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In the Press

  • It’s a pretty heavy thing to be accused of homophobia. The word is not an intellectual judgement but a more damning moral one.

    There have always been examples of unkind attitudes, bullying and discrimination towards people who appear to be, or who identify as, homosexual, just as there has always been racism, snobbery and other ugly traits. Sadly, Christians have sometimes been guilty of this, and in doing so we are failing to follow the way of Christ.

    However, in recent years the accusation of ‘homophobia’ has been levelled not just at these unkind attitudes towards gay people, but also reasoned biblical convictions about problems associated with homosexual practice, and any expression of concern about the power and intolerance of pressure groups. We are told that no matter how compassionate a person is towards gay people, if we do not fully embrace the goodness of the gay identity and lifestyle we are homophobes. We are said to rely on irrational feelings and thoughts to reject and damage homosexual people.

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  • The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a car and knife rampage at a US college on Monday that left 11 people injured.

    The attack at Ohio State University was carried out by Somali-born Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a student at the Columbus campus, authorities said.

    The IS-affiliated Amaq news agency called the 18-year-old business undergraduate a "soldier".

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  • An employee of the German intelligence agency (BfV) has been arrested after making Islamist statements and sharing agency material, German media report.

    A BfV spokesman quoted by Reuters news agency did not confirm a report in Die Welt newspaper that the man was suspected of planning a bomb attack on the BfV's Cologne office.

    "There is no evidence to date that there is a concrete danger," he added.

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  • Dutch MPs on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to ban the Islamic full-face burka from some public places such as schools and hospitals, the latest such move in a European country.

    "The law is adopted," said the speaker of the lower house of parliament, Khadija Arib, referring to legislation which will also ban burkas, and face coverings just with eye-slits, from public transport.

    The motion "to ban all clothing which completely covers the face" from government buildings was approved by 132 members in the 150-seat house, including Prime Minister Mark Rutte's ruling Liberal-Labour coalition.

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  • BRITAIN'S first Islamic law compliant stand-alone High Street bank has opened for the first time in Scotland.

    Al Rayan Bank, formerly the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), which has just over 2000 customers north of the border, has opened an office in Glasgow.

    The West Midlands-based bank will not pay or charge interest and is founded on an Islamic financial model in which the customer and the bank share the risk of any investment on agreed terms, and divide any profits between them.

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  • MPs have asked how new rules aimed at stopping children seeing pornographic content will affect websites such as Twitter.

    The Digital Economy Bill will lead to sites that do not ask for age verification being blocked.

    It received an unopposed third reading from MPs on Monday evening, meaning it is set to become law.

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  • Dear Mr Nye,

    I write this open letter to you following your open letter to Revd Canon Andrew Lines, the chairman of the GAFCON UK Task Force. Your letter alleged that a GAFCON briefing paper is “significantly misleading”. The briefing was regarding irregular homosexual activities in the Church of England. In support of its criticism of named Church of England bishops and clergy, the briefing referred to a resolution of a former Lambeth Conference. You wrote to “correct some of the erroneous assertions” in the paper. However, the supposed correction included the following statement:

    "The teaching of the Church of England on matters relating to same-sex practice and unions is, and remains, as set out in the document issued by the Church's House of Bishops in 1991 Issues in Human Sexuality. That document pre-dates the Lambeth Conference of 1998, and is consistent with the resolution 1:10 of the Conference."

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  • Government ministers see religion primarily as a problem, Labour's faith envoy Stephen Timms has told Christian Today.

    The former cabinet minister and MP for East Ham said he was concerned by the government's attitude towards faith. He called on officials to see religion as a solution to problems rather than a problem itself.

    "I am worried that sometimes listening to ministers you get the impression they see religious faith as essentially a problem," he said.

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  • A Christian teaching assistant has won an apology from a school which disciplined her for telling a pupil that she did not believe in gay marriage.

    Vicky Allen, 51, took legal action after she received a formal written warning from Brannel School, in St Austell, Cornwall, which she said made her feel “like a criminal”.

    The school accused her of opposing their “equal opportunities” policy when she told a 14-year-old autistic boy in September that she disapproved of gay ceremonies.

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  • The “snooper’s charter” bill extending the reach of state surveillance in Britain was given royal assent and became law on Tuesday as signatures on a petition calling for it to be repealed passed the 130,000 mark.

    The home secretary, Amber Rudd, hailed the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 as “world-leading legislation” that provided “unprecedented transparency and substantial privacy protection”.

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