Pandemic, Same-sex Weddings, New Supreme Court Religious Liberty Case, Church Shutdown Fights, Black Churches Share Lessons With White Churches, UN Commemoration of Victims of Religious Violence and Universal Declaration of Human Rights

What the Pandemic Taught Us About Religious Freedom and Trust
While the pandemic escalates existing church-state tensions, pastors have generally tried to reduce the size of in-person meetings and state leaders generally tried to be fair and respectful with restrictions. But the pandemic reminds us of our priorities and why these issues matter.

Wedding Photographer Wins Right to Refuse Same-Sex Weddings
Will Catholic Clergy Be Allowed to Marry? The Pope is Considering it.In the latest clash of LGBT vs religious liberty rights, a federal judge blocked the city of Louisville from enforcing a law requiring wedding photographers to provide services for a same-sex ceremony. The ruling allows a Christian photographer, to continue her business while following her religious convictions.

World Peace Torah
The Mount Zion World Peace Center in Jerusalem announced receipt of its new Sefer Tora, which it is calling, “The World Peace Torah.” It is likely the first time a Torah Scroll has been commissioned expressly for the cause of world peace.

Next Supreme Court Religious Liberty Case on Deck
Supreme Court to Decide if the Peace Cross is a Religious Symbol or SecularThe Supreme Court has tackled a number of religious liberty cases recently . And now in Fulton v Philadelphia, Catholic foster care agencies are fighting their exclusion from Philadelphia’s foster care program because they don’t place children with same-sex parents.

Churches Fighting Shutdown Orders
closed-churchStreet protests are permitted, but church meetings banned. One judge orders a church to close, another allows a church to have services. Michigan, New Mexico and Florida, recognized that the First Amendment protects the right of churches to meet but California rules otherwise. After five months of quarantine, churches are fighting back against capricious decisions.

Black Churches in Minneapolis Share Lessons With White Faith Leaders
The black pastor of a racially diverse Minneapolis congregation has found himself mentor to the ministers of white-majority churches committed to combating racial injustice and forging meaningful social change.

Aug. 22 Commemorates Victims of Religious Violence

The UN General Assembly last year designated 22 August as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. Freedom of religion or belief, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of association are enshrined in articles 18, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Upholding these rights plays an important role in the fight against all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief.