Saudi Arabia - United Kingdom - Venezuela

General February 13, 2009

 Religious Liberty Alert | Week ending Friday 13 February 2009 

http://www.ea.org.au/ReligiousLiberty/Alerts.aspx

SAUDI ARABIA 

The UN is conducting Saudi Arabia's first 'universal periodic review'examining its human rights record. Amongst much debate about Saudi Arabia's human rights record, Zeid Al-Hussein, vice president of the country's human rights commission spoke about religious freedom. 'Despite guarantees for freedom of belief, non-Muslim religious worship could only be free within private homes in the Kingdom, Hussein said, largely due to the "sensitivities" that arose with its status as host to Islam's holiest shrines at Mecca and Medina.' 

Saudi Arabia defends Islam as complement to human rights AFP - Accessed 9 February 2009 http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jJbktzrHc3c5w06inOkOkzswYOzQ

~~~~~~~ 

UNITED KINGDOM 

Paul Eddy, a traditionalist synod member of the General Synod of the Church of England has tabled a motion calling on the Church of English 'to recognise explicitly its aim of converting people to Christianity' and train clergy in the task of evangelism. It is anticipated that the motion will be fiercely resisted. Paul Eddy, 'knows the duty to spread the message and teaching of the Bible - as a universally accepted duty for Christians - is hard to argue against.' 

Church to debate conversion rules
BBC | 11 February 2009
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7882655.stm 

------- 

A Christian care home launched legal action for religious discrimination after it had its public funding withdrawn by the local council. 'The council stopped the grant because there had been only "limited progress" in making the home "open to the gay and lesbian community".' The council asked Pilgrim Home to complete a questionnaire about residents' sexual preference in order to see if they comply with the Equality Act 2006 and the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007. However 'residents described the council's orders as "intrusive" and "inappropriate" and refused to fill in the forms ... Mike Judge, spokesman for the Christian Institute which supported the home's battle with the council, said: "Elderly Christians shouldn't be penalised just because of their religious beliefs."' 

Christian care home victorious in gay dispute Telegraph | 7 February 2009 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/4548761/Christian-care-home-victorious-in-gay-dispute.html 

------- 

A Christian female carer has been banned from being a foster carer after a Muslim teenager in her care was baptised after attending her evangelical church. 'Officials advised the teenager to reconsider her decision and stop attending Christian meetings, and in November struck the carer off their register, claiming she breached her duty of care as a foster parent.' The carer has been a foster carer to over 80 children. A spokesperson from the Christian Institute, which is funding the carer's legal case, said: 'I cannot imagine that an atheist foster carer would be struck off if a Christian child in her care stopped believing in God. This is the sort of double standard that Christians are facing in Britain.' 

Christian foster mother struck off after Muslim girl converts Telegraph | 8 February 2009 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/4559867/Christian-foster-mother-struck-off-after-Muslim-girl-converts.html 

------- 

UPDATE: 'Mrs Petrie, an evangelical Christian ... , was suspended without pay after her employers [North Somerset Primary Care Trust] discovered that she had asked a patient whether she would like prayers to be said for her. Although the patient was not offended, the incident was reported.' However, at the disciplinary hearing, where Mrs Petrie was supported by the Christian Legal Centre, her employer said, '... [it] recognised Mrs Petrie had been acting in the "best interests of her patients", that nurses did not have to "set aside their faith" in the workplace and could "continue to offer high quality care for patients while remaining committed to their beliefs".' 

Victory for suspended Christian nurse
Times Online | 7 February 2009
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article5675452.ece 

~~~~~~~ 

VENEZUELA 

UPDATE: Police in Venezuela have arrested individuals involved in the in the attack on the Tiferet synagogue. 'Representatives of World Jewish Congress met with Venezuelan officials on Friday and said the government had promised to clamp down on anti-Semitic acts. Despite the government's assurances, some Chavez supporters are openly anti-Semitic and graffiti has become a common sight on Caracas' streets since the Israel's offensive in Gaza, which killed nearly 1,300 people.' 

Venezuela arrests police, guard in synagogue attack Reuters | 8 February 2009
http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN08458628 

_________________________ 

Digest compiled by World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Religious Liberty Commission (RLC). All URL links were active when the digest was issued. Whilst the RLC has taken every care in selecting the items included, their authenticity depends on the original source.  

Contact email: <[email protected]>