A Virginia attorney wants to force public schools to stop renting spaces to churches for worship services.
John Flannery, who served as Chief of Staff for a Democratic representative from California, says that it’s a problem that 34 schools in Loudoun County allow churches to rent space and meet on their premises each Sunday.
“It’s time to declare that religious worship is an impermissible use of our public schools,” the anti-Christian lawyer said. “In Loudoun County, the churches that use public school space are holding ‘church services’ and collecting ‘donations.’ This use advances religious worship, and thus religion. The government is plainly entangled when it’s hosting religious worship not in one or two schools but in 40% of all the county’s public schools.”
School board member Bill Fox notes that Flannery is well known for his desire to eradicate Christians from society.
“Flannery really won’t be satisfied until we’ve completely excised religion from the public sphere,” Fox stated. “Some folks just believe that the First Amendment stands for the proposition that we should free from religion, instead of having freedom of religion. I’ve been an advocate for the First Amendment my entire life, and that’s not the First Amendment [interpretation] that I’ve studied and that I advocate for.”
Police and security personnel have arrested the leaders of a Sudanese Christian church that refused to surrender their property and possessions to the government.
Authorities stormed the compound of the Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church on Sunday and arrested church leaders who were leading a prayer vigil on the remains of a home destroyed the previous week by the government.
Rev. Daud Fadul, elder Fathi Hakim, elder Nouh Manzoul, deacon Iman Hamid and Tilal Mafishi were taken to the Khartoum North Police Station after they refused to stop praying and worshipping on the site.
The members of the church have been maintaining a round the clock vigil to keep the government from destroying the rest of the church’s property.
A Muslim businessman went to the government and told them that he owned the land, so the government has sided with him to remove the Christians from the land and demolish the church.
The government has forcibly removed Christians from their homes and land after the formation of the mostly Christian South Sudan in July 2011. They claim that any Christian land was owned by people who are now in South Sudan.
A church that gave each member $500 with orders to bless their community are reporting a big difference in the lives of thousands.
LaSalle Church had made a real estate deal that provided significant funding. The church gave $500 to each member in September and pastor Laura Truax says the ways God has used the money is amazing.
One couple, Janet & Jim MIlkovich, donated their money to a program called Breakthrough Urban Food Ministries that provide healthy meals to seniors.
“It was wonderful,” Janet Milkovich told Christian Post. “The manager of the Fresh Market Pantry said that there are a lot of senior citizens on the west side of Chicago that depend on the fresh market and are so appreciative of produce and they were going to make sure that they were able to get healthy food.”
One member contributed his money to a missionary in Ivory Coast who was helping a woman that was cast out by her family. The woman had lost a leg due to an infection.
“What he was struck by was the amount that was needed which was exactly $500,” Pastor Truax said. “So Eric’s money went to this woman in the Ivory Coast who needed a prosthetic leg. This is just the way God does it though, right?”
“That’s the economy of God, we weren’t created to be tight fisted people, we were created to be open handed people,” she said. “To move past our fear. That’s what’s going on.”
Christians in North Khartoum, Sudan are fighting to stop the government from completely tearing down their church and homes of Christians.
Government security forces accompanied a bulldozer that knocked down a wall of the Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church and also some homes that belonged to Christians. The Christians, in turn, formed a human barrier to stop the further demolition attempts by the government.
One of the homes destroyed belonged to the Nile Theological College and a Chrsitian doctor who had rented the home lost all his belongings.
The government claimed they had the right to appoint leaders for the church despite the fact the church members did not want them.
“The government recently installed some committee to the running of the church, and these are the same people who want to sell the church for business purposes,” pastor Daud Fadul told Morning Star News.
Church members say the move is part of a government movement to take all land from Christians.
Christian families who were unable to flee Raqqa when the terrorist group ISIS overran the city and made it their base are being subjected to violence and excessive “protection taxes”.
Fides News Agency reports that the 23 families have been routinely harassed and beaten by the terrorists. They have been told that unless they pay “jizya”, or tax, they will be forced out of their homes on Sunday.
The tax amounts to $535 American dollars and Fides reports the families will be unable to pay because of the restrictions upon them by ISIS.
“In my opinion this is a very grave situation. No western leader is moving to stop such a tragedy but they offer only empty words with no actions,” Munir S. Kakish, chairman of the Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land, told The Christian Post.
The churches within the city have been converted to offices for terrorist officials and Bibles and Christian materials are routinely burned by the terrorists.
A lawsuit brought by anti-Christianists against a South Carolina school who held an elementary graduation event inside a Christian chapel will be reheard after an appeals court remanded a district court ruling that sided with the school district.
The anti-Christian American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit in 2013 to stop the Mountain View Elementary School from holding 5th grade graduation at a local Baptist university’s chapel auditorium.
The anti-Christianists claimed that by holding the event in the building, the school was automatically endorsing Christianity.
U.S. District Judge G. Ross Anderson, Jr. denied the anti-Christianist’s request for an injunction but the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the judgment saying the lower court did not provide analysis in the ruling.
The AHA claims that an unnamed atheist student was uncomfortable when one of the other students at the event gave a prayer and other students bowed their heads to pray. Despite the fact the school did not order the student to pray and that the student and those who bowed to pray were just exercising their religious rights, the anti-Christianists say it’s illegal for the Christians to exercise their faith in a way that a non-Christian might see them.
The school claims they were using the facility because they needed a location that could handle the growing attendance for the event.
“Christians should not cower to the new intolerance.”
These were the words of Mary Eberstadt, senior fellow for the Ethics and Public Policy Center, as she addressed a Washington, D.C. audience.
Eberstadt said that the new intolerance “is not an intellectual or philosophical force. In fact, it’s hardly about ideas at all. It is instead something very specific, taken from playbooks that nobody should be proud of studying. It’s about using intimidation, humiliation, censorship, and self-censorship to punish those who think differently.”
Eberstadt said the new intolerance is a serious threat to the church and is already causing divisions because it focuses on the desire to be loved and also to avoid being criticized for the choices made in life.
The end goal of the new intolerance is to get Christians to self-censor, Eberstadt said. This keeps Christians from speaking the truth of Christ’s teachings because someone might feel badly and “not loved” if they choose to do something that opposes Christ.
A virulent anti-Christian organization that found a liberal judge to back them in an attempt to strip pastors of a tax exemption for housing has lost at the appeals level.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago reversed the decision of liberal Judge Barbara Crabb who had backed the efforts of the anti-Christian Freedom From Religion Foundation. The court ruled that the FFRF had no standing to bring the case and that Judge Crabb had no basis for her ruling.
“The plaintiffs were never denied the parsonage exemption because they never asked for it, ” the three-judge panel stated. “Without a request, there can be no denial. And absent any personal denial of a benefit, the plaintiff s’ claim amounts to nothing more than a generalized grievance about §107(2)’s unconstitutionality, which does not support standing.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of 600 churches, applauded the court making the Constitutionally sound ruling.
“The atheists who filed this suit may have an axe to grind against religion, but as the 7th Circuit found, that doesn’t give them sufficient standing to challenge a tax benefit for which it has never applied and that has been provided to pastors for decades,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “The allowance many churches provide to pastors is church money, not government money. It is constitutional and should continue to be respected and protected.”
Officials in Sierra Leone say that churches may be the last Ebola free zones in the country.
Infection rates in Sierra Leone are continuing to rise despite the efforts of western agencies such as Doctors Without Borders and the United Nations.
“We will overcome Ebola through the blood of Christ, with His help, and with prayer,” Pastor Olatunji Oseni told his congregation at a church in Freetown according ot the Christian Post.
Sierra Leone has forbidden most public gatherings such as soccer matches, concerts, schools or movies but the faithful have been continuing to flood into churches despite the concerns over the killer virus.
A deacon at Winner’s Chapel told the Christian Post that some measures have ben taken to safeguard against Ebola such as elimination of shaking hands and hugging.
Meanwhile, the United Nations is reporting that their latest survey estimates 50 percent of the Ebola cases in Sierra Leone were not reported to officials and most of the patients who did not seek medical attention died from the virus.
A former church is being transformed into the first synagogue in the German state of Brandenburg since 1938.
The former “castle church” in Cottbus, Germany was handed from Christian leader Ulrike Menzel to the Jewish Association of the State of Brandenburg. The facility will be renovated and then dedicated for use on January 27, 2015, Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Menzel said during the transfer event that he was pleased to see the house of worship return to its intended use. The church that had met in the building had disbanded and the facility was used for social events during the last few years.
The synagogue in Cottbus was destroyed on Kristallnacht when Germans nationwide took Jewish property and synagogues. The site of that former synagogue in Cottbus is now the location of a department store.
The Jewish community formally reestablished in the city in 1998 and lists 350 members who are all former Soviet Union residents that fled for freedom to worship.