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logoLaw and Religion Headlines International – Europe – United States

January 21, 2015

The opinions expressed or biases reflected in the headlines in this digest do not necessarily represent opinions or attitudes of those who maintain this headline news service. We strive for balance in presenting issues of potential interest to our readers.

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International Headlines

Pressure mounts on Saudi Arabia to end flogging (Ahmed Al Omran, The Wall Street Journal)

Seven US religious freedom advocates offer to take lashes for imprisoned Saudi blogger(Antonia Blumberg, Huff Post Religion)

#IAmRaif (Daniel Mark, Arc of the Universe: Ethics and Global Justice – Daniel Philpott)

The great wall of Saudi Arabia: Royal family constructing 600-mile barrier on Iraqi border to keep ISIS militants out (Samuel Smith, The Christian Post World)

Saudi Arabia: The death sentence that could inflame sectarian tensions across Middle East(Giorgio Cafiero, Eurasia Review)

Saudi Arabia beheadings in stark contrast with fight against IS (Madawi Al-Rasheed, Al-Monitor: Gulf Pulse)

How Saudi Arabia’s harsh legal punishments compare to the Islamic State’s (Adam Taylor,The Washington Post)

ISIL unlawful ‘shari’a courts’ meting out ‘monstrous’ punishments, UN warns (UN News Centre)

ISIS kills 13 teens over TV soccer game for allegedly violating sharia law (Samuel Smith, The Christian Post World)

Central Sulawesi, new wave of Islamist violence: Murders, kidnappings, mutilations (Mathias Hariyadi,

Why (some) states use religion to justify violence (Ani Sarkissian, The Washington Post)

Islam: Religion of peace or font of terror? (A conversation with John Esposito of the Georgetown Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding) (John Burger, Aleteia)

Islamic State commander held in Lahore: intelligence sources (Pakistan Today)

Muslim scholars urge UN to outlaw ‘contempt’ of religions (Agence France Press, Arab News)

Tajikistan: Thoughtcrime banned (Forum 18 News Service)

Canada: Christian lawyers and doctors need not apply (Albertos Polizogopoulos, The Cardus Daily)

USCIRF calls for release of Eritrean Orthodox Patriarch Abune Antonios (Press Release,United States Commission on International Religious Freedom)

News Now >> Charlie Hebdo Attack (articles) (News Now Hot Topics)

Yemen crisis: Who are the Houthis? (BBC News Middle East)

'Exodus' film sparks Morocco free speech debate (Siham Ali, Magharebia)

11 wounded by Palestinian in Israeli bus attack in Tel Aviv (Tia Goldenberg, AP: The Big Story)

Malaysia's Federal Court dismisses Catholic case for the use of the word Allah (

Pope says meeting with Dalai Lama in the pipeline as he sends telegram to Xi Jinping(Kristine Kwok, South China Morning Post)

Human rights watch groups fear Chinese anti-terrorism laws will infringe on human rights [Simplified Chinese] (Deutsche Welle)

China exclusive: North China province purges superstition (China News)

Tibetan Religious Association Standing Committee calls for legal protection for "sky burials" [Simplified Chinese] (China News)

Tibetan religious leaders adopt view towards modernization [Simplified Chinese] (China News)

Chinese group: China lawfully responds to religious extremism and terrorist activities with heavy hand [Simplified Chinese] (Xinhua Net)

Tibetan Religious Association Standing Committee proposes using law to protect religious culture [Simplified Chinese] (China News)

Christian Persecution Worldwide (2014 World Watch List, Open Doors USA)

Census 2011's religion data to be made public next week (Bharti Jain, The Times of India)

Interactive: A look at last 5 years Census data on religion (The Indian Express)

A national anti-conversion law to "save" India's Hindus (Nirmala Carvalho,

… on blasphemy laws (Report, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom)

Silencing debate on Islam? (Kristine Kalanges, Arc of the Universe: Ethics and Global Justice – Daniel Philpott)

Japanese hostage held by Islamic State is a Christian journalist (Ruth Gledhill, Christian Today)

Hostage crisis challenges pacifist Japanese public (Martin Fackler and Alan Cowell, The New York Times)

Islamic State releases 200 Yazidis from captivity (Nice Daswani, Christian Today)

Insecurity feelings among Hindus after decision of SHC on forced conversion to Islam of Hindu girl (Pakistan Christian Post)

See for additional articles and an archive of past headlines.

Europe Headlines

EVENT, 27 January 2015: Religion at the European Parliament: Survey of MEPs beliefs and what they do as a consequence of their beliefs (Moderated by Dennis de Jong MEP,Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance)

Erdogan urges Islamic unity against ‘modern Lawrences’ (Arab News)

Turkish President Erdoğan urges Muslim countries to warn West against Islamophobia(Hürriyet Daily News)

Saudi dialogue centre harshly criticised for not condemning flogging of blogger Badawi(

Religious discrimination and the Ministry of Justice: a quick look at religious dress and discrimination (Guest post by Maria Strauss, Law & Religion UK)

Christian group's free speech denied over gay marriage conference ban, Government signals(John Bingham, The Telegraph)

Religion does more harm than good: Dutch people (Janene Van Jaarsveldt, NL Times)

Former Warsaw Ghetto fighters protest memorial’s placement (JTA)

German anti-Islam leader resigns after Hitler pose (Al Jazeera America)

French cleric, aid worker kidnapped in CAR (World Watch Monitor)

Report: French police foiled terrorist plot on anti-Semitism forum (JTA)

Malta: Plans for reform of 1930s blasphemy laws (Ivan Martin, The Times of Malta)

Muslims in fear: Anti-Islamist sentiments rise by 110% in France (RT)

Roman Catholic Church reregisters its parishes in Crimea, in accordance with Russian law(Religious Information Service of Ukraine)

Anti-Islam group loses support in Norway (The Local (Norway))

An inclusive French Republic (The Editorial Board, The New York Times Opinion Pages)

Consecration of traditionalist bishop set to highlight Church of England divisions (Ruth Gledhill, Christian Today – Church)

What protection do employees have against religious discrimination in the UK? (Claire Darbourne, Lexology)

Turkey turns up the heat on the press (Jamie Dettmer, The Daily Beast)

See for additional articles and an archive of past headlines.

United States Headlines

Princeton Professor Robert P. George and others offer to take 1,000 lashes for Saudi blogger Raif Badawi (Leonardo Blair, Christian Post)

Supreme Court hears arguments in Fair Housing Act disparate-impact case (Howard Friedman, Religion Clause)

Argument analysis: Scalia versus Scalia on housing law? (Lyle Denniston, SCOTUSblog)

Understanding religious liberty through the lens of limited government (K. Hollyn Hollman,Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty)

A brief political history of religious exemptions (Eugene Volokh, The Volokh Conspiracy – Washington Post)

Cert. denied in dispute over characterization of communications with priest (Howard Friedman,Religion Clause)

House leaders sticking with abortion bill despite defections (Jake Sherman and Lauren French,Politico)

5 facts about abortion (Michael Lipka, PewResearch Center FactTank)

Catholic leaders to House abortion foes: Immigration reform is also ‘pro-life’ (David Gibson,Religion News Service)

California 'right-to-die' bill proposed (Lisa M. Krieger, San Jose Mercury News)

For Supreme Court, it's all about that Muslim beard — or was religious liberty case really about Hobby Lobby? (Bobby Ross Jr., GetReligion)

When doesn’t a religious accommodation “detrimentally affect others”? and a few other Holt v. Hobbs thoughts (Marc O. DeGirolami, Center for Law and Religion Forum at St. John's University School of Law)

From Eric Rassbach (Becket Fund) on what Holt v. Hobbs means for religious liberty (Eric Rassbach & Eugene Volokh, The Volokh Conspiracy – Washington Post)

Holt v. Hobbs: History (SCOTUSblog)

More articles on Holt v. Hobbs

Complaint: Baker refused to write anti-gay words on cake (Jessica Oh, USA Today)

Are corporations able to claim religious exemptions under state proposal? (April Hunt,PolitiFact)

Atlanta is burning: A new and ominous threat to religious liberty (Commentary) (R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Kelly Shackelford, Religion News Service)

On same-sex marriage, what is settled, what is not (Lyle Denniston, Lyle Denniston Law News)

U.S. Supreme Court allows lawsuit to continue against Baton Rouge priest over claim parishioner kissed, fondled teen (Heidi Kinchen, The Advocate)

Sunday Assembly, dubbed "Atheist Church" opens in Chapel Hill, NC (Alison Lesley, World Religion News)

Satanic coloring books prompts Orlando district to ban Bibles on Religious Freedom Day(Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, Christian Examiner)

US Army removes 'God and country' recruiting sign (Christian Today)

(Violent extremism): Say it like it is (Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times Opinion Pages)

Meet the honor brigade, an organized campaign to silence debate on Islam (Asra Q. Nomani,The Washington Post Opinion)

See for additional articles and an archive of past headlines.