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In the Press

  • A pastor in north-east Wales could face action over his eyebrow-raising church signs because the council considers them advertising.

    The Reverend Bob Marshall is a minister of the Ebenezer Baptist Chapel in Buckley, Flintshire. For years he has displayed messages outside his church, a brick chapel on a residential street.

    Sometimes they are serious. One slogan read: "Too many people have a strong will and a weak will not."

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  • WHAT exactly is Salafism? In continental Europe, the word is now used as a catchall for extreme and violent interpretations of Islam. This week for example, authorities in the German state of Hesse raided five premises including a mosque; it was the latest move in a crackdown on ultra-militant forms of Islam all over Germany which began last week. "Extremist propaganda is the foundation for Islamic radicalisation and ultimately for violence," said the interior minister of Hesse, Peter Beuth, by way of explaining the latest raids. "The Salafist ideology is a force not to be underestimated," he added.

    On November 15th, German federal authorities banned what they described as a Salafi organisation known as "True Religion" or "Read!" whose notional purpose was to distribute copies of the Koran. On the same day, police swept through 200 offices and other buildings across the country. Ralf Jäger, interior minister of the populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), reportedly gave this reason for the ban: "Every fifth Salafist who has travelled out from NRW under the aegis of so-called Islamic State in order to join a terror cell had previous contact with 'Read!'"

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  • A lecturer has lost his case at the European Court of Justice that Trinity College Dublin discriminated against him on grounds of sexual orientation and age regarding his pension rights.

    David Parris had brought the case against Trinity College to the Irish Labour Court saying he had been discriminated against due to his age and sexual orientation.

    Mr Parris claimed TCD's pension provisions would prevent his same-sex partner of more than 30 years from accessing his survivor's pension in event of his death.

    Read more.

  • A man who missed out on receiving pension rights from his same-sex partner has been denied retrospective access to the benefit by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

    The court ruled that Dr David Parris of Trinity College Dublin does not have the right to allow his same-sex partner to take his pension.

    An earlier ruling from July went in favour of Parris, and this latest ruling from the CJEU comes as a surprise to campaigners who had hoped it would rule in the same way.

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  • Down’s syndrome advocacy group Don’t Screen Us Out are calling on the Isle of Man Government to revoke a decision to roll-out a new-prenatal test that is projected to lead to a profound increase in the number of children with Down’s syndrome screened out by termination.

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  • The House of Bishops of the Church of England met at Lambeth Palace on Wednesday 23 November.

    The formal meeting was preceded by a Eucharist where the Bishops remembered St Clement. Prayers were said for those across the globe who are persecuted for their faith, victims of religious violence and those with responsibility for Government.

    The meeting received an update on the work of the Bishops' Reflection Group on Sexuality by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in September 2016 to assist the process of consideration.

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  • The Church of England's top lay official has issued an extraordinary admonishment to the conservative Anglican body GAFCON UK after it published a list of clergy and church leaders in same-sex relationships.

    The astonishing rebuke was in a letter published on Tuesday evening from William Nye, secretary general to the Archbishops' Council, a senior leadership body of the Church. It was addressed to Andy Lines, chairman of GAFCON UK.

    GAFCON UK's document painted a "significantly misleading picture both of the teaching and practice of the Church of England", Nye wrote.

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  • Powerful testimony from Muslim women has been published by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee as part of their investigation into sharia, while activists have warned that its approach so far has favoured those who support sharia councils.

    Submissions received from Muslim women on their experiences of sharia 'law' have now been published by the Committee. The evidence was gathered by One Law For All, who sent the personal testimonies to the committee for their investigation into sharia 'law' in the UK.

    One woman whose evidence was included for the Select Committee's consideration is Habiba Jan who was trapped in an abusive Islamic 'marriage' and was unable to escape without a sharia 'divorce'. Jan ended up being referred to Anjem Choudary for a 'divorce', without knowing who he was.

    Read more.

  • Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and a string of other landmarks around Britain are turning red to draw attention to the plight of people around the world being killed or persecuted for their faith.

    Churches, mosques and synagogues are among buildings being illuminated as part what is being dubbed "Red Wednesday" to honour the victims of religious hatred in an initiative conceived by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

    Although November 23 was initially chosen because of Saint Clement's Day, which celebrates the early Pope and Christian martyr, it also comes ahead of the publication on Thursday of a major report warning that religious freedom is under threat in one in five countries around the world.

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  • London’s Westminster Abbey will be lit up in red tonight in an act of solidarity with people around the world who are persecuted for their faith. It is one of a number of religious buildings that are joining the #RedWednesday campaign by the Roman Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). As part of the campaign, one of London’s iconic red busses is taking part in a faith-buildings tour today, to spread the "Stand up for Faith and Freedom message".

    After setting off from Westminster Cathedral – the seat of Cardinal Vincent Nichols, leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales – the bus will call at the Imam Khoei Islamic Centre, St Paul’s Cathedral, and the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St John’s Wood, and Westminster Abbey before returning to the Cathedral where a gathering and service will be held.

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