Religious News From Around the Web October 4, 2021
WRN Editorial Staff
Religious Liberty, Abortion and Death Penalty on Court Docket; Bishops Apologize for Church Role in Indian Residential School System; Religious Exemptions to Vaccine Mandates? Hostilities to Religion Decline, While Government Restrictions Remain High; Chinese Authorities Remove Domes from Mosques – They Don’t Look Chinese
Bishops Apologize for Church Role in Indian Residential School System The remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, were detected by ground-penetrating radar at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia. Canada’s Catholic bishops apologized for the Catholic Church’s role in the residential school system. “We acknowledge the suffering experienced in Canada’s Indian Residential Schools,” said a statement. “We acknowledge the grave abuses that were committed by some members of our Catholic community: physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, cultural and sexual. We also sorrowfully acknowledge the historical and ongoing trauma and the legacy of suffering and challenges faced by Indigenous peoples that continue to this day.”
Religious Exemptions to Vaccine Mandates? Your freedoms may depend on a bureaucrat’s discretion to decide whether your religious beliefs are sincere. Bureaucrats do crazy things such as claiming that beer is essential but Easter is not or that the Amish are not sincere in their beliefs. Ultimately, that does not bode well for Americans hoping to demonstrate a sincerely held religious objection to vaccination.
Hostilities to Religion Decline, While Government Restrictions Remain High Violence and harassment against religious groups by private individuals and groups, declined in 2019, according to Pew Research Center’s 12th annual study of global restrictions on religion, which examines 198 countries and territories. In 2019 – the most recent year for which data is available, covering a period before the coronavirus pandemic – 43 countries (22 percent of all those included in the study) had “high” or “very high” levels of social hostilities. That is down from 53 countries (27 percent) in 2018, and from a peak of 65 countries (33 percent) in 2012. These figures have fluctuated since the study began in 2007, but the number of countries with at least “high” levels of social hostilities related to religion is now the lowest since 2009. And 2019 was “the fifth consecutive year of declining global terrorism” since a peak in 2014. However, the total number of countries with “high” or “very high” levels of government restrictions on religion rose in 2019 to 57 (29 percent of all countries in the study). This is up one country from 2018 and matches the study’s highest mark, from 2012.
Chinese Remove Domes from Mosques – They Don’t Look Chinese Chinese authorities are removing the dome roofs from thousands of mosques across that country, including the Dongguan Mosque, Xining’s largest. The big green domes that once crowned the Dongguan’s minarets and prayer hall are gone. They say the domes are evidence of Arab influence. It’s part of a push to sinify ethnic groups – to make them more Chinese.