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All articles in category News

March 2018
News > Society

Society – Truth Project

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has set up a forum to help all victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The Victims and Survivors Forum is open to all and aims to make it easier for people affected by abuse to engage with the forum, which has been created by the inquiry, to help people come forward with their views and experience. The Truth Project seeks to hear from people if an organisation failed to protect them from abuse or failed to respond appropriately to allegations. Once the inquiry can understand what happened in the past, the aim is to take steps to...

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News > Society

Society – Blasphemous flavour

Online supermarket Ocado has seemingly stopped selling a product which uses gratuitously offensive language about Jesus Christ. The Christian Institute raised concerns after a supporter complained about ‘Christ on a Bike’ beef jerky, which is one of the flavour descriptions for the Billy Franks company that makes it. The spicy beef jerky — dried strips of meat — is one of three items Ocado sells from the Billy Franks company. However, a member of staff has now told one Institute supporter, ‘I’d like to reassure you that we no longer stock the product and did not mean to cause any offence’. The supermarket, the world’s...

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March 2018
News > Society

Society – Sharia inequalities

Muslim women must be given more protection from sharia law, when it comes to family law and divorce, an independent review has found. The government’s independent review, Applying sharia law in England and Wales, has recommended changes to offer greater protection for Muslim women. One of the recommendations — which has been rejected by the Home Office — is to create an official regulatory body for ‘sharia courts’. The report proposes the creation of a regulatory body, similar to Ofsted, to enforce best practice among sharia courts, particularly with respect to the treatment of women. Although this proposal ought to bring better transparency and accountability...

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March 2018
News > Society

Society – Greek case

The case is Molla Sali v. Greece, an inheritance dispute. Ms Molla Sali inherited the entire estate of her husband when he died, under the terms of a will he had drawn up in accordance with Greek law. Two sisters of her husband are claiming that, since her husband was a Muslim, the inheritance should be allocated according to sharia law, adjudicated by the mufti. There are provisions for sharia law to be applied to Greek nationals who are Muslims. Mrs Williams comments that a ruling at this level — that sharia law can have supremacy over a member state’s domestic law — could have dire effects on the Council of...

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March 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: China – Chinese churches demolished

Officials have demolished two church buildings in Shaanxi province and Christians are concerned about increasing pressure since Xi Jinping became president in 2013. On 27 December 2017, local authorities in Zhifang village in Lauyu district, demolished a church, after claiming that it was built on illegally occupied land. According to media reports, almost 100 local Christians protested, some chanting, ‘Freedom of belief’. Also, official documents proving the church, built in 1999, had approval to use the land were posted on social media. Authorities subsequently sent officials to apologise and discuss compensation. But, less than two weeks afterwards, on Tuesday 9 January, authorities used dynamite to...

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March 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: UK – Christian teacher branded ‘radicalisation threat’

Bristol Employment Tribunal has heard the case of Christian teacher Bristol Employment Tribunal has heard the case of Christian teacher Svetlana Powell, who was dismissed from the T2 Apprenticeship Academy after she answered questions from students. Mrs Powell, who has taught for 17 years, was branded a ‘radicalisation threat’ and dismissed in July 2016, after a student asked for Mrs Powell’s personal view on homosexuality. Two days later, the government-funded Academy’s HR Officer, Stacy Preston, told Mrs Powell that she was fired for ‘gross misconduct’ with immediate effect. The full details reveal that the student who asked the question professes to be a Christian and...

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March 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: UK – Ofsted calls out Christian Institute

Ofsted’s chief inspector of schools, Amanda Spielman, has berated traditional branches of the church and the Christian Institute, intimating these were ‘extremists’ who ‘pervert’ education. As reported in The Times, Ms Spielman gave a speech to Anglican school leaders, in which she said, ‘Rather than adopting a passive liberalism that says “Anything goes”, for fear of causing offence, school leaders should be promoting a muscular liberalism’. By this, she meant the most conservative voices in a particular faith should not be assumed to ‘speak for everyone’. Ms Spielman commented: ‘Imagine if people thought the Christian Institute was the sole voice of Anglicanism’. Responding to her...

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March 2018
News > International

International – Singaporean seminary

The new semester at Singapore’s Emmanuel Reformed Bible College (ERBC) started on 5 January, with approximately 50 pastors, lay leaders, students and church members from Life Bible-Presbyterian Church who attended. In a newsletter, dean of students Jack Sin commented: ‘We thank God for six new full-time students who joined the college, and many part time students — about 80, so far. One of the full-time students is from Singapore; the others are men from Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, India and South Korea. Mr Sin asked for prayer for these men as they begin their theological training, and for the five second-year students, from Vietnam, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. He...

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