Firsthand Report: Afghan Doctor Recounts Family Escape and Tragedy

France24—French-Afghan doctor Mohammed Zahed Omar talks to FRANCE 24 about his dramatic escape from the Afghan capital and his fears for those unable to escape the Taliban. A doctor and pharmacist based in France, Omar was visiting family in Afghanistan when Taliban forces suddenly swept into Kabul on August 15, abruptly ending the country’s two-decade-long…

Private Citizen Raise More Than $20 Million in Three Days to Rescue Christians in Afghanistan

Private Citizen Raise More Than $20 Million in Three Days to Rescue Christians in Afghanistan

Private citizen and entrepreneurial news personality Glen Beck raised more than $20 MILLION IN LESS THAN THREE DAYS—all donated from other private citizens—to rescue Christians in Afghanistan immediately. Beck asked listeners to “give until it hurts,” whether it be $10 or $100 or more, and launched the plea with his personal donation of $100,000.  The…

VA faith-based groups ask court to reconsider ruling that allows state to ruin them for their beliefs 

NOTE: This lawsuit — objecting to the horrific fines imposed for hiring people aligned with a nonprofit’s principles — directly affects Virginia-based Catholic schools and nonprofits . ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A new lawsuit challenges a Virginia law that forces nonprofit ministries to abandon their core convictions in hiring and other policies or face fines up…

The Only Catholic parish  in Afghanistan

The Only Catholic parish in Afghanistan

Aug 16, 2021—Ambasciata d’Italia Kabul—The possibility to host a Catholic Chaplain within the Italian “legation” was provided by “The Agreement between Italy and Afghanistan to exchange permanent diplomatic missions” in 1921. King “Amanullah”, [who was] grateful to Italy for being the first western country to recognize formally the independence of Afghanistan, [and who] showed himself…

Catholics in Afghanistan

Catholics in Afghanistan

My godson is a parish priest. He is also military chaplain. In May of this year, he was called out of reserves to serve as the only Catholic chaplain (and perhaps the only chaplain) in the Middle East. He is assigned to bring the Sacraments—Holy Mass, Confession/Reconciliation, as well as spiritual listening and counseling, whatever…

Cuban-American bishops state solidarity with Cuba protests

Cuban-American bishops state solidarity with Cuba protests

CNA—July 14, 2021—Four Cuban-American bishops issued a statement Tuesday indicating their support for Cubans seeking recognition of their human rights, following protest’s of the island’s communist government. “We, Cuban-American bishops, join in solidarity with the Cuban people in their quest for responses to their human rights and needs.  We are deeply troubled by the aggressive…

Ohio enacts health care conscience protections

Ohio enacts health care conscience protections

CNA—Ohio state law now includes conscience protections for medical professionals, after Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed a state budget bill into law on June 30. “Governor DeWine should be commended for his commitment to dignified health care. His clear understanding that health care professionals must have the right to freedom of conscience is vital to…

Canadian police investigate two more ‘suspicious’ fires at Catholic churches

Canadian police investigate two more ‘suspicious’ fires at Catholic churches

CNA—The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are investigating two more fires at Catholic churches in Canada as “suspicious,” after four churches on tribal lands burned down within one week.  At 3 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30, firefighters responded to a fire at St. Jean Baptiste Parish in the town of Morinville, Alberta. The church was…

2nd Circuit Ends 21 Years of Discrimination: VT can’t exclude students at religious high schools from tuition program

2nd Circuit Ends 21 Years of Discrimination: VT can’t exclude students at religious high schools from tuition program

Vermont maintains a Town Tuition Program, which provides educational vouchers for students who live in the towns that lack public schools. Students at public and secular private schools are eligible, and so are home-schooled students, but students at religious private high schools are excluded. In a ruling Wednesday (June 2, 2021),  the U.S. Court of…

$2 Million Religious Liberty Settlement Triumphs Over California Governor’s COVID Prompted Overreach

$2 Million Religious Liberty Settlement Triumphs Over California Governor’s COVID Prompted Overreach

Attorneys with the Thomas More Society recently secured settlements in two major religious liberty cases: South Bay United Pentecostal Church, et al. v. Newsom, et al. and Father Trevor Burfitt v. Newsom, et al. The State of California agreed to pay $2,150,000 in “prevailing party” attorneys’ fees to settle both cases ($1,600,000 in South Bay…

Uyghur journalist: “The Chinese government sees any religion as a threat to its rule” including Catholics

Uyghur journalist: “The Chinese government sees any religion as a threat to its rule” including Catholics

CNA—For Gulchehra Hoja, the Chinese government’s systematic repression of Uyghur Muslims is personal: her mother, father, brother, and more than 20 relatives are detained in “reeducation camps” in Xinjiang. “Last week, I learned that one of my relatives … had died in Chinese prison. His body has not been returned to his family,” Hoja said…

Catholics slam ‘lawless’ HHS ‘transgender mandate’

Catholics slam ‘lawless’ HHS ‘transgender mandate’

CNA—Catholic groups and legal experts denounced the Biden administration’s notice on Monday that it would prohibit denial of gender-transition procedures in health care. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Monday issued a notice that it would include, as unlawful sex discrimination, “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation” as well as “on…

Direct Assault:  California bill targets university healthcare links to Catholic hospitals, demands further moral compromise

Direct Assault: California bill targets university healthcare links to Catholic hospitals, demands further moral compromise

CNA—A bill threatens to ban University of California health systems from partnering with institutions that follow Catholic ethics, prompting concern ideological motives on abortion and LGBT issues will damage longtime partnerships and limit medical care access. An organization of Catholic hospitals has defended its efforts to adhere to Catholic ethics, but also defend the partnership…

Ireland: New Law Makes it a Crime to Celebrate or Attend Public Mass

Ireland: New Law Makes it a Crime to Celebrate or Attend Public Mass

CNS—The head of the Irish bishops’ conference said the government’s move to criminalize attendance at Mass as part of COVID-19 regulations was a “potential infringement of religious freedom and of constitutional rights.” “The precise provisions are unclear and at first reading appear to be draconian, going further than the restrictions we have been cooperating with…

After Supreme Court victory, Colorado baker in court for declining gender transition cake

After Supreme Court victory, Colorado baker in court for declining gender transition cake

CNA—Jack Phillips, a Christian cake baker, was again in court for declining to make a cake that expresses messages contrary to his religious beliefs after an attorney who identifies as transgender filed suit over the bakery’s refusal to make a cake to celebrate a gender transition. The civil trial began March 22, conducted virtually by…

Full Text: Pope Francis’ In-flight Press Conference after Historic Papal Visit to Iraq

Full Text: Pope Francis’ In-flight Press Conference after Historic Papal Visit to Iraq

Below is the full text of the inflight interview between Pope Francis and news media en route from from the Holy Father’s historic visit to Irac Baghdad, Iraq, to Rome, Italy that took place March 8, 2021, provided courtesy of CNA: Pope Francis: First of all, thank you for your work, your company, your fatigue.…

House passes Equality Act, which bishops warned would ‘punish’ religious groups

House passes Equality Act, which bishops warned would ‘punish’ religious groups

CNA—The House on Thursday passed the Equality Act, a bill that the U.S. bishops have warned would trample religious freedom protections while codifying gender ideology in federal law. By a vote of 224 to 206, the House passed the Equality Act only six days after it was introduced on Feb. 18. The legislation, sponsored by…

So-called “Equality Act” is Just the Opposite

So-called “Equality Act” is Just the Opposite

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the deceptively named ‘Equality Act,’ legislation that could be used to restrict the religious freedom of churches and religious nonprofits including religious schools; set back protections for women on the playing field, at work, and in private spaces like showers and locker rooms; as well as inhibit…