Religious News from Around the Web July 20, 2020
Uighurs under China Suppression, Governor Orders Churches Closed, Bibles Ballooned Into North Korea, Vatican Issues Sex Abuse Reporting Guide, The Talmud and the Cancel Culture, Changes to Asylum Rules Opposed by Catholics
Video: Surveillance, “Reeducation,” Suppression of Uighurs in China
Isobel Yeung, a journalist recently returned from China with details of just how far the Chinese government will go to suppress dissent. Criticized for its policies toward minority religious groups, which includes a reported one million Muslim Uighurs in “reeducation camps,” the Chinese Communist government singled out U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, Representative Chris Smith and Ambassador for Religious Freedom Sam Brownback for charges of meddling in China’s internal affairs.
Calif. Gov. Orders Churches to Close “Indefinitely”
Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that churches must close because of the Coronavirus, and stay closed “indefinitely” until allowed to reopen by the state public health officer. But as pointed out by Eric S. Dreiband, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, “…there is no pandemic exception to the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights.” Newsom also prohibited singing and chanting in church, which is being challenged by several churches and the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ).
Christian Group Balloons Digital Bibles into North Korea
A South-Korean-based Christian group is launching helium filled, GPS tracked, biodegradable balloons into North Korea loaded with digital bibles. Back in 2017 a North Korean defector used balloons to send digital bibles on flash drives into the country. According to news reports North Korea levies severe penalties on people found possessing bibles.
Vatican Issues Manual on Handling of Sex Abuse Claims
The Vatican issued a 20-page “vademecum” which lists procedures and forms to fill out to report claims of clerical sexual abuse. According to one report, the manual contains some of the clearest language on reporting sexual abuse ever in a Vatican document. “Even in cases where there is no explicit legal obligation to do so,” says the document, “the ecclesiastical authorities should make a report to the competent civil authorities if this is considered necessary to protect the person involved or other minors from the danger of further criminal acts”
The Talmud: “Make Your Heart Into Many Chambers”
In today’s combative political and social arena, people with diverse opinions seldom talk to one another. But the Talmudic rabbis challenged people to “Make your heart into many chambers,” to help hold opposing views and see from the other person’s perspective.
Catholic Church Opposed to Trump Asylum Changes
The Trump Administration has begun to change the procedures for obtaining asylum in the United States and The Catholic Legal Immigration Network claims that the new procedures will all but eliminate asylum. The regulations would “essentially end asylum for those fleeing violence from intimate partners, and family members and gangs,” said Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, Texas.