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US condemns 10 countries for severe religious freedom violations

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday announced the US has deemed 10 countries guilty of severe religious freedom violations. The nations — China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar (also known as Burma), North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan — were categorized “Countries of Particular Concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. …

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Judge sides with religious groups in ObamaCare birth control mandate fight

A federal judge this week sided with three religious colleges and three Christian organizations in their challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate. Judge Philip Brimmer, a George W. Bush appointee on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, issued an order that permanently blocks the federal government from forcing the …

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Texas State Rep. Files Bill to Let Teachers Post Ten Commandments in Classrooms

A Texas Republican has already filed a bill that would allow public school teachers to post the Ten Commandments in their classrooms. State Rep. Dan Flynn says in HB 307 that “The board of trustees of an independent school district may not prohibit the posting of a copy of the Ten Commandments in a prominent …

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Religion declining in importance for many Americans, especially for Millennials

The American Family Survey, an annual national survey conducted by the Deseret News and the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University, found that just 43% of Americans viewed religion as a core component of their identity in 2018. The number of Americans who identify as atheist, agnostic, or nothing …

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Trump administration halts study that would use fetal tissue ‘to discover a cure for HIV’

The Trump administration has shut down at least one government-run study that uses fetal tissue implanted into mice even before federal health officials reach a decision on whether to continue such research, which is opposed by anti-abortion groups. A senior scientist at a National Institutes of Health laboratory in Montana told colleagues that the Health …

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Religious Freedom Manifesto Calls for Compromise and Civility—What’s So Wrong With That?

A manifesto on religious freedom called The American Charter of Freedom of Religion and Conscience was rolled out at an invitation-only event at the National Archives Museum last week. Original copies of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are on display in the museum’s “Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom,” but proximity to the …

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Couple Takes on Trump Admin in Foster Care Discrimination Suit

A federal court heard oral arguments today on whether to dismiss a lawsuit from a married same-sex couple who were denied the opportunity to even apply to become foster parents to a refugee child. Texas couple Fatma Marouf and Bryn Esplin, both college professors, were turned away by a Catholic social services agency that receives …

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Indiana Atheists Erect “Oh Come All Ye Faithless” Sign in South Bend Building

If you visit the County-City Building in South Bend, Indiana, you’re going to see this pleasant holiday display… that will either put a smile or frown on your face after you read what it actually says: The sign, reading “Oh come all ye faithless” and (on the other side) “Even Heathens Celebrate the Season!,” was …

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