Religious News from the Web November 22, 2021

Catholic Bishops Avoid Biden’s Direct Rebuff on Abortion; Forty-one countries ban groups linked to religion; A Christian florist settles a lawsuit with a same-sex couple; Congress issues resolution condemning Iran for persecution of Baha’is; Can public money go to religious schools?

Catholic bishops avoid outright rejection of Biden on abortion issue

Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Last week, the US Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved a long-awaited communion document that stops short of calling to deny the sacrament to politicians such as President Joe Biden who support abortion rights, but offers many tacit justifications for individual bishops to do so. The document does not identify Biden or other politicians by name, although it does say at one point: “Lay people who exercise some form of public authority have a special responsibility to embody the teaching of the Church”.

Forty-one countries ban groups linked to religion

UNITED NATIONS PHOTO is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Forty-one countries – or about a fifth (21%) of those assessed – banned at least one religion-related group in 2019, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of laws and policies in place in 198 countries in 2019, the most recent year for which complete data are available. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Baha’is were among the most frequently banned groups. In related news, US Secretary of State Blinken said he was designating Russia, along with China and eight other countries “as countries of particular concern for committing or condoning “systematic, ongoing and gross violations of freedom. religious “”. Other countries still on the US list of “religious freedom violations” include Myanmar, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Algeria, Comoros, Cuba and Nicaragua have been placed on a watch list.

Christian florist settles lawsuit with same-sex couple
A Christian florist has been paid $5,000 and retired to settle an 8-year lawsuit brought by a same-sex couple after they refused to provide flowers for their wedding. “I wish that the culmination of all that I have been through can result in a new respect, culturally and legally, for freedom of conscience in our country,” she said. “From the beginning, I asked for nothing more than the freedom to act in accordance with my religious beliefs and my personal convictions. I treated those who persecuted me with respect and with the assurance that I want for them the same freedom that I ask for myself.

Congress issues resolution condemning Iran for persecution of Baha’is

Bahai Temple by Andrés Silvas

The United States House of Representatives is preparing to vote on a draft resolution condemning the state-sponsored persecution of Iran’s Baha’i community in a bipartisan movement. Voices are rising in Congress to criticize these violations against the Baha’i community. The Iranian regime and its affiliated militias, such as the Houthis in Yemen, are accused of persecuting Baha’is.

Can public money go to religious schools? The Supreme Court will weigh the question

By Patriarca12 via Wikimedia Commons

The last case before the United States Supreme Court on religious rights and school choice has been going on for nearly 150 years. On Dec. 8, judges will consider the state of Maine’s exclusion of “cultist” religious schools from its distinctive “schooling” curriculum that first took hold in the 1870s, in which towns without their own high schools pay tuition for students to attend public schools in other communities or private schools. The implications for private school choice and government support for religion will likely be felt far beyond this state.

Ruth R. Culp