Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Gay-Affirming Episcopal Pastor Chosen to Replace Giglio for Obama Benediction
- European Court Says U.K. Equality Laws Trump Personal Religious Beliefs
- Megan Fox Reveals Speaking in Tongues, Seeing Healings at Church
Gay-Affirming Episcopal Pastor Chosen to Replace Giglio for Obama Benediction
An Episcopal pastor at a church not far from the White House has been chosen to replace evangelical pastor Louie Giglio for the official benediction at President Barack Obama's public inauguration on Jan. 21, the Christian Post reports. The Rev. Dr. Luis Leon, who has led St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., since 1995 and who also delivered the invocation at George W. Bush's second inauguration in 2005, was invited last week to deliver the benediction. After Giglio decided to decline the invitation to lead the benediction due to protests against an anti-homosexuality sermon he preached 20 years ago, many had predicted the minister chosen to replace him would be gay-affirming. St. John's Church, which has been attended by Obama as well as former president George W. Bush, blesses gay and lesbian unions. Giglio was chosen to perform the benediction largely for his global anti-slavery campaign, which drew strong support from Obama, but he explained he did not want to stir negative emotions at a time when he said the country needed healing, not division.
European Court Says U.K. Equality Laws Trump Personal Religious Beliefs
The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday ruled that equality laws trump personal religious beliefs, rejecting three of four appeals filed by British Christians who were fired or disciplined for expressing religious beliefs in the workplace, the Religion News Service reports. In what lawyers describe as "landmark rulings," the court in Strasbourg, France, ruled that employers did not violate the religious rights of a registrar who refused to officiate for the civil partnership of a same-sex couple or of a counselor who was unwilling to offer sex therapy for gays. The court also rejected an appeal by a nurse whose hospital barred her from wearing a cross around her neck because it was a health hazard. But in a fourth case, a British Airways clerk who was suspended for wearing a cross necklace on the job won her appeal and was awarded damages. In Britain, her case was rejected by the employment tribunal, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, but the European judges ruled in her favor. "Delighted that principle of wearing religious symbols at work has been upheld -- people shouldn't suffer discrimination due to religious beliefs," British Prime Minister David Cameron responded on Twitter. The U.S.-based Alliance Defending Freedom called the other three rejections "extremely disappointing."
Megan Fox Reveals Speaking in Tongues, Seeing Healings at Church
26-year-old actress Megan Fox is best known for her roles in movies like "Transformers," but the new mother recently spoke about her battle with fame and speaking in tongues at her current place of worship, the Christian Post reports. Fox, who will appear as the cover girl in the February issue of Esquire magazine, said she was making church a priority these days and revealed that she first began speaking in tongues at the age of 8, growing up in a Pentecostal church in Tennessee. "It's called 'getting the Holy Ghost,'" she said, adding that she has seen "magical, crazy things happen" at church: "I've seen people be healed. Even now, in the church I go to, during praise and worship I could feel that I was maybe getting ready to speak in tongues, and I'd have to shut it off because I don't know what that church would do if I started screaming out in tongues in the back." While some have viewed Fox as sex symbol, she said she did not want that role to define who she is. "I felt powerless in that image," she said. "... It ate every other part of my personality, not for me but for how people saw me, because there was nothing else to see or know."
Publication date: January 17, 2013