Religion Today Summaries - September 22, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - September 22, 2011

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Facebook, Google, Apple Censoring Religious Speech?
  • A Christian Family's Hard Choice Between Water and Faith
  • UK State Schools Not Providing Group Worship as Mandated by Law
  • Pro-Gay Curriculum Coming Soon to LA


Facebook, Google, Apple Censoring Religious Speech?

The National Religious Broadcasters sounded an alarm that media outlets such as Facebook, Google, Apple, AT&T and Comcast have adopted policies that violate the fundamental rules of free expression, the Christian Post reports. The NRB released a report analyzing the content policies of media platforms, and found, among other instances, that Apple's iTunes App Store rejected an app for a document that upheld the sanctity of life and marriage, that Google blocked a Massachusetts pro-family website and prohibited a group from purchasing space for an anti-abortion ad, that Facebook removed content deemed "anti-gay," and that Comcast blocked or delayed peer-to-peer file sharing of the King James Bible.

A Christian Family's Hard Choice Between Water and Faith

One Christian family in remote China has been living without running water or electricity for three years because of local government retaliation for their refusal to take part in superstitious practices, ChinaAid reports. The family of 25-year-old Li De has been singled out for persecution since he refused to take part in village "dragon worship" activities in 2008. Despite the family's appeals, local Communist Party officials have refused to restore their water and electricity unless they take part in the idol worshipping ceremonies. The family has to go to a remote mountain stream for water, the children are unable to do their homework because of the lack of electricity, and Li's mother recently fell in the dark and broke her arm. It is but one example of the persecution that persists against Chinese Christians, a ChinaAid spokesman said.

UK State Schools Not Providing Group Worship as Mandated by Law

A British Broadcasting Corporation survey found that many state schools in England are not providing group worship, despite it being a legal requirement, according to ASSIST News Service. The Department for Education requires that state schools "provide a daily act of collective worship that must reflect the traditions of this country, which are ... broadly Christian," but allows parents the right to withdraw their child. The BBC reported that some schools were opting to teach students about community rather than religion at assemblies; however, 60 percent of those surveyed said the legislation should not be enforced.

Pro-Gay Curriculum Coming Soon to LA

The Los Angeles Board of Education is preparing to implement more positive teachings on the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) figures in the nation's second-largest school district, reports. Steve Zimmer, the initiative's author, said the curriculum was needed to ensure that homosexual students would be respected and not bullied. The resolution will include "age-appropriate curriculum" for all students and will require teachers to undergo sensitivity training. Brandon Blanchard of the Chino Valley Unified School District, who spoke out against the curriculum, said, "We do have to teach tolerance, but I don't think that we have to teach certain lifestyles." The decision follows a law signed by Governor Jerry Brown that requires California schools to positively teach about the contributions of LGBT people to children of all ages.

Publication date: September 22, 2011