President Obama defends religious freedom — overseas

From the moment he rose to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast, it was clear President Barack Obama intended to respond to critics who accuse him of being weak in his defense of religious freedom."As Americans, we affirm the freedoms endowed by our Creator, among them freedom of religion," noted Obama, early in the recent address. "Yes, this freedom safeguards religion, allowing us to flourish as one of the most religious countries on Earth, but it works the other way, too -- because … [Read more...]

Religion 2010 — Rose petals in Pakistan

In terms of giant headlines and spilled ink, there is no question that the lightning strike by U.S. special forces that killed Osama bin Laden was the year's most spectacular news event, featuring a deadly brew of religion, politics and violence.Thus, it isn't surprising that members of the Religion Newswriters Association selected the death of the world's most infamous radical Muslim as No. 1 in their poll to name the year's top 10 stories on the religion beat. In addition to the symbolism of … [Read more...]

Dylan does his Dylan thing in China

The drama that unfolded in Beijing began when police evicted the unregistered Shouwang "house church" from its usual meeting place.The police arrived again when this same flock tried to gather in a public place last Sunday. A church member who escaped told the Associated Press that about 200 were arrested.This kind of persecution is old news for those concerned about the 60 million or so Christians in China's "underground" churches. The crackdowns have become so common that they rarely … [Read more...]

That global blind spot

BERKELEY, Calif. -- The interfaith coalition that formed in the 1990s to lobby for religious liberty in China was so large and so diverse that even the New York Times noticed it.One petition included two Catholic cardinals and a dozen bishops, Evangelical broadcasters, Eastern Orthodox bishops, Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Baha'is, Orthodox and liberal rabbis, Scientologists and Protestant clergy of a various and sundry races and traditions. One Times article noted that these were signatures that … [Read more...]


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