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In the Press

  • Hundreds of thousands of Christians will unite in prayer later this month in the most ambitious evangelism project in a generation.

    The Archbishop of Canterbury is calling on believers of all denominations to back his 'Thy Kingdom Come' initiative, aimed at bringing together sparking a wave of prayer around the world.

    'It's not a Church of England thing, it's not an Anglican thing, it's a Christian thing,' said Justin Welby.

    Read more.

  • The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) is to close following a review of its financial operations.

    The LGBTI charity issued a statement saying they are winding down and handing over their services to other agencies.

    Following an external review of the operation of GLEN, the board has concluded that they do not currently have the organisational capacity or funding to continue their work.

    Read more.

  • In a victory for humanists, pharmacists can no longer refuse treatment based on their religious beliefs.

    This article appears in the Witness section of the Summer 2017 issue of the New Humanist. Subscribe today.

    Imagine the scene. The condom splits and you need the morning-after pill, which has been available without a prescription in the UK since 2001. You go to your nearest pharmacy immediately, although it is late at night. When you arrive, you discover that the pharmacist is a devout Catholic who refuses to sell you the medicine.

    Read more.

  • The most senior family court judge in England and Wales has said divorces should be able to be conducted online.

    In a review sent to lawyers, Sir James Munby also wrote that the divorce process should be separated from a couple's disputes over money.

    The judge said the proposed reform would alleviate the administrative pressure within the family court.

    Read more.

  • French sociological research seems to have no new books, articles or ideas about French Muslim radicalization. It is not hard to see why: the few scholars tempted to wander off the beaten path ("terrorists are victims of society, and suffering from racism" and so on) are afraid to be called unpleasant names. In addition, many sociologists share the same Marxist ideology that attributes violent behavior to discrimination and poverty. If some heretics try to explain that terrorists are not automatically victims (of society, of white French males, of whatever) a pack of hounds of Muslim and non-Muslim scholars start baying to lynch them as racists, Islamophobes and bigots.

    After the November 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris, Alain Fuchs, president of France's National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), launched a call for a new project to understand some of the "factors of radicalization" in France.

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  • Practitioners of reparative therapy suffered another defeat today as Nevada governor Brian Sandoval signed a ban on the discredited practice into law. The new law, passed this week by the state Senate, makes it illegal for licensed therapists, physicians and counselors to attempt to change the sexual orientation or gender expression of minors.

    The news comes a week after Connecticut passed a similar ban, joining California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico and the District of Columbia have similar laws on the books. (Several other cities and municipalities also ban the therapy, which has been discredited by almost every major medical group.)

    "Nevada has a long record of passing progressive legislation to protect the LGBTQ community with bipartisan support, and I want to thank Governor Sandoval for signing this critical legislation to protect LGBTQ youth," said State Senator David Parks (D-Las Vegas), who sponsored SB 201.

    Read more.

  • Women are being unfairly alarmed by official guidelines that warn them to avoid alcohol completely during pregnancy, experts claim.

    Some mothers-to-be may even be having an abortion because they are worried they have damaged their unborn child by drinking too much, it is claimed.

    The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, maternal rights campaign group Birthrights and academics specialising in parenting say official advice on drinking in pregnancy is too prescriptive.

    Read more.

  • The process of obtaining a divorce should be completely separated from a couple's disputes over money, according to the most senior family judge in England and Wales. Referring to the government's "lamentable history of procrastination" in reforming divorce laws, Sir James Munby called for the streamlining of new online divorce procedures.

    The proposal is aimed at reducing administrative pressure within the family courts by unlinking "the largely administrative and bureaucratic" divorce work from the more complex legal battles about who takes which assets from a marriage.

    Most of the judges' time is taken up with the subsidiary issues of what is known as ancillary relief rather than the divorce itself, Munby said in his latest published commentary on the state of the family courts. Last week, for example, the former wife of an oil and gas trader was awarded £453m in one of the largest divorce settlements ever agreed by a UK court following a lengthy legal battle.

    Read more.

  • The Church Society, through its Director Dr Gatiss, has offered an enthusiastic case for staying in the Church of England as opposed to leaving it. But the choices before us are less binary than that. Some have left already, but for those who stay, the terms on which they stay need to be altered.

    It has become the practice of the C of E to subjugate the authority of the Bible to the prevailing culture and zeitgeist. Dr Gatiss begins his argument by expressing reservations about the lack of confidence his constituency has in the structures of the Church of England.

    But the structures are not the issue. When he writes 'the structures' I think he means, or ought to mean something else. The problem is not caused by General Synod, as a malfunctioning Synod, or appointments committees mismanaging their agendas. It difficulty is caused by the scale of the way in which the C of E has been taken over by a majority of people in senior and other positions who hold secular, socialist and egalitarian ideologies.

    Read more.

  • Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland still show the least respect of all EU countries toward sexual minorities, with activists calling for political "courage" and "backbone" by EU institutions.

    The three member states all scored below 20 percent on a map of human rights compliance in Europe published by Ilga-Europe, a pressure group in Brussels.

    The NGO ranks countries on the basis of laws and policies that impact LGBTI people's rights in six areas, including equality and non-discrimination, family, and hate speech and violence.

    Read more.

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