TEXAS JUDGE STILL FIGHTING TO DENY WEDDING CEREMONIES TO SAME-SEX COUPLES. Waco judge Dianne Hensley received a public warning from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for refusing to perform same-sex marriages, but she hopes a recent U.S. Supreme Court victory by Alliance Defending Freedom will help preserve her religious freedom. Read more here.
QUEENSLAND UNITING CHURCH MINISTER OPPOSED TO SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LOSES UNFAIR DISMISSAL CLAIM. Hedley Wycliff Atunaisa Fihaki was inducted as a minister of the Mooloolaba Uniting church in 2013 but was dismissed after making statements against same-sex marriage in social and mainstream media between January 2019 and August 2021. Read more here.
U.S. Supreme Court protects free speech for all. In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held in 303 Creative v. Elenis that “the opportunity to think for ourselves and to express those thoughts freely is among our most cherished liberties and part of what keeps our Republic strong.” Read more here.
Texas, North Dakota pharmacy sue the Biden administration. The state of Texas and a Catholic-run pharmacy in North Dakota challenged the Biden administration’s mandate requiring pharmacies that serve patients on federal assistance to dispense abortion drugs. Read more here.
Groff v. DeJoy: What the Supreme Court’s decision means for you. The Supreme Court unanimously made it easier for employees to obtain religious accommodations at their workplace. Read more here.
UN anti-discrimination report leads to worries about religious freedom. The National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF) is worried that claims of discrimination against the LGBT community will lead to limits on religious freedom. Read more here.
Religious freedom wins in court case about trans medical procedures. Doctors, other medical personnel and hospitals with faith-based objections to transgender surgeries are celebrating a win against an Obamacare mandate as President Joe Biden declined to appeal a ruling to the Supreme Court. Read more here.
UN anti-discrimination report leads to worries about religious freedom. The National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF) is worried that claims of discrimination against the LGBT community will lead to limits on religious freedom. Read more here.
Religious freedom wins in court case about trans medical procedures. Doctors, other medical personnel and hospitals with faith-based objections to transgender surgeries are celebrating a win against an Obamacare mandate as President Joe Biden declined to appeal a ruling to the Supreme Court. Read more here.
Top German court upholds freedom of assembly: prayer group may pray near abortion organization. In a new ruling, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig confirms that blanket bans against peaceful prayer gatherings near abortion organisations are impermissible. Read more here.
Norway “conversion” ban will not affect religious intercession. The Norwegian Bar Association has reassured Norway’s pastors that the likely ban on “conversion” therapy will not prohibit clergy from praying for individuals who experience same-sex attraction. Read more here.
UN attempts to impose LGBT orthodoxy on all religions. Religious freedom ends where LGBT rights begin according to the conclusion of a new UN report on the right to freedom of religion and belief submitted by the UN independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz. Read more here.
New York Wedding Photographer Won’t Share Her Beliefs About Marriage Because Speaking Out Could Put Her in Jail. Emilee Carpenter, a Christian wedding photographer, filed a lawsuit challenging New York law forcing commercial photographers to photograph same-sex weddings. Read more here.
UK Christian Teacher Who ‘Misgendered’ Student Banned From Profession. Christian teacher Joshua Sutcliffe is banned from teaching in England after he accidentally misgendered a student and was honest about his thoughts on same-sex marriage when a student asked. Read more here.
Parents Sue Maryland School District for Prohibiting Opt Outs of LGBT Lessons. Parents in Montgomery County, Maryland have sued their school district over a policy that prohibits parents from opting their children out of lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation, even for religious reasons. Read more here.
California Officials to Pay Churches Over Abortion Healthcare Mandate. California officials are reportedly preparing to pay out $1.4 million to four churches after attempting to force them to provide abortion health care coverage for their employees. Read more here.
German Christian School Takes Case Against Homeschool Ban to High Court. The Association for Decentralized Learning, a Christian hybrid school provider in Germany, filed a lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights after government officials refused to grant the entity approval to open new schools. Read more here.
U.S. HHS Abandons Catholic Hospital Accreditation Threat. The Department of Health and Human Services has dropped its accreditation ultimatum to a Catholic hospital after the medical center threatened legal action. Read more here.
Irish Citizens Could Soon Be Jailed for ‘Possessing Material Likely to Incite Violence.’ A bill under consideration by the Irish government could jail citizens for merely possessing religious and other materials that criticize certain protected characteristics, including gender identity and sexual orientation. Read more here.
U.S. HHS Threatens Medicare Accreditation of Catholic Hospital. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is requiring Saint Francis Health System in Oklahoma to either extinguish the sanctuary candle in its chapel or risk losing the ability to serve Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP patients. Read more here.
USCIRF Releases Annual Religious Freedom Report. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom released its annual report on violations of religious freedom, noting that the state of religious freedom around the world is “very grim.” Read more here.
UK Mom Pledges Appeal After Court Dismisses Lawsuit Over Child Forced to Attend ‘Pride March.’ A Christian mother in the UK who sued after claiming her 4-year-old son was forced to participate in an LGBT “pride march” at his school without her consent is appealing after a court dismissed her case. Read more here.
Jack Phillips Appeals Transgender Cake Case to Colorado Supreme Court. Colorado baker Jack Phillips has appealed to the state supreme court after a lower court ruled that the devout Christian violated discrimination law by refusing to create a cake celebrating a “gender transition.” Read more here.
Quebec Education Minister Wants to Ban Prayer in Classrooms. Quebec Education Minister Bernard Drainville intends to forbid prayer in the province’s classrooms and will send a directive to school boards outlining his decision. Read more here.
School’s Transgender Policy Trumped Teacher’s Religious Rights, U.S. Court Rules. An Indiana high school did not break the law by allegedly forcing a music teacher to quit after he refused on religious grounds to use transgender-identifying students’ preferred names, a U.S. appeals court ruled. Read more here.
Lawyers Demand Virginia School District Allow Teacher to Quote Bible Verse in Email. A high school teacher in Virginia was allegedly told to remove Bible verses from her work email signature, prompting a demand letter from her lawyers alleging violation of her First Amendment rights. Read more here.
Christian Mother Sues Oregon for Denying Adoption Over Her Gender Beliefs. An Oregon mother of five claims her religious beliefs on gender barred her from adopting a pair of siblings in her state, and now she’s taking to the courts to fight for her First Amendment rights. Read more here.
U.S. State AGs Back Christian College’s Lawsuit Against Biden Admin Ban on Single-Sex Dorms. Nineteen states have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court backing the College of the Ozarks’ lawsuit against the Biden administration’s rule banning single-sex dorms. Read more here.
Church Sues Maine for Requiring Schools to Adhere to LGBT Policy to Be Eligible for Tuition Program. Crosspoint Church in Maine is challenging a state law prohibiting religious private schools from receiving funds from a tuition program unless they adhere to a state LGBT antidiscrimination policy. Read more here.
Virginia Gov Signs Bill Protecting Churches From Discrimination During Emergencies. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a bill that ensures churches are allowed to remain open during a state of emergency on the same or better terms as other businesses and services. Read more here.
UK School Worker Fights Firing Over Objecting to Grade School Transgender Lessons. A UK woman who was allegedly fired from a Church of England primary school for raising concerns about compulsory sex education and lessons about transgenderism had her appeal heard before an employment tribunal. Read more here.
Christian Man Facing Jail for Ex-LGBT Testimony Reported to Police by EU Equality Official. A police report accusing a Christian man in Malta of illegally advertising “conversion therapy” by recounting how he left a homosexual lifestyle was reportedly filed by a top equality official in the European Union. Read more here.
Scottish Catholic Student Group Blocked for Encouraging ‘Prayer for the Unborn.’ Stirling University’s Roman Catholic society has been suspended for encouraging students to join a prayer gathering for the unborn outside a Glasgow hospital. Read more here.
NY Employee Fired for Skipping LGBT Training on Religious Grounds Loses Appeal. A federal appeals court rejected the case of a former account clerk in New York who alleged he was fired for refusing to attend a required LGBT training session in 2018. Read more here.
West Virginia Gov Signs Religious Freedom Bill. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed the “Equal Protection for Religion Act,” a law which stipulates the government cannot “substantially burden” someone’s constitutional right to freedom of religion. Read more here.
Christian Ministry Sues Rhode Island District for Blocking After School Meetings. Good News Club, a longtime elementary school ministry, has filed a lawsuit against a Rhode Island school district for prohibiting the student group from meeting on equal terms as secular clubs. Read more here.
UK Street Preacher Reported as Terrorist for ‘Misgendering’ Wins Appeal. A Christian who was the first street preacher to be prosecuted and reported to a UK counterterrorism watchdog for allegedly “misgendering” a transgender-identifying person won his appeal. Read more here.
Students Demand DePaul ‘Eliminate’ Christian Group From Campus Over LGBT Views. Students at DePaul University, a private Catholic university in Illinois, are circulating a petition demanding the elimination of a Christian group after it posted a Q&A on social media denouncing LGBTQ lifestyles. Read more here.
UK Woman Arrested Again for Praying Silently Outside Abortion Clinic. A pro-life activist was arrested for the second time for the “offense” of silently praying in her head near an abortion facility in Birmingham, England. Read more here.
NY to Pay Settlement After Trying for Years to Shut Down Faith-Based Adoption Agency. New York state officials have agreed to pay $250,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs after trying to shut down New Hope Family Services adoption agency because of its religious beliefs. Read more here.
Twenty-One States Unite in Support of Kentucky Photographer’s Religious Freedom. Twenty-one states filed amicus briefs with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Chelsey Nelson, a Kentucky photographer who successfully challenged a city law that required her to create photographs and write blogs expressing a view of marriage that contradicted her beliefs. Read more here.
Missouri Christian College Asks SCOTUS to Uphold Its Freedom to Have Sex-Specific Dorms. College of the Ozarks asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision refusing to block a Biden administration directive that requires the college to open its dormitories, including shared shower spaces, to members of the opposite sex. Read more here.
Washington Homeless Shelter Sues State Officials Preventing It From Hiring Christian Employees. Yakima Union Gospel Mission, a Christian homeless shelter, filed a lawsuit against Washington state officials alleging that the state’s anti-discrimination law prevents the shelter from only hiring employees that agree with their faith-based worldview. Read more here.
Michigan Muslim Group Warns State That LGBTQ Bill Might Be Unconstitutional. The Council of American Islamic Relations has objected to the Michigan Senate’s passage of an expanded version of state human rights law protecting LGBTQ groups, on the grounds that it might be unconstitutional and could undermine religious freedom. Read more here.
NYC Threatens Yeshiva University Funds for Failure to Make ‘Supportive Space’ for LGBT Students. Yeshiva University, an Orthodox Jewish university, is at risk of losing public funding if they don’t recognize an LGBT club, according to a letter sent to school officials by the city’s Comptroller Brad Lander. Read more here.
West Virginia Passes Bill Aimed at Protecting Religious Liberty. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed the West Virginia Senate and will now head to the governor’s desk in a bid to protect religious Americans from being discriminated against by the government. Read more here.
UK Chaplain Reported as Terrorist for Questioning LGBT Activists Digs in for Legal Battle. A school chaplain in the United Kingdom who claims he was left unemployable after he was fired and reported as a terrorist for questioning LGBTQ activists is set to appeal a legal ruling against him. Read more here.
Oklahoma AG Says Faith-Based Charter Schools Violate Constitution. Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond rescinded his predecessor’s decision to allow publicly funded religious charter schools, claiming they are unconstitutional. Read more here.
City’s Law Illegally Forces Catholic Bookstore to Violate Religious Beliefs, Lawsuit Alleges. A Catholic bookstore filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Jacksonville, Florida for a law that allegedly prevents the business from expressing religious views on traditional marriage and gender. Read more here.
Biden Admin Looking to Remove Religious Student Groups’ Protections on Campus. The Department of Education announced a proposal rescinding a policy that prohibits universities from receiving federal funding if they restrict religious student group activities. Read more here.
British Woman, Priest Acquitted of Charges for Praying Outside Abortion Clinic. A British woman and a local priest, both arrested for praying silently outside an abortion clinic in Birmingham, have been formally acquitted of all criminal charges. Read more here.
Whistleblower: FBI Has Found a Gateway to Declare Christians as Criminals. An internal document from the FBI’s Richmond, Virginia field office allegedly vowed to spy on “radical traditionalist Catholics and their ideology,” a move one whistleblower says is a gateway to declaring Christians as criminals. Read more here.
UN to Push Religious Communities to ‘Fully Comply’ With Human Rights Law to Empower LGBT People. The UN will release a report regarding “perceived contradictions” between freedom of religion and LGBT rights, through which they aim to push governments to “fully comply” with international human rights law to “protect and empower” the participation of LGBT+ people in religious communities. Read more here.
Arizona Library That Banned Christian Story Hour Backs Down After Legal Challenge. A Pinal County, Arizona library that censored a local resident from hosting a Christian book reading is backing down after a religious liberty law firm’s demand letter. Read more here.
Charges Dropped Against British Woman Arrested for Praying Outside Abortion Clinic. Charges have been dropped against a British woman who was arrested for silently praying outside an abortion clinic in England, though she has decided to pursue a verdict in court to clear her name. Read more here.
Dutch Court Rules Banning ‘Conversion Therapy’ Violates Religious Freedom. According to the formal opinion of the Dutch Council of State, a total ban on so-called “gay conversion therapy” would violate the constitutional right to religious freedom. Read more here.
Catholic School Students Kicked Out of Smithsonian Museum for Pro-Life Caps. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum kicked out a dozen Catholic high school students and their chaperones for wearing beanies inscribed with pro-life messages. Read more here.
UK Mom Sues After Child Was Forced to Participate in LGBT ‘Pride March.’ A Christian mother in the UK is having her case heard in London after she took legal action when her 4-year-old son was allegedly compelled to participate in his school’s LGBT “pride march” against her will. Read more here.
Masterpiece Cakeshop Baker Loses Appeal Over ‘Gender Transition’ Cake. Christian baker Jack Phillips lost his appeal in a case that stemmed from his refusal to make a cake for an individual’s “gender transition.” Read more here.
UK PM Warned That ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban Likely to Criminalize Church Leaders. Church leaders have called on the UK government to drop its plans to ban “conversion therapy,” claiming the ban is likely to “criminalize innocent parents, teachers and church leaders.” Read more here.
Christian Charity Worker in Malta Prosecuted for Speaking Against Homosexuality. A Christian charity worker in Malta is facing prosecution for sharing his personal testimony about rejecting homosexual activity on the radio. Read more here.
Alabama Gov Adds Another Layer of Protection to Religious Freedom. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed an executive order to ensure the enforcement of the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment. Read more here.
Georgia Police Officer Resigns After Superiors Suspend Him for Traditional Marriage Beliefs. A police officer in Georgia resigned from the Port Wentworth Police Department after he said superiors attempted to suppress him from sharing his religious beliefs on social media. Read more here.
UK Man Fined for Silently Praying Outside Abortion Clinic. A UK man was reportedly fined after he admitted he was praying in front of an abortion clinic in Bournemouth, England. Read more here.
Yeshiva University Pushes LGBT Club Dispute to New York’s Highest Court. Yeshiva University is one step closer to getting its case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after the school appealed a lower court ruling that it must recognize an LGBT club on campus to New York’s highest court. Read more here.
Christian NHL Player Refuses to Wear LGBT ‘Pride’ Jersey, Citing His Faith. Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov declined to wear the team’s LGBT warmup jersey for “Pride Night,” citing his desire to stay true to his Russian Orthodox faith. Read more here.
Attempt to Amend UK Online Safety Bill Could Threaten Work of Churches. A UK MP has introduced an amendment to the Online Safety Bill which would brand as harmful any content promoting so-called “conversion therapy,” a move which could threaten the ability of churches to reach out to those with sexual identity concerns. Read more here.
In Courts Across America, Religious Liberty Is on the Docket in 2023. Religious liberty is set to be a hot-button issue in American courts in 2023, with several cases in particular that could set important precedent for the rights of religious Americans in the future. Read more here.
U.S. Judge Rules Christian Colleges With Biblical Views on Sexuality Can Receive Title IX Funds. A federal court ruled that Christian colleges and universities with traditional views on sexuality and marriage can continue to receive funding through Title IX, rejecting LGBT students’ efforts to strike down a religious exemption to federal discrimination law. Read more here.
Minnesota Poised to Ban Christians, Muslims, and Jews From Teaching in Public Schools. Minnesota will soon ban faithful Christians, Muslims, and Jews from teaching in public schools by requiring that every state-certified teacher “fosters an environment that ensures student identities such as … gender identity … are … affirmed.” Read more here.
U.S. Catholic Charity Fights Court Ruling Challenging Its Status as a Religious Organization. The Catholic Charities Bureau of the Diocese of Superior filed a petition for review with the Wisconsin Supreme Court after it was unable to obtain religious exemption status for unemployment benefits due to an appeals court ruling the charity wasn’t “religious enough.” Read more here.
U.S. Faith-Based Schools Should Be ‘Very Concerned’ About Biden Accreditation Plans. A former Department of Education official is concerned that a new regulatory agenda released by the Biden administration could have adverse effects on religious colleges and universities that participate in the federal student loan program. Read more here.
Catholic Hospital Can’t Refuse to Remove Uterus From Transgender-Identified Patient, Judge Rules. A federal court ruled the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center broke the law by refusing to remove the uterus of a transgender-identified patient due to the religious beliefs of the institution. Read more here.
Australian Christian Couple Awarded Damages After Their Foster Parent Application Was Rejected. A Western Australian tribunal found that a Christian couple was discriminated against when their application to foster a child was rejected over their view that homosexuality is a sin. Read more here.
Catholic Parish, Families Sue Michigan Over LGBT Interpretation of Civil Rights Law. A Catholic parish and a group of families have filed a lawsuit against Michigan over concerns that a state civil rights law will be used to force the parish’s school to violate its religious views on marriage and biological sex. Read more here.
British Woman Arrested for Praying Silently Near Abortion Facility. A British pro-life activist was arrested and is facing criminal charges for silently praying outside an abortion clinic in Birmingham while it was closed. Read more here.
Nearly 30 Pro-Abortion Attacks Against Churches Have Occurred Since Roe Was Overturned. Dozens of U.S. churches have been targets of pro-abortion “hostility” since the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, a Family Research Council report found. Read more here.
Christian Doctors Sue New Mexico for Law Forcing Participation in Assisted Suicide. Christian doctors filed a lawsuit against the state of New Mexico for enacting a law that requires doctors to facilitate physician-assisted suicide in ways that violate their religious convictions. Read more here.
New York Appeals Court Rules Yeshiva University Must Recognize LGBTQ Club. A New York appeals court ruled that Yeshiva University must formally recognize an LGBTQ student group, rejecting the Jewish school’s claims that doing so would violate its religious rights and values. Read more here.
Texas Veterans Affairs Sued by Nurse Over Compelled Abortion Services. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs rule that requires its facilities to offer abortion counseling and procedures is being challenged in court by health professionals who said it violates their religious liberties. Read more here.
ECHR Condemns Bulgaria for Discriminating Against Christians. The European Court of Human Rights has condemned the government of Bulgaria for violating the right to religious freedom of Evangelical Christians in the country. Read more here.
Court Lifts Sanctions on Korean Christian TV. A South Korean court lifted government sanctions on a Christian broadcaster over their on-air remarks on the proposed anti-discrimination law and same-sex issues during an interview in 2020. Read more here.
U of Idaho Pays Settlement for Censoring Students’ Views on Marriage. The University of Idaho has agreed to pay $90,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by three Christian students given “no contact orders” after expressing their religious beliefs in opposition to same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Federal Court Blocks Biden Mandate Forcing Religious Hospitals to Facilitate Gender Transitions. A federal court blocked a Biden administration mandate that would force religious hospitals and doctors to facilitate gender transitions against their sincerely held moral convictions. Read more here.
Illinois Displays Satanic Temple Alongside Nativity Scene in State Capitol Building. A display at the Illinois State Capitol shows the “Serpent of Genesis” from the Satanic Temple alongside a Christian nativity. Read more here.
U.S. House Blocks Religious Liberty Amendment to Same-Sex Marriage Bill. House Democrats have blocked an amendment that would have strengthened religious liberty protections in the Respect for Marriage Act. Read more here.
Judge Orders Southwest Airlines to Reinstate Flight Attendant Fired for Expressing Religious Views. A federal judge has issued an order requiring Southwest Airlines to reinstate an employee previously fired for expressing her pro-life and religious views. Read more here.
SCOTUS Justice Accuses Colorado of Forcing Christian Baker to Undergo ‘Reeducation.’ Justice Gorsuch slammed the state of Colorado for forcing a Christian baker to undergo a “reeducation program” after he refused to create a custom cake celebrating a same-sex marriage because it violated his religious convictions. Read more here.
Philippines Passes Law to Protect Religious Freedom. The Philippine Congress passed the Magna Carta of Religious Freedom Act, which lawmakers say aims to protect every citizen’s right to religious freedom. Read more here.
U.S. Congressman Introduces Amendment to Protect Religious Objectors to Same-Sex Marriage. Rep. Chip Roy of Texas introduced an amendment to the Respect For Marriage Act that would add legal protections for those who believe in traditional marriage. Read more here.
UK Charity Apologizes to Chaplain Threatened With ‘Re-Training’ for Wearing Cross Pin. Marie Curie, a UK-based charity, apologized “unreservedly” to a Christian chaplain after he fought back when he was threatened with “consequences” and “re-training” if he did not stop wearing a small cross pin. Read more here.
Deadline Passes for Biden Admin to Appeal Ruling Against Transgender Mandate. The deadline has passed for the Biden administration to appeal a federal court ruling that religious healthcare networks cannot be required to carry out “gender reassignment” surgeries in violation of their beliefs or professional medical judgment. Read more here.
Wyoming’s Largest Homeless Shelter Secures Right to Hire Christians. A Christian nonprofit organization that serves as Wyoming’s largest homeless shelter recently secured a favorable settlement with state and federal government officials that will allow the shelter to hire only those who share its Christian beliefs. Read more here.
U.S. Senator Urges Colleagues to Protect Religious Freedom. Senator Mike Lee is urging colleagues to attach his amendment, which protects the right of religious people and religious institutions from predatory actions of the federal government, to the Respect for Marriage Act. Read more here.
South Carolina Gov Fights as ACLU Targets Faith-Based Foster Agencies. South Carolina’s governor has asked a federal court to protect the state’s right to partner with faith-based foster care groups to provide homes for children in need. Read more here.
Free Speech Concerns Surround Ireland’s Hate Crime Bill. Critics of proposed hate crime legislation in the Republic of Ireland remain skeptical about the bill, fearing the law will be used to censor religious views on gender and sexuality. Read more here.
U.S. Faith Leaders Warn Respect for Marriage Act Will Damage Religious Freedom. Leaders of faith-based institutions warned that the Respect for Marriage Act would “hack away” at the religious freedom of faith-based groups. Read more here.
SCOTUS Poised to Issue Blockbuster Decision on Free Speech. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments December 5 in the case of 303 Creative, LLC v. Elenis, an appeal brought by a Colorado website designer who claims she has a First Amendment right to refuse to make websites for same-sex weddings. Read more here.
YouTube Bans Norwegian Prayer Channel. YouTube has banned a Norwegian prayer channel, stating that the channel violates its guidelines and falls under the category of “online spam, deceptive practices and fraud.” Read more here.
Greek Sports Star to Be Jailed for ‘Transphobic’ Message on Biblical Sexuality. Greek football legend Vassilis Tsiartas received a jail sentence and a fine for posting allegedly “transphobic” social media messages citing the Bible’s creation account. Read more here.
Christian Schools Threatened by Proposed Australian Bill. Christian schools in Australia’s Northern Territory could soon lose the freedom to only employ people who share their Christian beliefs if proposed amendments to the state’s Anti-Discrimination Act are passed. Read more here.
Boston Pays Out Millions to Settle Christian Flag Legal Case. The city of Boston, Massachusetts has agreed to pay more than $2.1 million to the Christian legal organization that backed a court challenge after the city refused to fly a Christian flag outside City Hall. Read more here.
New UN Treaty Would Make ‘Homophobia’ a Crime Against Humanity. The UN General Assembly is discussing a treaty on crimes against humanity that could be used to fine and jail religious conservatives and anyone who objects to the homosexual and transgender agendas. Read more here.
Kroger Settles With Employees Fired for Refusing ‘Rainbow’ Logos on Their Uniforms. Supermarket chain Kroger will create a religious accommodation policy and implement new training after settling a lawsuit from two former employees who objected to wearing a logo they believed signaled support for the LGBT community. Read more here.
Judge Rules Washington State Can Investigate Evangelical University’s Hiring Practices. A federal judge in Washington state has tossed a lawsuit by a Christian university seeking to stop a state inquiry into the school’s hiring practices that block LGBTQ individuals from full-time roles. Read more here.
Washington HS Football Coach Fired Over Prayers to Be Reinstated. A Washington high school football coach who was fired by the district over postgame prayers must be reinstated to his old job by March 2023, court documents say. Read more here.
California Court Rules in Favor of Baker Who Declined to Bake Cake for Same-Sex Wedding. A California court ruled in favor of a Christian baker following a years-long legal battle after she refused to bake a custom cake for a same-sex wedding in 2017, citing her religious beliefs. Read more here.
WMA Backs Conscience Freedoms for Pro-Life Medical Providers. The World Medical Association issued an update to the International Code of Medical Ethics, calling for the protection of the conscientious objection rights of medical providers. Read more here.
CA Woman Sues Childcare Company for Allegedly Firing Her for Refusing to Read LGBT Books to Kids. A childcare teacher in California is suing her former employer after she was allegedly fired for refusing on religious grounds to read books to children that featured same-sex couples. Read more here.
UK Catholic Media Commentator Arrested for Speaking Out Against Radical Gender Theory. Catholic media commentator and mother of five, Caroline Farrow, had Surrey Police come into her home without a warrant, seize all her electronic devices, and arrest her over statements she made on Twitter against radical gender theory. Read more here.
P.A. Sues Michigan Hospital for Religious Discrimination Over Transgender Stance. A federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a physician assistant who was fired from University of Michigan Health-West after she sought a religious exemption from referring patients for “sex-reassignment surgeries” and hormone interventions. Read more here.
Michigan Wedding Venue Investigated for Refusal to Host LGBT Ceremonies. A wedding venue in Michigan is being investigated for violation of a local human rights ordinance after the owners refused to host LGBT ceremonies because of their religious beliefs. Read more here.
Colorado Baker Challenges Ruling Over ‘Gender Transition’ Cake. Colorado baker Jack Phillips is challenging a ruling that he violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by refusing to bake a cake celebrating a “gender transition.” Read more here.
SNP Ministers Sent ‘Chilling’ Recommendation for ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban. The findings of expert advisors on a potential law banning so-called “conversion therapy” in Scotland have shocked campaigners who claim the recommendations are an attack on parental rights and religious liberty. Read more here.
Appeals Court Rules Against Kentucky Official Who Denied Same-Sex Marriage Licenses. An appeals panel ruled that a Kentucky county official is not protected from being sued personally for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Read more here.
Federal Court Rules for Catholic School That Fired Teacher in Same-Sex Union. A federal court in Indiana ruled in favor of a Catholic private school that fired a teacher who had entered into a same-sex union in violation of her contract with the institution. Read more here.
Michigan Health Accused of Wrongfully Firing PA for Refusing to Perform ‘Gender-Affirming’ Procedures. The University of Michigan Health has been accused of wrongfully firing a physician assistant who sought a religious exemption from participating in “sex-change” procedures. Read more here.
U.S. Court Upholds Courtroom Prayer Tradition, Overturns Lower Court Ruling. The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a Texas judge sued for allowing religious leaders to begin court sessions with invocations. Read more here.
LGBT Student Club Agrees to Delay Forcing Recognition From Yeshiva University. An LGBT student group has agreed to hold off on forcing Yeshiva University to formally recognize it while the Jewish school in New York City appeals a judge’s order requiring it to do so. Read more here.
Spanish Minister Assures That Transgender and Abortion Laws Will Not Restrict Freedom of Conscience. The Minister of the Presidency in Spain made assurances that the new transgender law and the changed abortion legislation will not violate religious freedom or interfere with freedom of conscience. Read more here.
U.S. University Ends All Student Groups After Court Orders It to Recognize LGBT Group. After receiving a court order to formally recognize an LGBT student group, Yeshiva University in New York City determined it would be optimal to “hold off on all undergraduate club activities” while determining how to protect the school’s religious freedom. Read more here.
UK College Cancels Christian Group’s Event Over Its Beliefs on Marriage. A college at Cambridge University has canceled an event for young Christian professionals, saying that the values of the organizers, who do not support same-sex marriage, are “not compatible with the values of the college.” Read more here.
SCOTUS Denies Jewish University’s Request to Block LGBT Student Group. The Supreme Court denied Yeshiva University’s emergency request to block a lower court order requiring the New York-based school to recognize an LGBT club on campus, saying the matter can return to the high court after it has exhausted state court channels. Read more here.
Washington Christian College Sued by Students, Staff Over LGBTQ Hiring Ban. Seattle Pacific University in Washington state has been sued by more than a dozen students and staff members over its LGBTQ hiring ban based on its religious beliefs. Read more here.
Christian College Continues Legal Battle Against Biden Admin Discrimination Policy. A Christian college in Missouri has filed an en banc appeal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seeking protection from a Biden administration policy that its officials believe will force the institution to allow biological males to live in dormitories and use showers reserved for women. Read more here.
Court Rules NY Can’t Shut Down Adoption Provider for Its Christian Beliefs. A federal district court issued an order permanently preventing the state of New York from shutting down a faith-based adoption provider targeted for its policy of placing children in homes with a married mother and father. Read more here.
Bakers Petition SCOTUS Again to Overturn Penalty for Refusing to Bake Same-Sex Wedding Cake. Two Christian bakers from Oregon who are fighting a financial penalty for their shop’s refusal to make a same-sex wedding cake have asked the Supreme Court again to overturn a state decision they claim violates their religious rights. Read more here.
SCOTUS Sides With Yeshiva University in LGBTQ Club Case. The Supreme Court temporarily blocked a New York judge’s order to force Yeshiva University to recognize a club for LGBTQ students until the college’s religious freedom case is completed. Read more here.
Dutch Christian Insurance Forced to Cover Abortion and ‘Gender-Affirming Care.’ Starting January 1, a Dutch Christian health insurance company will be forced to cover abortion and “gender-affirming care” in order to stay in business. Read more here.
California Blocked From Forcing Christian Doctors to Assist Suicides. A federal district court in California has ruled that physicians who object to assisted suicide on religious or ethical grounds can’t be required to participate in the procedure. Read more here.
Kentucky City Can’t Force Christian Photographer to Shoot Same-Sex Weddings, Court Rules. Louisville, Kentucky cannot punish a professional Christian photographer for refusing on religious grounds to photograph same-sex wedding ceremonies, a federal court has ruled. Read more here.
Fired Nurse Files Religious Liberty Suit Against CVS Over Providing Abortion Drugs. A nurse practitioner has sued CVS Health, claiming she was fired for refusing to provide or prescribe abortion-inducing drugs to customers at MinuteClinic facilities in Virginia due to her Catholic faith. Read more here.
Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Firing of Catholic Teacher Over Same-Sex Marriage. Indiana’s Supreme Court has ruled unanimously in favor of upholding the termination of a former Catholic high school teacher due to his same-sex marriage. Read more here.
U.S. Legal Group Warns ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ Is Potential Threat to Religious Liberty. The Respect for Marriage Act is disrespectful of biblical beliefs on marriage and potentially poses a threat to the religious liberty of millions of Americans, warns Alliance Defending Freedom. Read more here.
Federal Court Asked to Block Michigan Enforcement of Gender Identity Care Rules at Christian Clinic. A faith-based Michigan health care operation filed suit to block new state-mandated rules on care for transgender-identifying individuals that the organization says would force its staff to violate their religious beliefs. Read more here.
CA School District Must Recognize Religious Student Group, Court Rules. A federal appeals court ruled that a Northern California school district must officially recognize a religious student group that holds beliefs contrary to the district’s so-called “nondiscrimination policy.” Read more here.
U.S. Federal Court Upholds Conscientious Objection Rights of Doctors. A federal appeals court blocked a Biden administration plan that would coerce doctors to perform “gender transition” medical procedures and abortions that violate their conscience. Read more here.
Finnish Christian Politician’s Appeal Proceedings to Be Delayed One Year. The appeal proceedings against Finnish politician Päivi Räsänen, accused of inciting hatred for expressing Biblical views of sexuality, will take place in August of 2023. Read more here.
Christian School Admin Defends Institution’s Policies on LGBT Issues. A private Christian school in Florida is standing behind its policies of referring to students by their biological gender and not accepting students who participate in LGBTQ lifestyles. Read more here.
Fire Chaplain Sues City of Austin for Firing Him for Sharing Religious View on Personal Blog. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed suit in federal court on behalf of Dr. Andrew Fox against the city for firing the former volunteer chaplain of the Austin Fire Department for sharing his religious view on men competing in women’s sports on his personal blog. Read more here.
USDA Says Religious Schools Will Be Granted Automatic Title IX Exemptions. Religious schools will not be required to follow new Title IX regulations on sexual orientation and gender identity in order to receive federal meal funding, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in new guidance. Read more here.
Florida Private School Granted Religious Exemption to Biden LGBT Policy Changes. A private religious school in Florida is exempt from adhering to new federal policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and will continue to receive funding for a free meal program for its students. Read more here.
Judge Rules Against Wisconsin Prisons Over Visitation. A Wisconsin judge ruled against the state prison system saying its pandemic visitor policy that barred Catholic clergy from meeting with inmates for more than a year violated state law and the state constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom. Read more here.
Court Rules Idaho Law Students Free to Share Their Religious Views on Campus. A federal court ruled that three Christian law students are likely to prevail in their case against the University of Idaho and are free to speak in a manner consistent with their religious beliefs while their lawsuit proceeds. Read more here.
Advisory Panel Recommends Significant Limitations for Canadian Military Chaplains. Religious groups in Canada are asking the Minister of National Defense to reject an advisory panel’s recommendation for severely limiting who the military can hire as chaplains. Read more here.
Anglican UK Chaplain Fired for Preaching Biblical Sexuality Warns of ‘Soft Totalitarianism.’ An Anglican chaplain who was fired for preaching Christian doctrine on sexual ethics is warning about the totalitarian ideologies actively at work in the West. Read more here.
Criminologist Warns Scottish ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban Will Undermine Freedoms. Dr. Stuart Waiton has warned that the proposed “conversion therapy” ban will treat parents in Scotland like criminals for expressing their moral values and beliefs to their children. Read more here.
SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Praying Football Coach. In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Joe Kennedy, an assistant football coach for a Washington state high school who was fired by his district for praying on the field after games. Read more here.
SCOTUS Strikes Down Maine Law Barring State Funds for Religious Education. The Supreme Court has ruled that prohibiting parents from using subsidies for schools engaging in religious teaching violates the religious freedom of students and their parents. Read more here.
Judge Rules Jewish University Isn’t ‘Religious Corporation,’ Must Recognize LGBT Club. The Jewish Yeshiva University in New York City is not a “religious corporation” and must recognize an LGBT club as the city’s anti-discrimination law demands, a judge has ruled. Read more here.
SC Gov Signs Bill to Protect Conscientious Objection to Abortion. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has signed a bill that protects medical professionals from being forced to participate in procedures, such as abortion, that violate their conscience. Read more here.
UK Worker Successfully Sues Employer After Being Fired for Wearing Cross Necklace. A Christian factory worker in the UK has been awarded compensation after being fired for wearing a cross necklace at work. Read more here.
UK Govt Blocks Attempt to Include Atheism in RE. An attempt by secular humanists to include atheist teachings in Religious Education lessons has been blocked by the UK government. Read more here.
Graphic Designer Asks SCOTUS to Allow Her to Say No to Same-Sex Weddings. The Supreme Court next fall will hear arguments in the case of a Colorado graphic designer who says a state law forces her to supply services for same-sex weddings in violation of her religious beliefs. Read more here.
Finnish MP Legal Fight Over Bible Tweet on Homosexuality Continues as Case is Reopened. The Helsinki Court of Appeals in Finland will reopen the case against MP Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Pohjola, both of whom were accused of hate speech for publicly sharing their thoughts on biblical sexual ethics. Read more here.
MLB Players Refuse to Wear LGBT Uniform Logo. Several Tampa Bay Rays baseball players declined to wear customized uniforms worn by their teammates for the annual LGBT “pride night,” citing the LGBT activism as a conflict with their Christian faith. Read more here.
Australian Christian College Referred to Human Rights Commission Over Enrollment Contracts. Former students of Citipointe Christian College in Brisbane, Australia are filing a discrimination complaint over contracts which affirm biological sex and biblical principles of sexuality. Read more here.
SPU Employees Must Refrain From Same-Sex Activity, Board Decides. Seattle Pacific University’s Board of Trustees decided to keep employee conduct expectations that ban employees from same-sex sexual activity, extramarital sexual activity, and cohabitating before marriage. Read more here.
Muslim Soccer Player Receives Pushback After Refusing to Wear Rainbow Jersey. An activist group is calling for the investigation of a French Muslim soccer player who refused to wear a jersey adorned with rainbow-colored numbers in support of an LGBT agenda. Read more here.
U.S. Lawsuit Claims Employee Fired After Voicing Concern With LGBT ‘Pride’ Promotion. A terminated employee of Arconic has filed a lawsuit claiming the manufacturing company fired him for voicing opposition to the company’s promotion of LGBT “pride” month. Read more here.
Federal Court Halts Biden Mandates Forcing Religious Employers to Pay for ‘Gender-Affirming’ Surgeries. A federal court has temporarily blocked President Biden’s mandates requiring both healthcare providers and religious employers to provide ‘gender-affirming care’ against their religious beliefs. Read more here.
U.S. Court Weighs Whether Catholic School Can Fire Teacher in Same-Sex Marriage. The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case of a Catholic school sued for not renewing the contract of a teacher in a same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Alaska Airlines Sued for Firing Flight Attendants Over Equality Act Criticism. Two flight attendants are suing Alaska Airlines, accusing the company of firing them for questioning the airline’s official support of a proposed LGBT anti-discrimination bill. Read more here.
European Parliament Passes ‘Hostile’ Report on Persecuted Religious Minorities. The European Parliament has adopted a report which describes religion as a threat to free society by criticizing it as “an important driver of conflict worldwide.” Read more here.
SCOTUS Rules Boston Violated First Amendment by Refusing to Fly Christian Flag. The Supreme Court ruled that the city of Boston violated the First Amendment by refusing to fly a local organization’s Christian flag in front of city hall, though it had flown other groups’ flags. Read more here.
UN Delegates Consider Resolution to Punish Christians. UN delegations that promote the LGBT agenda privately circulated a resolution that would punish conservative and Christian critics of homosexual and transgender ideology. Read more here.
Christian Students Sue Idaho University Over ‘Censorship’ for Same-Sex Marriage Beliefs. A group of Christian students is suing the University of Idaho after claiming they were censored for expressing their religious beliefs on same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Arizona Gov Signs Law Protecting Faith-Based Adoption, Foster Care Agencies. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a bill prohibiting discrimination against faith-based adoption and foster care organizations. Read more here.
U.S. Report Identifies Worst Violators of Religious Freedom. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 2022 Annual Report has identified fifteen countries who are engaging in “systematic, ongoing, and egregious” violations of religious freedom. Read more here.
Top Human Rights Court Fails to Uphold Religious Autonomy, Parental Rights. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has issued a ruling which failed to uphold the right of parents to have their children educated in accordance with their convictions. Read more here.
SCOTUS to Hear Case of Football Coach Fired Over Praying. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of a former Washington state high school football coach who was fired after kneeling in prayer following football games. Read more here.
Ohio City Sues State Over Allowing Medical Providers to Exercise Conscience Protections. The Columbus City Attorney is suing the state of Ohio over a law which provides medical professionals legal protections for denying any care or treatment that violates their conscience. Read more here.
Biden to Roll Back Conscience Protections for Healthcare Workers. The Biden administration will soon propose an end to a religious conscience rule that allowed healthcare workers to object to performing services that contradicted their religious or moral beliefs. Read more here.
Arizona Gov Signs Law Protecting Faith-Based Adoption, Foster Care Agencies. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a bill prohibiting discrimination against faith-based adoption and foster care organizations. Read more here.
UK Online Safety Bill Risks ‘Draconian Censorship,’ Activists Warn. The UK’s Christian Institute is warning MPs that the government’s Online Safety Bill needs radical amendments to prevent it from trampling on free speech and religious liberty. Read more here.
Prosecutor to Continue Campaign Against Finnish MP. The Finnish state prosecutor has publicly indicated her intent to push criminal proceedings against an MP and bishop who shared faith-based views on marriage and sexual ethics, despite a unanimous court decision clearing them of charges. Read more here.
TN Bill Protecting Religious Orgs During Times of Crisis to Be Heard in Senate. A Tennessee bill which would prohibit religious organizations from being affected during a state of emergency will be heard in the Senate after passing the House. Read more here.
UK ‘Online Safety Bill’ Could Curb Free Speech, Civil Liberties Groups Fear. Civil liberties groups in the UK have expressed concern about a bill aimed at censoring harmful speech online, believing that it could be used to censor unpopular opinions on issues like sexuality and gender. Read more here.
UK Church Leaders Tell PM Continuing With ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban Is a Mistake. Church leaders have written to Boris Johnson to express “considerable concern” over the government’s decision not to abandon its proposed “conversion therapy” ban. Read more here.
Finnish MP Wins on All Charges in Major Religious Liberty Trial. All charges against a Finnish MP charged with “hate speech” for sharing her faith-based views on marriage and sexual ethics have been dismissed. Read more here.
SCOTUS Rejects Case Involving Hiring Rights of Religious Organizations. The U.S. Supreme Court says it won’t review the case of a Seattle-based Christian organization that was sued after declining to hire a bisexual lawyer who applied for a job. Read more here.
Two SCOTUS Justices Express Support for Hiring Rights of Religious Organizations. Two justices on the U.S. Supreme Court voiced their support for the hiring rights of religious organizations, arguing they should not be compelled to employ individuals who do not share their religious views. Read more here.
U.S. Judge Rules Against Kentucky Clerk Who Denied Same-Sex Marriage Licenses. A U.S. judge ruled that a former county clerk from Kentucky knowingly violated the rights of same-sex couples by denying them marriage licenses in 2015. Read more here.
Backing for ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban in Scotland Fuels Religious Freedom Fears. MSPs overwhelmingly spoke in favor of a ban on so-called “conversion therapy” during a Holyrood debate, fueling strong religious freedom concerns should the law be passed. Read more here.
UK Churches Experience ‘Hostile’ Backlash for Opposition to ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban. Ministers who signed a letter raising concerns about the UK government’s potential “conversion therapy” ban say they have experienced backlash in a “coordinated and hostile” campaign by LGBT activists. Read more here.
Web Host Drops UK Church Over Opposition to ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban. A church in Morecambe, Lancashire has had its website suspended because the hosting firm objected to the pastor raising concerns about the government’s upcoming “conversion therapy” ban. Read more here.
Federal Court Rules U.S. Foster Parents Who Lost License Over Biblical Beliefs May Sue. The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court decision dismissing a New Jersey couple’s lawsuit against the state after it suspended their license to foster children because of their religious beliefs. Read more here.
SCOTUS Rejects Christian College’s Bid to Halt Pro-LGBT Professor’s Discrimination Lawsuit. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from a Christian college in Massachusetts that tried to use a ministerial exception to end a lawsuit by a former professor whom lower courts ruled could sue for alleged discrimination. Read more here.
Ohio Governor Signs Athletes’ Religious Expression Bill. Ohio schools can no longer require advance waivers or otherwise restrict participants’ religious apparel unless it causes a “legitimate danger” for fellow competitors, under a bill signed into law. Read more here.
UK Tribunal to Hear Appeal of School Worker Who Questioned Sex Ed and Transgender Ideology. A UK tribunal is set to hear the appeal of a Christian school worker who says she was fired after expressing concern about sex education and transgender ideology on her private Facebook page. Read more here.
SCOTUS to Hear Case of Web Designer Who Refused to Create Sites for Same-Sex Weddings. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of a Colorado web designer who has refused to create wedding websites for same-sex couples because of her religious beliefs. Read more here.
Nebraska City’s ‘Fairness Ordinance’ Triggers Firestorm. A “fairness ordinance” in Lincoln, Nebraska has triggered a firestorm, with one state pro-family organization claiming it will trample on First Amendment rights. Read more here.
Lawmaker on Trial in Europe for Religious Views a ‘Cautionary Tale’ for the U.S., Says Lawyer. A criminal case involving religious expression in Finland may have a chilling effect on free speech around the world, according to a lawyer involved in the case. Read more here.
Virginia House Passes Bill to Exempt Religious Organizations From Non-Discrimination Laws. The Virginia House of Delegates approved a bill that would excuse certain religious and religious-affiliated organizations from following state nondiscrimination laws. Read more here.
Parents Opposed to School Pronoun Policy Granted Judicial Review in UK. A judge in the UK has granted a request for judicial review filed by two Christian parents who say they were forced to pull their children out of school over policies requiring teachers and classmates to use the preferred names and pronouns of transgender-identified students. Read more here.
UK Church Leaders Present ‘Conversion Therapy’ Letter to Downing Street. More than 2,500 Christian ministers and pastoral workers have presented a letter to Downing Street, calling on the UK government not to outlaw ordinary Christian activity in its proposed “conversion therapy” ban. Read more here.
Federal Investigation of LGBT Dating Ban at BYU Dismissed. The U.S. Department of Education has dismissed a civil rights investigation into how LGBTQ students are disciplined at Brigham Young University, saying it doesn’t have the authority to enforce the matter at the private religious school. Read more here.
Coalition Shelves Australian Religious Discrimination Bill. The Australian Coalition has shelved its proposed religious discrimination law after receiving backlash over the consequences to religious schools. Read more here.
Closing Arguments to Be Heard in Finnish MP’s Criminal Trial Over Bible Tweet. Closing arguments are expected in the trial of a Finnish MP accused of engaging in “hate speech” for publicly voicing her deeply held beliefs on marriage and sexual ethics. Read more here.
UK Online Safety Bill May Risk Censorship of Religious Teachings. The UK government’s push to clamp down on illegal and harmful content online could have unintended consequences for churches and people of faith, according to The Christian Institute. Read more here.
Australian Religious Discrimination Bill Passes House of Representatives. The Australian government’s religious discrimination bill passed through parliament’s lower house after a marathon all-night debate. Read more here.
UK Humanist Group Wants Religious Practices Banned Under ‘Conversion Therapy’ Law. In its response to the government’s consultation on a proposed conversion therapy ban, Humanists UK said practices such as confession and fasting could cause “direct harm” to LGBT people and should be forbidden. Read more here.
U.S. Christian Student Suspended After Sharing Beliefs on Sexuality and Gender, Lawsuit Says. A Michigan student is suing his high school and school district after reportedly being punished for sharing his religious views on LGBT issues. Read more here.
KY City to Pay $75K to Cop Suspended for Off-Duty Prayer Outside Abortion Clinic. Louisville, Kentucky is paying $75,000 to a police officer who says he was suspended for four months after offering an off-duty prayer outside an abortion clinic. Read more here.
Michigan Settlement Lets Faith Agencies Deny Adoptions to LGBT Couples. Faith-based adoption agencies that contract with the state of Michigan can refuse to place children with same-sex couples under a proposed settlement filed in federal court. Read more here.
Court Overturns $135K Fine for Christian Bakery. An Oregon appeals court told a state agency to reconsider its order for a Christian couple to pay $135,000 in damages for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Read more here.
UK EHRC Calls for Securing Religious Liberty Amid ‘Conversion Therapy’ Debate. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has told the UK government that any proposal to ban “conversion therapy” must only target harmful practices and not the ordinary work of churches. Read more here.
Former Finnish Minister on Trial for Bible Verse ‘Hate Speech.’ A Finnish MP who previously served as the country’s Interior Minister has gone on trial for alleged “hate speech” over an online post that included a bible verse. Read more here.
Scottish Equalities Committee Demands ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban Include Traditional Christian Views. The Scottish Parliament’s Equalities Committee is recommending that religious teaching, prayer or other speech aimed at groups or individuals which does not affirm their view of gender or sexuality should be criminalized. Read more here.
Christians Threaten MSPs With Legal Action Over ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban. The Christian Institute is reportedly ready to take legal action against the Scottish Parliament if it moves ahead with a proposed ban on so-called “conversion therapy.” Read more here.
Australian Churches Want Religious Liberty Bill to Protect ‘Hard Truths.’ Church groups in Australia have told the federal government that religious truths should not be barred from the public arena simply because they upset others. Read more here.
Noem’s School ‘Prayer’ Bill Rejected by House. A South Dakota House committee rejected Gov. Kristi Noem’s proposal to require public schools to have a moment of silence for prayer or meditation to start the day. Read more here.
BYU Under Federal Investigation Over Homosexual and Transgender Policies. The Biden administration is conducting an investigation into a private religious university in Utah over its policies on homosexuality and transgenderism. Read more here.
UK Christian Teachers Warn ‘Conversion Therapy’ Proposals Will Harm Children. The UK government’s proposals for a broad “conversion therapy” ban will harm children who seek out support, the Association of Christian Teachers has warned. Read more here.
YouTube Labels Christian Sermon on Biblical Sexuality ‘Hate Speech.’ YouTube has censored a Bible-based sermon on sexuality, labeling it as “hate speech.” Read more here.
Canadian Law Could Put Parents in Prison If They Resist Child’s ‘Gender Transition.’ A new Canadian law forbids any counseling or advising against a transgender or nonbinary identity or non-heterosexual sexuality, with up to five years in prison for those who disobey. Read more here.
UK Pastor Claims He Was ‘Forced Out’ of Job After Allegedly ‘Homophobic’ Tweet. A Christian pastor claims he was “forced out” of his primary school job after tweeting that “gay pride” events were harmful to children, a tribunal has heard. Read more here.
Thousands of Churches Raise Alarm About Scope of New Canadian ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban. Thousands of clergy in North America devoted their Sunday sermons to affirming biblical sexual morality in response to a new Canadian law that could effectively criminalize such teachings. Read more here.
Appeal Sought in Ruling Against NY Photographer Who Refused to Shoot Same-Sex Weddings. An appeal has been filed in the case of a New York wedding photographer who claims she acted within her right in refusing to photograph same-sex marriage ceremonies. Read more here.
U.S. House to Vote on Bill Which May Restrict Religious Leaders From Entering Country If They Uphold Biblical Views on Sexuality. Leaders in the House of Representatives are preparing to vote on the Global Respect Act, which could impose sanctions on foreign political and religious leaders who may oppose the homosexual/transgender agenda. Read more here.
Canadian Preachers to Push Back on Ban Against ‘Conversion Therapy.’ An estimated 300 Christian pastors in Canada are planning to deliver Sunday sermons on the Bible’s definition of gender as a reproach to a new ban against so-called “conversion therapy.” Read more here.
China Upholds Seven-Year Jail Term for Christian Bookstore Owner. An appeals court in China has upheld a seven-year jail term for a Christian online bookstore owner who was sentenced in 2020 on charges of illegally selling Christian religious books. Read more here.
Northern Ireland Bakers Win Supreme Court Appeal. The UK’s highest court has ruled that a Christian-owned bakery’s refusal to make a cake with a slogan supporting same-sex marriage was not discriminatory. Read more here.
Proposals Protecting Religious Freedom Presented to Chile’s Constitutional Assembly. Three proposed articles protecting religious freedom will be discussed by Chile’s constitutional assembly after being supported by 18,000 citizens. Read more here.
UK Nurse Fired for Wearing Cross Necklace Wins Discrimination Case. An employment tribunal in the United Kingdom ruled that the NHS Trust harassed and directly discriminated against a Christian nurse for wearing a cross necklace at work. Read more here.
Finnish Bishop and Politician Face Trial for LGBT Statements. A Lutheran bishop and a politician in Finland are accused of “violating the equality and dignity of LGBT people” after affirming principles of Biblical sexuality. Read more here.
Court Ruling Protects Faith-Based Women’s Shelter in Alaska. A federal court has ruled that the city of Anchorage, Alaska cannot enforce a city ordinance to require a faith-based women’s shelter to admit males and let them sleep alongside women. Read more here.
Court Dismisses Christian Photographer’s Case Challenging NY Law Requiring Her to Service Same-Sex Weddings. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York dismissed a case brought by a Christian photographer who sought to challenge state laws that would prohibit her from refusing to provide her services at same-sex weddings. Read more here.
SD Gov Introduces Bill to Restore Protection for Prayer in Schools. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has introduced a bill that would require a daily moment of silence in public schools so that students may pray if they so choose. Read more here.
Chinese Couple Loses Appeal Against Seven-Year Sentence for Selling Christian Literature. A court in China has upheld the seven-year sentences against booksellers Chang Yuchun and his wife for “inciting subversion of State power” by selling Christian literature. Read more here.
NCAA’s Draft Constitution Could Force Religious Colleges to Embrace ‘Gender Equity,’ Critics Fear. The National Collegiate Athletic Association is doubling down on a commitment to “gender equity” as concerns grow about the impact of allowing biological males who identify as females to compete in women’s sports. Read more here.
U.S. Faith-Based Hospitals Head to Court Over HHS Transgender Mandate. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to hear arguments over whether a Health and Human Services mandate can force religious-based hospitals to perform “sex reassignment” procedures. Read more here.
UK Govt Amends ‘Easy Read’ Version of ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban Over Religious Freedom Concerns. A simplified version of the UK government’s “conversion therapy” ban consultation document has been changed after concerns were raised that its wording suggested teachers and religious leaders would be at greater risk of prosecution. Read more here.
Over 500 UK Church Leaders Prepared to Face Criminal Charges If ‘Conversion Therapy’ Is Banned. Over 500 church leaders from across the UK have written to the government to say they are prepared to face criminal charges if a “conversion therapy” ban is introduced. Read more here.
Judge Rules Maryland Can’t Bar Christian School From Voucher Program Over Beliefs on Sexuality. A federal judge has ruled that Maryland unlawfully discriminated against a Christian school over its traditional views on marriage and gender identity when the state denied it access to a voucher program. Read more here.
Report: Anti-Christian Hate Crimes in Europe Jump by 70% in One Year. The Observatory on Intolerance against Christians in Europe revealed that hate crimes targeting Christians in Europe rose by a startling 70 percent between 2019 and 2020. Read more here.
U.S. Religious Groups Warn Build Back Better Act Threatens Faith-Based Child Care, Education. A coalition of Christian, Jewish and Muslim organizations is expressing concern about the impact President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill may have on faith-based childcare and education services. Read more here.
Over 700 Church Leaders Urge UK Govt to Protect Churches From ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban. More than 700 Christian ministers and pastoral workers have called on the UK Minister for Women and Equalities to ensure that the ordinary work of churches is not prohibited by a ban on so-called “conversion therapy.” Read more here.
New Report Finds Freedom of Conscience Under Threat in France, Spain and Sweden. A recently published report highlights concerns that the right to conscientious objection is under threat in France, Spain, and Sweden, particularly with regards to abortion. Read more here.
Religious Freedom Advocates Ask Biden to Put Nigeria Back on Watchlist. A broad array of religious freedom advocates has banded together in asking President Biden to put Nigeria back on the State Department’s list of countries of particular concern on religious freedom. Read more here.
SCOTUS to Hear Arguments on Students Using State Aid to Attend Christian Schools. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a Maine case regarding whether students can use state aid to attend schools that provide religious instruction. Read more here.
TN Children’s Home Sues HHS for Forcing Placement of Kids With Same-Sex, Unmarried Couples. A Tennessee-based children’s home affiliated with the United Methodist Church has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over a rule requiring the organization to place kids in the homes of same-sex married couples or cohabitating couples. Read more here.
UK Minister Says Free Speech About Religion Must Be Protected in ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban. The UK Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss has affirmed the government’s stance that free speech and religious liberty should be protected from an overly-broad “conversion therapy” ban. Read more here.
Employee Sues to Stop Labor Union From Forcing Her to Pay Dues That Promote Abortion. Dorothy Frame, an employee at Fort Campbell’s Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, is suing a labor union that forced her to pay dues that support causes which violate her Catholic beliefs. Read more here.
Australian Govt Finally Introduces Religious Liberty Bill. After a long delay, the Australian Prime Minister has introduced a religious liberty bill to protect people “from discrimination on the basis of their religion in daily life.” Read more here.
HHS Revokes Religious Exemption Waivers for Faith-Based Foster Care Providers in Three States. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would rescind waivers granted to faith-based child welfare agencies in Michigan, South Carolina and Texas that contract with the federal government. Read more here.
Indiana Court Revives Lawsuit of Teacher Fired for Same-Sex Marriage. A lawsuit filed by a teacher who was fired from his job at a Catholic high school in Indianapolis, Indiana for being in a same-sex marriage can proceed, a state appeals court ruled. Read more here.
USCIRF Releases New Report on Religious Freedom Violations in Belarus. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom released a report on religious freedom violations in Belarus. Read more here.
Russia Loses Pair of Religious Freedom Cases at ECHR. The European Court of Human Rights found in two cases that Russian authorities violated the right of religious group members to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion under the European Convention of Human Rights. Read more here.
City of Philadelphia Settles With Catholic Foster Care Agency. The City of Philadelphia will pay Catholic Social Services a $2 million settlement after the Supreme Court unanimously found that the city had discriminated against the group due to their religious beliefs. Read more here.
Colombian Social Media Star Wins Censorship Case. The Colombian Supreme Court has ruled that the video in which YouTuber Kika Nieto shared her beliefs about marriage should not have been censored. Read more here.
Sixteen AGs File Amicus Brief Supporting Religious Freedom of Cakeshop Owner. Sixteen attorneys general have filed an amicus brief in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, arguing that custom cakes are artistic works protected by the First Amendment. Read more here.
Becket RFI Shows Increased Support for Religious Freedom Among Americans. According to the Religious Freedom Index released by Becket, backing for religious freedom increased to a new high of 68 on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more here.
Florist Settles Religious Freedom Case With Homosexual Couple, Decides to Retire. Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman has settled a lawsuit brought by a homosexual customer when she declined to design floral arrangements for his same-sex wedding. Read more here.
Australian Minister Says Schools Can Hire Teachers on Basis of Faith Under Religious Discrimination Bill. Australia’s education minister says the government’s revised religious discrimination bill will allow schools to hire on the basis of faith, but they will not be able to discriminate on other characteristics, such as sexuality. Read more here.
Biden State Dept Criticized for Removing Nigeria From Top Religious Freedom Violators List. Religious freedom advocacy groups and the top federal religious freedom advisory panel are criticizing the Biden administration for removing Nigeria from the U.S. State Department’s list of “countries of particular concern.” Read more here.
NH Student Suspended for Saying There Are Two Genders Sues School District. A New Hampshire student athlete is suing his school district after he was suspended from a football game for expressing his views that there are “only two genders.” Read more here.
HHS Memo Shows Dept Moving to Undo Trump-Era Religious Liberty Protections. An internal memo reveals that the Health and Human Services Department is considering revoking authority the former Trump administration delegated for the Office of Civil Rights to prevent violations of religious liberty. Read more here.
Victorian Faith Leaders Decry Govt Bill on Religious Schools. Victoria’s religious leaders have condemned moves by the Andrews government to prohibit faith-based schools from firing or refusing to hire teachers or enroll students based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. Read more here.
Campaigners Urge UK Govt to Extend ‘Conversion Therapy’ Consultation Window. Campaigners looking to protect religious liberty are calling on the UK government to extend its consultation on a so-called “conversion therapy” ban to the standard twelve weeks rather than the reduced six-week timeline currently in place. Read more here.
Analysis Shows 41 Countries Banned Religion-Related Groups in 2019. Forty-one countries – or around one-fifth of those evaluated – banned at least one religion-related group in 2019, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of laws and policies in effect in 198 countries. Read more here.
U.S. Congressmen Call Finland’s Prosecution of Christian MP a ‘Clear Abuse of Government Power.’ The U.S. should consider placing Finland under “special watch” because of its prosecution of a Christian MP and Lutheran bishop for expressing traditional views on marriage and sexuality, several congressmen have suggested. Read more here.
Australian LGBT Groups Mobilize Against Religious Discrimination Bill. LGBT activists in Australia are mobilizing against a revived religious discrimination bill which they say is “deeply flawed.” Read more here.
Finnish Bishop Facing Prosecution Over Christian Values Warns of Dangers to Religious Liberty. A Finnish religious leader facing prosecution for publishing a booklet promoting Christian teachings about marriage and sexuality is warning that “the Gospel of Christ is at stake” as governments liken such beliefs to hate speech. Read more here.
U.S. DOL Seeks to Revoke Prior Administration’s Expansion of Religious Exemptions. The Department of Labor announced it will seek to revoke a Trump administration rule that allows for broader religious exemptions to anti-discrimination measures governing federal contractors. Read more here.
China Shuts Down Christian School in Beijing. Officials of the Tongzhou district in Beijing, China have closed a popular Christian school following an order to vacate the property and close the school. Read more here.
Italian Court Rules Crucifix May Remain in Classrooms. The Italian Court of Cassation has ruled that displaying the crucifix on a classroom wall is not an act of discrimination. Read more here.
Texas Judge Rules Religious Businesses Exempt From LGBTQ Bias Claims. For-profit businesses with sincerely held religious beliefs are exempt from LGBTQ discrimination liability under a decision by a federal judge in Texas. Read more here.
U.S. Evangelist Reschedules Speaking Event in UK After Settling Legal Dispute. U.S. evangelist Franklin Graham has rescheduled an event in Sheffield, England after his original appearance was cancelled because of his belief that homosexuality is a sin. Read more here.
USCIRF Urges U.S. Govt to Add Four Countries to List of Worst Religious Freedom Violators. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has urged the State Department to add India, Russia, Syria and Vietnam to its list of countries designated as the worst religious freedom violators. Read more here.
Texas Approves Constitutional Amendment Barring State From Limiting Religious Services. Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment that will prohibit the state from limiting religious services, including gatherings that occur in churches and other houses of worship. Read more here.
Australian Lawmakers Split Over Religious Discrimination Bill. Australian MPs are split over the government’s revised religious discrimination bill, with some believing it gives people of faith the right to discriminate because of their religious views. Read more here.
SCOTUS Won’t Take Up Case of Catholic Hospital Sued for Refusing to Provide ‘Gender Transition’ Surgery. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from a Catholic hospital in California that was sued after refusing to provide a hysterectomy surgery for a biological female who identifies as male. Read more here.
Christian Student Group Sues U of Nebraska-Lincoln for Discrimination. A Christian student group has sued the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, alleging that the school discriminated against the group’s views when it denied a funding request to bring a Christian philosopher to campus as a guest speaker. Read more here.
Italy’s Senate Rejects LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill. Italy’s senate voted to reject a bill which would have amended the penal code to ban discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability. Read more here.
New Campaign Calls on UK Govt to ‘Let Us Pray’ Amid Threat From Broad ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban. A new campaign has been launched in the UK to protect the work of churches from an overly broad ban on so-called “conversion therapy.” Read more here.
UK Govt Pledges Not to Ban Prayer in ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban. The UK government is claiming that prayer will not be outlawed under a government ban on so-called “conversion therapy.” Read more here.
Jehovah’s Witnesses Sentenced to Prison for ‘Extremist’ Religious Activity in Russia. Four Russian members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses received stiff prison terms in what the movement calls the “longest, harshest” sentences imposed on its believers since the 2017 designation of the group as “extremists.” Read more here.
Spanish Govt Tries to Restrict Conscientious Objection. Spain’s equalities minister has proposed the creation of a mandatory register of healthcare professionals who are conscientious objectors in an effort to force more doctors to perform abortions. Read more here.
Canadian College Journalist Fired for Expressing Catholic Views Reaches Settlement. A college journalist says he has reached a settlement with the school paper that fired him for expressing Catholic views. Read more here.
Two Dozen AGs Ask SCOTUS to Review Case of Coach Fired for Praying After Games. Dozens of state attorneys general are pushing the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the case of Joseph Kennedy, a high school coach fired for praying after football games. Read more here.
Apple Withdraws Bible and Quran Apps in China. Apple has recently removed the Quran Majeed and the Olive Tree Bible apps from its App Store in China, reportedly following a request from Chinese authorities. Read more here.
Christian Colleges Can Fight LGBT Lawsuit Seeking to Block Title IX Religious Exemptions, Judge Rules. A federal judge has granted the request of Christian colleges who want to intervene in a lawsuit that seeks to force the U.S. Department of Education to strip federal funding from Christian colleges that abide by traditional beliefs on gender and sexuality. Read more here.
Christian Web Designer Opposed to Creating Same-Sex Wedding Websites Appeals to SCOTUS. A Colorado web designer has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court after a federal appeals court ruled that she must create websites for same-sex weddings if she offers her services for other weddings. Read more here.
Europe’s Top Court to Rule on COVID-19 Worship Ban Challenges. The European Court of Human Rights is set to rule on whether it is legal for a government to completely ban public worship in the name of protecting public health. Read more here.
Atheist Group Demands NC School District Stop Christian Prayers at Meetings. The atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation has demanded that a school district in North Carolina quit the practice of beginning meetings with Christian prayers. Read more here.
Asia Falls Short on Religious Freedom, Say Christian Legal Experts. Asian nations are failing to effectively interpret and implement freedom of religion and belief for their citizens despite having constitutional provisions and guarantees, Christian legal experts have said. Read more here.
UK Nurse Punished for Refusing to Hide Cross Necklace Sues London Hospital. London nurse practitioner Mary Onuoha has filed a legal complaint against Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, alleging that she was told a small gold cross necklace she wore was a safety risk and “must not be visible.” Read more here.
CA Parents Sue to End ‘Unconstitutional’ Chant to Aztec Gods in Ethnic Studies Curriculum. Three California parents are suing to stop the state’s public school system from encouraging students to recite prayers to Aztec gods, arguing that doing so violates constitutional principles related to religious liberty. Read more here.
UK ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban Could End Religious Freedoms, Ministry Warns. A Christian counseling ministry is urging the UK government not to go ahead with its planned ban on so-called “conversion therapy” after a major report said the ban should cover religious practices, including prayer. Read more here.
NI Preachers to Go on Trial After Preaching Against Homosexuality. Three street preachers from Northern Ireland have been arrested in Dundalk after preaching against homosexuality and are due to appear at the town’s district court. Read more here.
SCOTUS to Hear Case Over Boston’s Refusal to Fly Christian Flag at City Hall. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal regarding whether city officials in Boston, Massachusetts can reject a request to fly a Christian flag at its city hall. Read more here.
Spanish Bishops Oppose Govt Registry of Medical Conscientious Objectors. Several bishops have expressed their opposition to a registry being created by the Spanish Ministry of Equality to track medical professionals who are conscientious objectors to performing abortion. Read more here.
CA Bans Travel to Ohio Over Law Protecting Religious Freedom of Healthcare Professionals. California Attorney General Rob Bonta has barred state employees from traveling to Ohio using taxpayer dollars over its enactment of a law that protects the conscientious objection rights of healthcare providers. Read more here.
Swiss Evangelicals Say Religious Freedom Must Be Protected After Passage of Same-Sex Marriage Referendum. The Swiss Evangelical Alliance has said that churches must be free to wed only heterosexual couples after same-sex marriage received overwhelming public support in a referendum. Read more here.
CO Web Designer Petitions SCOTUS to Reverse Decision Forcing Her to Express Messages Against Her Beliefs. Attorneys representing a website designer have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appellate court decision which concluded that the State of Colorado can force her to design and publish websites promoting messages that violate her religious beliefs. Read more here.
UK Foster Agency to Ask Supreme Court to Reject State-Imposed Definition of ‘Evangelical.’ The UK Court of Appeal has confirmed that an evangelical foster agency can work exclusively with evangelical foster parents but backed Ofsted’s attempt to impose its own definition of what it means to be “evangelical.” Read more here.
Philadelphia Christian Agency Can Once Again Make Foster Care Placements After Settlement. Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is once again helping make foster care placements, following a legal settlement with the city to cap a years-long court battle. Read more here.
UK University Accepts Appointment of Chaplain Who Tweeted About Abortion. The University of Nottingham announced that it will recognize Fr. David Palmer as a chaplain after having initially refused recognition over comments on abortion he had posted on social media. Read more here.
Faith-Based Adoption Provider Forced to Sue NY Officials for Harassment Over Marriage Views. New Hope Family Services filed a federal lawsuit after the New York Division of Human Rights threatened to investigate and penalize the Christian nonprofit because it places infants with couples consisting of a married mother and father. Read more here.
Tennessee Football Team Leads Community in Prayer, Defying School Board Directive. After Putnam County Schools administrators informed faculty and staff that they were prohibited from leading students in post-game prayers, a large group of football players from both teams led a post-game prayer with scores of parents and fans. Read more here.
Victorian Religious Schools to Be Banned From Firing LGBT+ Staff. Religious schools in Victoria, Australia will be banned from firing or refusing to hire staff based on their sexual orientation or gender identity under new reforms proposed by the state government. Read more here.
Court Date Set for Finnish MP Charged Over Bible Tweet. A hearing date has been set in the censorship case of a Finnish MP who is accused of having engaged in “hate speech” for publicly voicing her opinion on marriage and human sexuality. Read more here.
Coach Asks SCOTUS to Reverse Decision Preventing Him From Praying on Field. Attorneys for former high school football coach Joe Kennedy filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the justices to reverse a lower court decision that allowed a school district to fire him for taking a knee in quiet or silent prayer after football games. Read more here.
NZ Churches at Odds Over Proposed Ban on ‘Conversion Therapy.’ Churches in New Zealand are divided over a proposed ban on so-called “conversion therapy,” with some churches supporting the ban and others opposing out of concerns for religious liberty. Read more here.
Thousands Sign Petition to Protect Religious Freedom in Indonesia. Thousands signed an online petition calling on the Indonesian government to protect religious freedom as “one of the most basic rights.” Read more here.
Christian Families in Mexico Lose Access to Water, Services for Refusing to Deny Their Faith. Two Christian families in central Mexico have been threatened with being cut off from essential services if they continue to refuse to deny their faith and pay a fine levied against them, according to a report. Read more here.
U.S. Christian College Continues to Fight Biden’s LGBT Policy. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has agreed to expedite arguments in the case of the College of the Ozarks challenging the Biden administration’s policy prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Read more here.
Alaska Airlines Accused of Firing Employees for Expressing Religious Beliefs. Two Alaska Airlines employees are filing a federal complaint alleging that the company retaliated against them for questioning its support of the Equality Act. Read more here.
Court Rules Catholic School Wrongfully Fired Homosexual Substitute. A federal judge has ruled that a homosexual substitute teacher was wrongfully fired by a Roman Catholic school in North Carolina after he announced on social media that he was going to marry his longtime partner. Read more here.
EU Religious Freedom Envoy Position Again Vacant. The position of “Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU” has been left vacant after Christos Stylianides accepted a different position after fewer than five months in the role. Read more here.
Faith Representatives Turn to Uganda’s Constitutional Court to Lift Worship Ban. An alliance of Catholic, Evangelical and Muslim faith representatives, along with parliamentarians, have brought a legal challenge to Uganda’s restrictions on public worship before the Constitutional Court. Read more here.
USCIRF: Christians in North Korea Face Torture, Execution by Firing Squad. North Korea’s communist dictatorship has been carrying out wrongful arrests and the denial of fundamental religious freedom rights as it seeks to “exterminate all Christian adherents and institutions,” the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom reports. Read more here.
Christian Minister Denied Holding 9/11 Prayer Vigil on Capitol Grounds Files Suit. A Presbyterian minister who wanted to conduct a prayer vigil on the United States Capitol Grounds on September 11th is suing the United States Capitol Police board after being denied permission to hold the vigil. Read more here.
Christian Scholars Slam Report Arguing That LGBT ‘Progress’ Doesn’t Threaten Christians. Christian scholars have pushed back on a study in an American Psychological Association journal that concludes that laws designed to protect the LGBT community from discrimination do not negatively impact Christians. Read more here.
Two Cuban Pastors Fined for Participating in Nationwide Protests. Two Cuban pastors who were detained amid nationwide protests in Cuba were informed that the government would be fining them for participating in the protests but that they would not face prison sentences. Read more here.
UK Catholic Priest Denied Chaplain Role Due to Expression of Religious Views. A Catholic priest appointed by his diocese as a chaplain for Nottingham University has been denied recognition by the university due to tweets he wrote against abortion. Read more here.
Peer Urges UK Politicians to Champion Religious Freedom. Lord Alton is urging UK politicians to defend religious freedom around the world and shine a light on the “horrendous atrocities” being perpetrated against people of faith. Read more here.
Taliban Going Door-to-Door Searching for Afghan Christians. A statement released by the leader of an underground church ministering to Christians in Afghanistan revealed that the Taliban is pursuing a “hit list of known Christians” to capture or kill. Read more here.
Biden Ambassador Pick a Wealthy LGBT Activist Linked to ‘Hostile Takeover’ of Religion. President Joe Biden’s choice for ambassador to Switzerland is the former executive of a foundation which critics say “has shown an extremist hostility to basic freedom-of-conscience protections for those who do not morally approve of same-sex unions.” Read more here.
Biden Admin May Partially Repeal Rule Protecting Christian Student Groups at Universities. The Biden administration is reviewing a federal rule that prohibits public universities and colleges from removing the funding of religious student organizations whose leadership policies conflict with campus anti-discrimination rules. Read more here.
NH Churches Deemed Essential in Future States of Emergency. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill that allows religious organizations to operate to the same degree as essential businesses during a state of emergency. Read more here.
Court Rules Catholic High School Can Fire Staff in Same-Sex Marriages. A federal court has ruled against a counselor who was fired from a Catholic high school in Indiana because she was in a same-sex marriage, citing the legal standard of ministerial exception. Read more here.
Member of Finnish Parliament Faces Prison for Questioning Support of ‘Pride’ Parade. A member of Finland’s Parliament is facing two years in prison for tweeting a message questioning the alignment of her church with a “pride” parade. Read more here.
UK Street Preacher Vindicated After Court Finds No Evidence of Wrongdoing. A London court has thrown out a case against a Christian street preacher who was arrested while preaching outside Finsbury Park subway station in North London. Read more here.
China Arrests Leaders of Evangelical Church Demolished in 2018. Authorities in China have arrested leaders and members of a prominent evangelical church that was destroyed with dynamite about three years ago, sparking a global outcry. Read more here.
Legal Challenge Filed in Uganda to Overturn Worship Ban. A church in Kampala, Uganda and a representative from the Muslim community have commenced legal action challenging the Ugandan government’s ban on public worship after new national lockdown measures were announced. Read more here.
UK Police Officer Loses Religious Discrimination Claim. A former police officer in South Wales who claimed he was mocked by colleagues over his Christian faith has lost a religious discrimination claim. Read more here.
Cuban Christian Given 72 Hours to Take Down Bible Verse Sign or Face Prison. A Cuban churchgoer has been threatened with a prison sentence if he fails to take down a sign outside his house displaying a Bible verse. Read more here.
China Jails Christians for Selling Bible Audio Players. A court in southeast China has handed down jail terms to four Christians arrested last year on charges of illegally selling electronic devices that play Bible verses. Read more here.
Homeless Ministry Asks SCOTUS to Protect Its Freedom to Hire Those Who Share Its Beliefs. A Seattle homeless ministry asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a Washington Supreme Court decision that forces the Christian nonprofit to hire employees who do not share the ministry’s religious beliefs. Read more here.
Algerian Govt Shuts Down Three Christian Churches. Authorities in Algeria have closed down three Christian churches in what critics describe as “direct violations of the right to religious freedom.” Read more here.
Legal Group Responds to U.S. DOJ Dropping Conscience Complaint. Matthew Clark, senior counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, is criticizing a decision by the Department of Justice to drop its conscience rights lawsuit against a Vermont hospital, calling the decision “plainly political in nature.” Read more here.
Christian College Asks SCOTUS to Protect Freedom to Decide Who Can Teach the Faith. A Christian college asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision that allows government to dictate who can teach the college’s faith. Read more here.
Christian Baker Appeals Ruling on ‘Gender Transition’ Cake. A Christian baker found to have violated Colorado’s anti-discrimination law by refusing to make a birthday cake for a transgender-identifying customer has appealed the ruling. Read more here.
U.S. DOJ Dismisses Suit by Nurse Allegedly Forced to Participate in Abortion. The U.S. Department of Justice has dismissed a lawsuit against the University of Vermont Medical Center alleging it forced a nurse to participate in an abortion procedure she objected to on religious grounds. Read more here.
Scottish CEO Wins Religious Discrimination Case. An employment tribunal has ruled that Scotland’s largest grant-making trust unlawfully discriminated against its CEO because of his Christian views on marriage. Read more here.
U.S. Appeals Court Rules Christian Web Designer Must Give Equal Access to LGBT Customers. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit said graphic designer Lorie Smith must design graphics and websites that “celebrate same-sex marriages” because Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act compels her to do so if she also is going to create websites that celebrate heterosexual marriages. Read more here.
EU Bishops’ Commission Urges Action to Protect Religious Freedom. European bishops called on the European Union to do more to protect religious freedom in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
Christian Family Banned From Michigan Farmer’s Market for Religious Beliefs Goes to Trial. A federal district court will hear the case of a Catholic organic farmer who was banned from a Michigan farmer’s market over his belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Read more here.
Ninth Circuit Favors Washington Church in Case Against State Abortion Coverage Mandate. In a ruling by a federal appeals court, Cedar Park Church in Bothell, Washington won its case against a state abortion coverage mandate. Read more here.
UK’s Blackpool Council Ordered to Pay Over £100K for Discriminating Against Christians. Blackpool Council has been ordered to pay £25,000 in damages and £84,000 in costs for discrimination against a local Christian festival involving over 200 churches. Read more here.
Kentucky Contracts With Baptist-Affiliated Children’s Agency. Kentucky reached a contract deal to continue placing youngsters with a Baptist-affiliated children’s agency, coming after the governor’s administration removed LGBTQ anti-discrimination language that the agency steadfastly refused to sign. Read more here.
U.S. Appeals Court Rules Against University That Targeted Christian Group. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled against the University of Iowa, calling its decision to deregister a Christian student group one of the most obvious examples of discrimination that it has ever seen. Read more here.
U.S. Judge Rules School Can Require Teacher to Use Transgender Pronouns and Names. A federal judge has ruled against a Christian teacher who claimed he was forced out of his job because he declined to use the preferred names and pronouns of transgender students. Read more here.
U.S. Fifth Circuit Allows Chaplain-Led Courtroom Prayers to Continue After Being Ruled Unconstitutional. A federal appeals court sided with a Texas justice of the peace, allowing him to continue chaplain-led invocations before state court hearings while the lawsuit against him is adjudicated after his courtroom prayer tradition was ruled unconstitutional by a lower court. Read more here.
State AGs Push Back on Biden’s LGBT Guidance, Warn Religious Liberty Is in Peril. A group of 21 state attorneys general has signed on to a letter to the Biden administration, denouncing recent efforts to expand LGBT policies in schools that they believe would circumvent religious liberty protections and free speech rights. Read more here.
U.S. Appeals Court Rules Catholic Parish Can Fire Homosexual Employee Under Ministerial Exception. An appeals court has ruled that an Illinois Catholic parish and its archdiocese could legally fire a music director because he had entered a same-sex marriage, as his relationship conflicted with Church teaching. Read more here.
Washington Church Challenges State Law Requiring Abortion Coverage in Healthcare Plans. A Washington church is challenging a state law forcing it to cover elective abortions in its health insurance plans. Read more here.
Colombian Court Agrees to Hear Case of Celebrity Forced to Remove Video Supporting Traditional Marriage. The Colombian Constitutional Court has agreed to review the case of a social media star that seeks to overturn a national court ruling that ordered her to take down an online video wherein she expressed her belief in traditional marriage. Read more here.
Judge Who Won’t Oversee Same-Sex Weddings Due to Religious Beliefs Wants Lawsuit Revived. A Jack County, Texas judge who declines to marry same-sex couples due to his Christian beliefs has standing to challenge a state commission’s interpretation of a judicial canon in a way that chills his religious rights, his lawyers will tell an appeals court. Read more here.
UK Govt ‘Deeply Concerned’ About Religious Freedom Violations in North Korea. The UK government has said it is “deeply concerned” about reports of serious human rights violations against people of faith in North Korea. Read more here.
SCOTUS to Hear Religious School Tuition Case. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that it will hear a case brought by families from Maine who want to use a state tuition program to send their children to religious schools. Read more here.
Kentucky’s Contract With Children’s Agency Remains in Limbo. Kentucky’s contract renewal with a Baptist-affiliated children’s agency remains in limbo over a disputed contract clause that could require the agency to place children with same-sex couples in violation of their deeply held religious beliefs. Read more here.
Ohio Passes Bill Allowing Religious Hospitals, Doctors to Refuse Procedures That Violate Convictions. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a state budget that allows for medical professionals and insurers to be excused from performing procedures that conflict with their religious beliefs. Read more here.
SCOTUS Declines to Hear Key Religious Liberty Case Next Term. The U.S. Supreme Court announced it will not take up a key religious liberty case centered around a Christian artist who has come under fire for declining to service events that violate her faith, such as same-sex marriage ceremonies. Read more here.
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