Biblical Worldview News:
Holocaust Remembrance; Religious Freedom
Trump sends first U.S. delegates to Holocaust remembrance
July 2019 – On May 2, for the first time since Poland’s annual March of the Living began in 1988, U.S. delegates attended. President Donald Trump sent the U.S. delegation to Poland to participate in the Holocaust Remembrance event. Led by U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, the group toured the World War II Nazi concentration camp complex.
Then, they walked alongside students and Holocaust survivors in the 1.5-mile trek from the infamous gates of Auschwitz to the nearby death camp of Birkenau. For thousands of Holocaust victims, this path follows the last walk they ever took. The march educates attendees on the suffering and loss of the Holocaust while celebrating the continuity of Jewish life.
jta.org, 5/2/19; breitbart.com, 5/1/19
Trump protects health workers’ religious beliefs
July 2019 – On May 2, President Donald Trump announced a conscience rule protecting health care workers and hospitals which have personal or religious objections to some health procedures. This conscience rule is designed to protect those who want no ties to abortion, assisted suicide, and sterilizations.
It will be enforced by the Office for Civil Rights. Institutions receiving funds from federal programs will have to certify they comply with these laws.
Over two dozen laws already affected medical workers and institutions by protecting religious or conscience beliefs. However, the Obama administration ignored these laws and received on average one complaint per year. The Trump administration is enforcing laws on the books and received over 300 complaints in 2018.
The president’s latest announcement sparked immediate liberal backlash, e.g., the City of San Francisco has already filed a lawsuit claiming health services might be at risk due to caregivers’ religious beliefs.
onenewsnow.com, 5/6/19; lc.org, 5/2/19
Religious freedom disrespected in many countries
July 2019 – Nearly 40% of 75 countries listed in a new report threaten the religious liberty of their residents. Details are included in an April release by Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty. Through legal and cultural support for apostasy, blasphemy, and/or anti-conversion laws, these nations threaten their citizens’ freedom to choose or change one’s faith.
The report adds to the evidence documented in recent years in a variety of studies that show governmental and social hostility toward religious believers is increasing worldwide.
Apostasy laws, according to the report, punish people who convert away from Islam, thus preventing Muslims from freely choosing their faith.
Although largely unenforced worldwide, blasphemy laws in Muslim majority countries frequently are used against minorities – “often with no evidence – to settle unrelated disputes and vendettas.”
Anti-conversion laws prohibit people from converting to another religion. The CRL report said these laws are often used by governments in the Hindu and Buddhist world “to maintain a majority of the population with their preferred religion.”
The study findings show “a significant portion of the world’s population living under regimes that do not respect religious freedom,” said Travis Weber, director of the CRL.
onenewsnow.com, 5/2/19; frc.org, 4/30/19
Research reveals global shifts on diversity, religion, family
July 2019 – In 2018, Pew Research Center surveyed 30,133 people in 27 countries about their perception of national shifts from 1998 to 2018 relative to the family structure and ethnic, religious, and racial diversity and impact.
The research revealed a prevailing global view that diversity and gender equality have increased, but ties to family and religion have decreased. While considerable variation exists concerning whether the changes were perceived as positive or negative, large majorities in most countries say the weakening of family relationships is a “bad thing.”