Each day’s newspaper seems to carry yet another story about a shooting by or of children, whether by accident or intention, on the street or at school, from gang violence or by a lone gunman. We understand some of the reasons behind these events: the pervasive and extreme violence which is constantly portrayed in the mass media, and the easy availability of weapons.
In June Congress held hearings on the Religious Liberty Protection Act of 1998 (RLPA). The new bill represents an attempt to breathe new life into the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court a year ago. Like RFRA, RLPA aims to correct the Supreme Court’s 1990 ruling in Employment Division v.
When an ethnic group is being persecuted, it is often hard to determine whether people’s religious or human rights are being violated. This is certainly true of the Nagas, a group of 2 million people living in India’s northeast. This tribal group, once headhunters, is now more than 90 percent Christian. The majority are Baptists.
Few topics are as divisive in churches these days as homosexuality. The debate touches upon a variety of issues that are contested throughout the culture--sexual ethics, the meaning of marriage and the shape of the family.
How free are churches in China? Are they subject to rigid government control? While these questions are much debated, people who have worked or studied in China know that it’s difficult to generalize about Christian life in China.