Religious News From Around the Web December 28, 2020
Supreme Court Wraps Up 2020, North Korean Persecution of Christians, COVID a “Constitutional Stress Test,” Christmas Comes to Iraq, Video: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, U.S. to Support Tibet and Sanction Chinese Officials
Supreme Court Wraps Up 2020
Rulings on funding of private religious schools, religious schools’ right to hire and fire, abortion, pandemic restrictions, adoption and more put religious liberty in the spotlight. And with the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, the court tipped to the right, creating still more controversy.
Witnesses Detail North Korean Persecution of Christians
The Korea Future Initiative Documented some 273 victims of North Korean religious suppression. North Korean officials view religion as a Western plot to subvert the government.
COVID a “Constitutional Stress Test” of Religious Liberty
“We have never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive and prolonged as those experienced for most of 2020 … the COVID crisis has served as a sort of constitutional stress test. And in doing so it has highlighted disturbing trends that were already present before the virus struck.” – Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito
Christmas Comes to Iraq
Iraq passed a bill last week formally recognizing Christmas day as an annual public holiday throughout its territory. The Iraqi parliament unanimously agreed to approve the bill, which is seen as a significant move in relation to Pope Francis’ scheduled visit this spring to Iraq. Pope Francis’ travel to Iraq next year would be the first visit of a pope on Iraqi soil. Christians in Iraq have suffered persecution for decades and in 2014, ISIS committed genocide against Christians, prompting many of them to leave their homeland.
Video: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
“It’s a fateful moment in history. We’ve seen divisive elections, divided societies and the growth of extremism — all fueled by anxiety and uncertainty. Is there something we can do, each of us, to be able to face the future without fear?” – Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks,1948-2020
U.S. Passes Bill to Support Tibet, Sanction Chinese Officials
As part of the continuing US pressure on China, the U.S. Congress has passed a bill to step up U.S. support to Tibetans. The Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA) has been passed by the two houses of Congress and will bring on economic and visa sanctions on any Chinese officials who interfere with the succession of the Dalai Lama and will require Beijing to allow the U.S. to establish a consulate in Lhasa, before it can open any more consulates in the US.