News Roundup

Fresh threat to Nigeria’s Christians

The new leader of Nigeria’s Islamist extremist group Boko Haram has instructed his followers to actively target Christians in the country. In a message announcing his leadership, Abu Musab al-Barnawi alleges that there is an active conspiracy in Nigeria to Christianise the region and says this will be resisted. He said members of Boko Haram will react by “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those (Christians) who we find from the citizens of the cross”.
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German Court rejects creation of third gender category

Germany’s Federal Court of Justice has rejected the creation of a third gender category to accommodate a person who identifies as neither male nor female. In a case taken by the unidentified German citizen, registered as female, it was argued that as she could produce a genetic analysis proving to be neither male nor female, she should be granted the right to identify as ‘intersex’. The court, however, disagreed and ruled that German law would not allow entry of a third option of “inter” or “diverse” in the birth registry, and saw no reason to refer the matter to the German constitutional court. The plaintiff has said she will challenge the ruling.
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Junior Minister rails against pro-life advocates

Junior Ministers for Training and Skills John Halligan has likened pro-life advocates to Islamic State and says he knows for a fact that God does not exist. However, he said he beleives in aliens. During the course of a broad ranging interview with Hot Press, Minister Halligan, who previously backed the latest attempt to have abortion legislation passed through the Dáil, said he had been hurt by personalised attacks by some pro-life advocates, describing them as “b******s”. In addition to backing abortion and assisted suicide, the Minister said he also favoured the introduction of legalised prostitution to Ireland.
 
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Islamic State dismisses Pope’s words of peace

Islamic State (ISIS) has dismissed Pope Francis’ assertion that its campaign is not a religious war, accusing the Pontiff of delivering a “false narrative”. In the terrorist group’s latest edition of Dabiq, its online magazine, the group attacks the Pope’s claim that “religions don’t want war” stating that its campaign “is a divinely-warranted war between the Muslim nation and the nations of disbelief. Indeed, waging jihad – spreading the rule of Allah by the sword – is an obligation found in the Koran, the word of our Lord.” The group adds: “Muslims have been commanded to terrorise the disbelieving enemies of Allah.”
 
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US Supreme Court overturns transgender bathroom access

The US Supreme Court has overturned a lower court’s ruling that a transgender pupil be granted access to the toilet facilities of their chosen gender. In the first case of its kind to reach as high as the Supreme Court, judges ruled 5 to 3 that Gavin Grimm, who was born a female should not be allowed to access male toilets. Grimm had previously taken a successful case against in Virginia after the school Grimm attends decided that pupils should use a private toilet or one corresponding to the biological details on their birth certificate. The Supreme Court judgement will be revisited this autumn.
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Pope decries gender theory as ‘ideological colonising’

The Pope has spoken out strongly against the drive to introduce gender theory to society. According to the text of a private meeting with Poland’s Bishops, released by the Vatican, Pope Francis spoke of “ideological colonising” and warned that the spread of the belief that people can simply choose their gender in a manner unrelated to their biological sex represented “a moment of annihilation of man as image of God”. “Today, in schools they are teaching this to children – to children! – that everyone can choose their gender,” the Pontiff lamented, stating that the current drive on gender theory is backed by “very influential countries”.
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Britain to fund transgendered men to become pregnant

Women in Britain who transition to become ‘men’ via surgery are to be given free fertility treatment to enable them to become pregnant. The Daily Mail has revealed that at least three biologically born women who have undergone ‘sex change’ surgery are set to become parents via IVF treatment paid for by the British taxpayer. The paper reported further that more women set to undergo operations have frozen their eggs at NHS clinics so as to pursue pregnancy once they transition. Opponents of the plans have criticised the NHS using its funds for such procedures at a time when it is rationing other vital services.
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Illinois removes conscience rights on abortion provision

The US state of Illinois has enacted legislation which requires all medical practitioners to facilitate abortion, regardless of conscience. Signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner, Senate Bill 1564 makes alterations to the state’s Health Care Right of Conscience Act. From January 1, 2017, doctors will be required to refer patients for abortions and to counsel patients on what the legislation calls the “benefits” of abortion. Reacting to the legal change, Emily Zender, executive director of Illinois Right to Life said: “This radical bill is a direct assault on the consciences of medical professionals and the missions of community supported pregnancy help centres. Science tells us that abortion ends the life of a preborn child, and for Illinoisans to be forced to participate in any way in abortion is a tremendous injustice.”
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Unborn have rights beyond right to life – Judge

A High Court judge has ruled that the unborn child has rights beyond the right to life which “must be taken seriously” by the State. Ruling in the deportation case of a Nigerian man with an Irish wife and now infant child, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said the word ‘unborn’ in the Constitution means an “unborn child” and therefore the unborn enjoy “significant” rights and legal position at common law, by statute, and under the Constitution. He said article 42a of the Constitution, inserted after the 2012 Children’s Referendum, means the State must protect “all” children. Justice Humphreys’ ruling was in response to legal arguments on behalf of the Minister for Justice that in considering the Nigerian citizen’s application to remain in Ireland, the only relevant right of his unborn child was a right to life.
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US baker takes same-sex case to Supreme Court

A Christian baker in the US state of Colorado who was sued by a same-sex couple after failing to provide a wedding cake is to appeal to the US Supreme Court. Jack Phillips had been ordered by the state’s Civil Rights Commission to provide staff training, updates of cakes he bakes and to offer cakes to same-sex couples in future as a result of the case. With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), he is now appealing to the Supreme Court to vindicate his religious freedom rights. “We are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that government understands that its duty is to protect the people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living,” ADF lawyer Jeremy Tedesco said.
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