3 - Christian refugees in danger
The plight of Christians who are fleeing countries in the Middle East continues to be a significant development. For instance, there was a story on the Christian Headlines website recently that cited a report from the organization Open Doors, saying that Muslim refugees had attacked some 743 Christian refugees while they were living in camps in Germany, according to a report on the Christian Post website. Officials of Open Doors say there could be even more cases that have not been reported.
A major survey published by Open Doors Germany in October, which represented a number of organizations, is quoted as saying, "The documented cases confirm that the situation of Christian refugees in German refugee shelters is still unbearable. As a minority they are discriminated against, beaten up by and receive death threats from Muslim refugees and partly by the Muslim staff (securities, interpreters, volunteers) on grounds of their religion..."
There refugees have fled from Syria and other countries, and even encountered violence in the supposed safety of refugee camps, according to the story.
Also, thousands of Christians who have fled Iraq are finding adverse conditions in Turkey, according to another Christian Headlines story, quoting from a Christian Today piece, that says that about 45,000 of those refugees fleeing Iraq are living in poverty in Turkish refugee camps and are being discriminated against by their Muslim neighbors.
Juliana Taimoorazy, president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council and a senior fellow with the Philos Project, shared that those Christians cannot reveal their faith because of fear of their Muslim neighbors. She added that these refugees want to come to the U.S. or another country where they would be free to fearlessly practice their faith, but the U.S. State Department is slow to take any action to help them.
2 - Federal judge expands ruling against Administration's directive on transgender bathrooms
There is a new development surrounding the Obama Administration's directive that school districts allow students to use the restroom or locker room facility corresponding to their so-called "gender identity," rather than their biological gender. Aimed at creating rights for transgendered students, the directive, according to the Liberty Counsel website, "allowed males to use restrooms, dressing rooms, showers and locker rooms assigned for females. In the public school context, these directives would also allow boys to demand they sleep with girls during overnight off-campus trips." School districts face a possible loss of funding for non-compliance.
A Federal district judge had initially issued an order in response to a lawsuit filed by the Texas Attorney General, who was joined by over 20 other states in opposing that directive. This past week, he expanded that order. As Liberty Counsel reported:
Judge Reed O’Connor again affirmed that his order bars the Obama administration from enforcing its unlawful LGBT agenda on public schools, federal agencies, municipalities and private employers. The ruling applies nationwide and specifically states that federal agencies must stop enforcing illegal guidelines which interpret the word “sex” as “gender” in federal statutes such as Title VII and Title IX.Liberty Counsel also notes that the Government Services Administration (GSA) had issued a regulation declaring that transgender employees and visitors must be allowed to use the bathrooms that match their so-called “gender identity.”
Also, a recent article posted at TheStream.org said that as the result of a 5th-grade student identifying as “transgender” being denied access to the girls’ restroom at a school on a U.S. Air Force base in Germany, the American Military Partner Association, which is largest group of LGBT U.S.military families, said the Department of Defense Education Activity is discriminating against a male-to-female transgender student. The student is at the Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, according to an NBC News report. The article says that apparently, a Department of Defense official intervened and reversed the decision of the school’s principal, allowing the child to use the female restroom.
1 - Anglican leaders cautioned to follow the Bible's teaching on same-sex "marriage"
The Church of England's General Synod is scheduled for next February, and in advance of this gathering, which is expected to address the issue of so-called "same-sex marriage," a letter has been issued, according to the Christian Headlines website, signed by 88 evangelical leaders, which cautions bishops of the Church of England not to depart from the Bible’s teaching regarding same-sex marriage.
The article quotes from a piece at The Christian Institute website, and says that the letter states that “the Bible is clear” about marriage being defined as between one man and one woman and that this should not be regarded as being of “secondary importance.” The letter also warns that embracing gay marriage would be “a significant departure from our apostolic inheritance and the authority of the Bible in matters of faith and doctrine.”
The Christian Headlines article states:
Western Anglican churches, along with the Anglican Church of South Africa, tend to be more lenient regarding same-sex marriage, but Anglican churches in other areas of the world--which make up the majority of Anglicans--tend to take a more conservative view.