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All articles in category News

News

May 2019
News

Parents’ opposition to relationships lessons in schools is spreading

An increasing number of primary schools across England are experiencing opposition from parents to new ‘relationships’ lessons. In recent months, Parkfield Community School in Birmingham has been at the centre of controversy over its ‘No Outsiders’ programme of lessons which pushes an LGBT agenda. Now parents in Manchester, Oldham, Blackburn, Bradford and other areas are also protesting against similar classes. But the Education Secretary has weighed into the row, warning that parents should not control what schools teach their children. Damian Hinds said that although it was right that parents were consulted and involved in developing how schools deliver relationships education, he insisted ‘what is...

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News

May 2019
News

Disastrous divorce plans get go-ahead

The Government has announced it will press ahead with disastrous plans to make divorce quicker and easier. The announcement was made following the results of a public consultation, even though 83 per cent of respondents were opposed to the central proposal. The Government attempted to hide the responses from the public, saying that a majority of ‘family justice professionals’ back the plans. But more than eight out of ten of all respondents were against the proposal to remove the ability to contest a divorce as a general rule. Those who disagreed with the proposal argued that it would seem unjust if one party was not...

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News

May 2019
News > International

LETTER FROM AMERICA: Southern Baptist Convention abuse scandal

In May 2018, the former president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Paige Patterson, came under the spotlight for mishandling cases of sexual assault at the seminary. The Southern Baptist Convention summarily terminated him from his position after investigating his role (Christianity Today, ‘Paige Patterson Fired by Southwestern’, June 2018). While this action won much acclaim (and shock) from its members, this was only the tip of the iceberg for the world’s largest Baptist denomination in its relation to the #MeToo movement. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), while having origins in the southern US, has nearly fifty thousand congregations all over the country and currently boasts...

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News

April 2019
News > International

Letter from America: The life and faith of President George H.W. Bush

George Herbert Walker (H.W.) Bush, the 41st President of the United States, passed away in his Houston home on November 30, aged 94. During his presidency, Bush Sr. led the United States to prosperity after the fall of the Soviet Union but had been involved in diplomacy and politics long before that. At his funeral, the watching world mourned this quiet, humble man from Massachusetts who, to his dying day, lived out Proverbs 27:2: ‘Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips’. While many remember his political career, or even the fact that he became a millionaire...

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News

April 2019
News > Education > Society

Compulsory relationship lessons for all schools

Schools with pupils of all ages must provide compulsory ‘relationships’ lessons from September 2020, the Education Secretary Damian Hinds has announced. In the past many schools have been allowed to decide for themselves, in consultation with parents, whether to cover the subject. But now all schools, including private schools, will be forced to deliver Relationships Education and secondary schools must run Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). Schools have been told that pupils should receive ‘appropriate’ teaching about gay and transgender issues, and that LGBT relationships must be ‘respected’ This will be mandatory in secondary schools, although primary schools will be free to choose whether they...

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News

April 2019
News > Society

Navratilova criticises transgender athletes, then apologises

Former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova has said it is ‘insane and cheating’ to allow transgender women to compete in women’s sporting tournaments. The tennis star, who is also a gay rights campaigner, said ‘You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards.’ Writing in the Sunday Times she said, ‘To put the argument at its most basic: a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies...

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News

April 2019
News > International

India: More Christians targeted for their faith

Targeted violence and hate crimes against the Christian community in India continued unabated in 2018, according to the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI). The Religious Liberty Commission of the EFI has recorded 325 incidents where Christians have been targeted using violence, intimidation or harassment. According to a report published by the group, ‘More than the numbers, what is disturbing is the sudden spurt of violence in a few districts of Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous province, and in Tamil Nadu in the extreme south of the subcontinent’. The report added, ‘Most cases go unreported either because the victim and witnesses are terrified, or the...

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News

April 2019
News > International

UN: Eighty per cent of people live in a ‘religiously restricted atmosphere’

Most of the world’s population do not enjoy religious freedom even though most people are religious, the US religious freedom ambassador Sam Brownback told the UN. Brownback was addressing the UN for the first time since becoming ambassador, speaking at a panel discussion on global religious freedom strategies. He said, ‘Eighty per cent of the world’s population lives in a religiously restricted atmosphere. Eighty per cent of the world is religious. How can we tolerate this continuing situation? ‘We need a global movement of religious freedom. The good news: one has started, and it’s starting here today. We can’t just keep talking. We have to...

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News

April 2019
News > International

Cuba: Evangelicals campaign against redefining marriage

Evangelicals and others have campaigned against plans to redefine marriage in Cuba’s proposed new constitution. The draft wording defined marriage as ‘between two people’ rather than between a man and woman — opening the way for gay marriage. But last October, the Methodist, Baptist and Pentecostal churches organised a petition against the draft constitution. They delivered 178,000 signatures to the National Assembly, an unparalleled event in Cuba, according to The Observer newspaper. It seems to have been successful in gaining attention. In December, the National Assembly replaced the ‘between two people’ definition with more ambiguous language, saying it would legislate on the issue in the...

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News

April 2019
News > International

Canada: court overrules father and allows child, 14, to change gender

The Supreme Court of British Columbia, in Canada, has allowed a 14-year-old girl to be injected with hormones to change her gender — against her father’s wishes. And the court has ruled, if the father does not refer to his daughter’s new chosen male name or her preferred pronouns, it ‘shall be considered to be family violence’ under the Family Law Act. ‘The government has taken over my parental rights,’ the girl’s father said, ‘They’re using [her] like she’s a guinea pig in an experiment’. The child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was encouraged by her school counsellor to identify as a boy...

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News

April 2019
News > Church news

CofE Sunday Services no longer compulsory

Weekly Sunday services will no longer be compulsory for Anglican churches after a vote by the Church of England’s ruling body. The General Synod voted to end the law – dating back to 1603 – which required priests to hold a Sunday service in every church they looked after. The change was proposed by the Bishop of Willesden, who called the law ‘out of date’. Some clergy in rural parishes have been left looking after as many as 20 churches. Previously, they had to get permission from a bishop to not hold a Sunday service in each church. The Bishop of Willesden, the Right Reverend...

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News

April 2019
News > Education > Society

Birmingham primary school stops LGBT lessons after parents protest

A primary school in Birmingham that promoted LGBT issues to pupils as young as four has stopped after hundreds of children were withdrawn by parents in protest. The Guardian reports that about 600 mostly Muslim children, aged between four and 11, were withdrawn from the school for the day. The school would not confirm the number. Before withdrawing their children, parents had been protesting outside the Parkfield Community School in Saltley, Birmingham. The parents had been carrying placards with slogans such as ‘stop exploiting children’s innocence’, and ‘education not indoctrination’. As part of the LGBT lessons, children were being made to read books like Mommy,...

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