Law and Religion Headlines

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Azerbaijan Mosque loses eight-year struggle for religious freedom
(Becket Fund for Liberty)

German church becomes mosque: 'The new normal'
(Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute of International Public Policy)

Siberian Pussy Riot supporter appeals fine for selling Pussy Riot T-shirts
(Russian Legal Information Agency)

The religious-liberty rights of business owners
(Ed Whelan, National Review Online)

The Third Circuit is wrong: RFRA protects corporations, without any carve-out of for-profit corporations from its protections
(Kevin C. Walsh, Walshlaw)

Papal resignation and canon law
(David Pocklington, Law & Religion UK)

Arrests of 10 women praying at Western Wall add to tensions over a holy site
(Jodi Rudoren, The New York Times)

10 women arrested at Kotel for wearing tallitot
(Melanie Lidman, The Jerusalem Post)

Interfaith couple in Lebanon relaunches civil marriage debate
(Nada Akl, Common Ground News Service)

Muslim clerics from Al-Azhar, Egypt’s premier religious institution, elect top Islamic jurist
(AP via Washington Post)

Nigerian imam equips Muslims to address extremism
(Maggie Siddiqi, Common Ground News Service)

Being a Muslim and being a feminist are not mutually exclusive
(Fatemeh Fakhraie, Common Ground News Service)

French polls regarding Islam miss reality
(Derek Kane O'Leary, Common Ground News Service)

Monday, 11 February 2013

Pope Benedict XVI resigns owing to age and declining health
(Lizzy Davies and John Hooper in Rome; Kate Connolly in Berlin, The Guardian (

Russian lawmaker hopes good relations will be maintained between Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholic Churches

India: Jairam Ramesh: keep religion off politics
(The Hindu)

Dem lawmakers tell Christians: Keep your religion inside church walls
(Jack Minor, Northern Colorado Gazette)

Shas’s attacks on the Jewish home and religious equality
([email protected], Jewish Press)

More than 1000 diverse religious leaders support birth control
(Religion News Service)

Funding stopped for anti-gay religious group pending investigation
(Lina Dib and Fannie Olivier, Associated Press via Global News)

The challenge of defining Muslim feminism
(Erika L. Sánchez, Common Ground News Service via Huffington Post)

New version of Kansas Religious Preservation Act appears to address gay rights concerns
(Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal-World)

Erdogan: "The image of the Jews is no different from that of the Nazis"
(Samuel Westrop, Gatestone Institute of International Public Policy)

Pope is frail, not ill, faced no pressure to resign: Vatican

Pope's sudden resignation sends shockwaves through Church
(Philip Pullella, Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI says he will resign
(Elisabetta Povoledo and Alan Cowell, The New York Times)

Teachers, students: Religion, but not proselytizing, belongs in Huntsville's public schools (updated)
(Kay Campbell,

Kazakhstan’s new religion law hurting Christians
(International Christian Concern)

America’s new government-imposed religion
(Rep. J. Randy Forbes, The Washington Times)

Report dismisses complaint about religion in Conway schools, suggests policy on visits
(Max Brantley, Arkansas Times)

Freedom From Religion Foundation targets Lakeview Middle
(Callie Starnes, WRCB TV)

Bangladesh: 20,000-strong mob attacks, torches Ahmadi festival site
(Ahmadiyya Times)

Women in the episcopate consultation: the basics
(David Pocklington, Law & Religion UK)

More same-sex marriage, immigration/extradition, and Russia in the dock – the human rights roundup
(Daniel Isenberg, UK Human Rights Blog)

Religion and Law round up – 10th February
(Frank Cranmer, Law & Religion UK)

Exemptions to birth control mandate unlikely to defuse lawsuits
(Terry Baynes, Thomson Reuters News & Insight)

Utah Governor: 'I do agree' rhat Obamacare contraceptive mandate violates religious liberty
(Jon Street,

De-linking female genital mutilation from religion
(Ambassador Ufuk Gokcen, Huff Post Religion)

ERLC brief: mandate harms religious freedom
(Tom Strode, Baptist Press)

Papua New Guinea must act after woman burned alive for 'sorcery'
(Amnesty International)

Le “changement de civilisation”
(Docteur Jean-Pierre Dickes, Talpa brusseliensis christiana)

Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius shows majority of circuit courts favor contraceptive rule
(Alison Tanner, Policymic)

Egypt court bans YouTube for a month
(Ahram Online)

Equal marriage – a summary
(Frank Cranmer, Law & Religion UK)

Dialogue with religious and non-religious organisations: decision by the European Ombudsman
(Frank Cranmer, Law & Religion UK)

Decision of the European Ombudsman in his inquiry into complaint 2097/2011/RA against the European Commission
(European Ombudsman)

Saturday, 9 February 2013

16 sentenced in Amish beard-cutting attacks
(Kevin Eckstrom, Religion News Service)

Chokri Belaid's murder, a turning point for the country, says Church official in Tunis

Egypt: A Muslim cleric issues fatwa on the necessity of killing in the name of religion
(All Africa)

Indonesia still struggling with violence, religious intolerance
(Daniella White & Eileen McInnes, Jakarta Globe)

Indonesia: Corruption and Islamists shaping next year's elections
(Mathias Hariyadi,

Nigeria: Religious tension mounts in Oyo community
(Ola Ajayi, All Africa)

Picking up a bagel instead of a partisan fight
(Eric Marrapodi, CNN)

Rwanda: First Lady attends U.S. prayer breakfast
(Maria Kaitesi, All Africa)

Sri Lanka: In Jaffna, an effort to bridge the religious divide
(Pradeep Seneviratne, Khabar South Asia)

Tibetan man sentenced to 13 years for 'inciting' self-immolation of monk
(Tom Lasseter, Christian Science Monitor)

Uganda: Use religion as instrument of peace - Mubajje
(Gloria Nakajubi, All Africa)

What happened to God in America (video)

Friday, 8 February 2013

Vatican backtracks on support for gay couples
(Alessandro Speciale, Religion News Service)

Mecca redevelopment sparks heritage concerns
(Tim Hume and Samya Ayish, CNN Belief Blog)

Ohio Amish beard-cutting ringleader gets 15 years
(Thomas J. Sheeran, Associated Press)

Mormon church in talks on statewide law to protect gays from bias
(Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune)

China detains 70 in crackdown on Tibetan self-immolations
(Cheryl K. Chumley, The Washington Times)

Egypt's Coptic leader: 'Christians are not a minority in terms of value to the nation'
(Katherine Weber, Christian Post)

Statement on the conclusion of the meeting of the House of Bishops
(The Church of England)

Churches and synagogues 'priced out of civil partnership ceremonies'
(Nabeelah Jaffer, The Guardian)

Mass. governor's income tax proposal would end parsonage exemption; continue no charitable deduction
(Howard Friedman, Religion Clause)

In victory for 'chained' wives, court upholds Orthodox prenuptial agreement
(Paul Berger, Jewish Daily Forward)

Jindal won't stop execution; clemency denied
(Associated Press)

DuBois leaving White House faith-based post
(Lauren Markoe, Religion News Service)

Christian worker quits over 666 on tax form
(Bob Smietana, USA Today)

Shirley Phelps-Roper, Westboro Baptist Church mouthpiece, responds to daughters' defections
(Cavan Sieczkowski, Huffington Post)

Granddaughters of Westboro Baptist Church founder quit church, apologize for 'hurt'
(Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post)

FFRF, ACLU sue over Ohio Jesus portrait
(Freedom from Religion Foundation)

MTF analysis of governor's FY 14 tax proposal
(Massachusetts Taxpayers foundation)

Chabad claim denied
(Jonah Lowenfeld, Jewish Journal)

Women’s preventive services coverage and religious organizations

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Catholic bishops reject new contraception proposals
(David Gibson, Religion News Service)

India's artists struggle to safeguard free speech
(Deutsche Welle)

Sri Lanka: President vows not to allow religious differences to divide the nation
(Sunday Times)

Vietnam looks to amend religious laws
(Khanh Vu Duc, Asia Sentinel)

President speaks at National Prayer Breakfast, Director of Faith-Based Office to leave post
(Don Byrd, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty)

Shell game with religious liberty
(Michael Gerson, Washington Post Writers Group)

Jews vocal on both sides of France’s gay marriage debate
(Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA)

Promotion totalitaire du “mariage” homosexuel par le Parlement européen
(Jeanne Smits, Talpa brusseliensis christiana)

Tunisian PM says he will dissolve government to halt crisis
(Al Bawaba News)

Ethiopia: The case against trial by public media — OpEd
(Alemayehu Fentaw Weldemariam, Eurasia Review)

Pew Forum Weekly Religion News Update

Public benefit, charitable status and “closed” congregations – further developments in Preston Down
(Frank Cranmer, Law & Religion UK)

Who should regulate kosher and halal food?
(The Economist)

Religion’s wise embrace of commerce
(Michael A. Helfand, First Things)

Religion, readability and the presidency: a historic combination
(Dan Mercia, CNN Belief Blog)

Vatican denies had role in Monte Paschi-Antonveneta deal

Mayor Bloomberg backs Brooklyn College in flap over boycott Israel panel
(Josh Nathan-Kazis, Jewish Daily Forward)

Gambia: President Jammeh attends Cairo OIC Summit
(The Daily Observer)

Nigeria: Kaduna Muslims, Christians demand legislation against hate speech
(Alex Abutu, Hope Abah, Chris Eze, Eyo Charles, Aliyu Abdullateef, Johnkennedy Uzoma, Aliyu M. Hamagam, and Christiana T. Alabi, Daily Trust)

Zambia: Islamic groups infighting worries state
(Victoria Phiri, Times of Zambia)

Egypt: Al-Azhar criticizes West over curbing Muslims freedom
(Egypt State Information Service)

Zimbabwe: Central Bank governor blasted for 'sanitising' Makandiwa and Angel
(Violet Gonda, All Africa)

Russian sect leader jailed for 11 years
(Valery Titievsky,

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The International Center for Law and Religion Studies maintains a Law and Religion Headlines service covering news about freedom of religion or belief internationally. All interested may subscribe to this service, free of charge, using the link below.