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In the News

  • A vote on legalising same-sex marriage in Australia will proceed after a court dismissed two legal challenges.The non-binding survey to gauge support for changing Australia's Marriage Act is due to begin next week. The High Court of Australia dismissed separate objections by same-sex marriage advocates, who had argued the postal vote was invalid.

  • Two very different articles about church decline catch my eye this week. First, Ruth Gledhill in Christian Today interprets the latest figures from the British Social Attitudes survey. Headlining with “massive collapse in numbers of Anglicans”, Gledhill highlights the main finding of the survey, that 53% of Brits now describe themselves as having no religion – the highest such figure ever – while only 15% describe themselves as Anglican or C of E, down from 30% in 2000. All of the other figures she selects are quite simply apocalyptic, for example 70% of 18-24 year olds have no religion. Bishop Paul Bayes of Liverpool is quoted being as positive as he can, suggesting that ‘no religion’ might mean a continued openness to God rather than a decision for atheism, and that the church can show the relevance of faith by making “a bigger difference” in society. The humanists of course are delighted, seeing the figures as evidence that state partnership with churches – for example in education – should be ended...

  • A 'Christian' girl who was placed with Muslim foster carers earlier this year may end up living abroad with her grandmother, a judge has said.

    The five year old, whose case has made headlines this week, could be allowed to live on a long-term basis with her mother's mother after being withdrawn from foster care.

    Judge Khatun Sapnara from East London Family Court said on Wednesday that social services staff at Tower Hamlets council considered the women a suitable carer. She wants to return to her country of origin.

    Read more.

  • Students, including those with pro-life values, feel increasingly limited in what they can and cannot about speak about on campus, according to an atheist commentator.

    Brendan O'Neill made the comments in a wide-ranging article for the Spectator magazine – in which he also slammed student groups for resembling "factories of conformism".

    O'Neill said freedom of speech and liberty was under threat as universities "socialise youths to think censorship is good and other people's opinions are bad".

    Read more.

  • A major new survey of recent research relating to the use of religious selection in faith school admissions has failed to identify any evidence supporting the Government's proposed move to end limits on religious selection by free schools.

    The report, published by the Fair Admissions Campaign, sets out the full range of evidence, information, and research on religious selection in schools admissions. Drawing on data and analysis from the last 15 years, the study explores the impact that religious discrimination in school admissions has had and continues to have on key issues such as social integration, community cohesion, pupil attainment, parental choice, and equality.

    Read more.

  • More than 150 senior evangelical leaders have released a landmark manifesto declaring their robust conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman.

    Titled the 'Nashville Statement', the document reaffirms conservative Christian teaching that any sex outside of heterosexual marriage is sinful and that it is 'sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.'

    The staunch list of articles not only restates traditionalist teaching but also criticises those who do not actively speak against homosexuality.

    Read more.

  • The children's rights watchdog is to investigate reports that a five-year-old Christian girl was left distressed after being placed in foster care in two Muslim households in east London.

    The office of the children's commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, confirmed it would be contacting Tower Hamlets council to find out why the decision was made. The child has reportedly been in the care of a Muslim family for the past six months.

    The Times published an article on Monday after seeing confidential local authority reports, in which a social services supervisor describes the child sobbing and begging not to be returned to one foster carer because "they don't speak English".

    Read more.

  • The biological family of a five-year-old Christian girl sent to live with conservative Muslim foster carers reportedly begged the council to let the child stay with her grandmother, it has emerged.

    Tower Hamlets council in east London rejected a number of attempts to move the girl to different families, including attempts to send her into temporary care with her grandparent.

    The child has been looked after by two different conservative Muslim households in the past six months, according to inquiries by The Times.

    Read more.

  • A native English Christian girl has been placed in the care of two Muslim households in London where she was allegedly encouraged to learn Arabic and remove her Christian cross necklace.

    According to the Times, the foster placements were made within the past six months, against the wishes of the five-year-old girl's family in Tower Hamlets.

    The Times, which is protecting the girl's identity the reason why she was placed in care, reported that her mother is concerned about her child living in a culture which she knows nothing about, as well as being exposed to religion that she doesn't follow.

    Read more.

  • It all happened in the course of one night, and it happened quite suddenly.

    Last Thursday night, I noticed that YouTube demonetized my interview with a former KKK Grand Dragon who is now an associate pastor in an African American church, claiming it was "Not suitable for all advertisers"? Why wouldn't it be? It was a great, positive, redemptive story, one that the whole world should hear. Why flag it?

    The demonetizing of this video was the first thing that got my attention, but I thought to myself, "It's probably because it has KKK in the title."

    Read more.

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