Religious News From Around the Web June 15, 2020
Photos: Greek Monasteries Built on Rock Spires
Meteora – which means “suspended in the air” are Greek rock formations upon which Eastern Orthodox monasteries were built in the 14th Century. Monks once ascended an intricate system of ladders and baskets to reach the top, and some have been rebuilt.
Church Security Now Armed
After 19 fatal shootings at American houses of worship since 2000, many are now protected by gun-toting security. A 2019 survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors found 45 percent have armed security and 80 percent have security measures in place during services. The video of a shooting at the West Freeway Church of Christ near Fort Worth, Texas, may have spurred many security upgrades.
Ancient Islamic Texts Digitized, To Go Online
Israel’s National Library is digitizing a collection of 2,500 rare Islamic manuscripts and books to put online. The materials are written in Arabic, Persian and Turkish, dating from the ninth to the 20th centuries, and many are too fragile to be put on display, but digitization will enable people around the world to view them regardless of politics.
Challenges to Trump Muslim Travel Ban Dismissed
President Trump’s ban on travel from primarily Muslim countries will stand. The Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently tossed three lawsuits challenging the ban. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban in a separate 2018 legal case from Hawaii.
Latter-day Saints Plan Temple in China
The Chinese Communist Party closely regulates religion in China, and “foreign churches” cannot allow Chinese citizens to participate, even requiring foreign passports to enter. Nevertheless, the Church of Latter-day Saints announced it plans to build a temple in Shanghai.
President Trump Releases Order on International Religious Freedom
On June 2, President Trump announced an executive order on International Religious Freedom. The order prioritizes religious freedom in the planning and implementation of foreign policy and assistance. The Administration will also budget at least $50 million per year for programs that advance international religious freedom.
Journalism Cancels its Moral Voice?
“It is clear that in the eyes of our government officials, the politically preferred viewpoint of anti-racism is favored and allowed, while the unpopular one of religious worship is belittled and denigrated.” – Ed Mechmann, Archdiocese of New York.
China Strips Crosses From Churches
Some 250 Christian Churches in China were stripped of their crosses since January by authorities even though the churches were registered and followed the Chinese Communist Party’s regulations on churches. According to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, religious persecution in China has intensified over the past year as the regime continues with its “decades-long war on faith.”
Boko Haram Murders 81 in Nigerian Village
Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden” also called “The Islamic State in West Africa,” is suspected in an attack on a Nigerian village that killed 81 people. Since 2011, Boko Haram’s terrorism and fighting with authorities has killed more than 37,000 people in Nigeria.