Read More Atheist Republic Mother Teresa Charity Investigated for “Forced Conversions”
Recently, Indian police have started investigating a charity, known as Missionaries of Charity, which was started by the notorious Mother Teresa. According to authorities in the western state of Gujarat’s Vadodara city, the police are inquiring whether the Missionaries of Charity forced the girls in its shelter home to wear crucifix necklaces and read the Bible. Mayank Trivedi, a Vadodara district social officer, stated that his complaint to the police was based on a report by child welfare authorities and other district officials. The Missionaries of Charity denied the allegations. This investigation comes amidst an environment of increasing anti-Christian violence in India. Al Jazeera cited activists who say there have been more than 300 anti-Christian incidents in 2021 alone.
Italian Catholic Bishop Tells Children Santa Isn’t Real
On December 9th, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Noto issued an apology for Bishop Antonio Stagliano’s comment regarding Santa Claus not being real after facing outrage from angry parents. On St. Nicholas’ Day, Stagliano told children at a festival where he was speaking that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. He also added that the red color of the suit that Santa wears was chosen by the Coca-Cola company exclusively for advertising purposes. Rev. Alessandro Paolino, the Diocese of Noto’s communications director, explained via Facebook that the bishop’s “intentions were quite different.” Stagliano explained to a local news outlet in Italy that he had intended to help children “distinguish what is real from what is not,” clearly missing the irony that is apparent to non-believers. He emphasized that he wished to highlight the true meaning of Christmas in contrast to the modern commercialization that took away the holiday spirit.
US Calls for Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Olympics, Citing Uyghur Genocide
On December 6th, Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, announced that the United States government had imposed a diplomatic boycott on the Beijing Olympics. As a result, the Biden Administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics or the Paralympic games. Psaki cited China’s ongoing genocide against it’s Uyghur ethnic minority population and crimes against humanity, adding that “US diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang.” Not sending official representation “could send a clear message,” she stated. Liu Pengyu, the spokesperson for Beijing’s embassy in Washington D.C., called the boycott “a pretentious act and a political manipulation.” Although no diplomatic or official representation will be sent, US athletes can still travel and compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics. After the announcement from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Lithuania, and Kosovo have joined the diplomatic boycott over human rights concerns.
The Pope Speaks Out Against War on Christmas
Pope Francis, in an interview given on a return flight from Greece, called a leaked internal document from the European Commission that advised its staffers on the use of inclusive language, “anachronistic.” The document advised the Commission staffers to “avoid assuming that everyone is Christian.” The Italian tabloid, il Giornale, leaked the document in an article and accused the European Commission of “canceling Christmas” and “attacking common sense.” However, the document has also received support for its efforts to make sure that everyone is valued and recognized regardless of their gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, or sexual orientation. According to the Pope, this document is a “watered-down approach to Christianity,” adding “throughout history, many, many dictatorships tried to do it.” He warned not to open the way for “ideological colonization.” This will “make the European Union fail,” he cautioned.
Lawsuit Filed Against Facebook for Role in Rohingya Muslim Genocide
On December 6th, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Facebook, now rebranded as Meta, by Rohingya ethnic cleansing survivors. The cases, filed first in the US, and then in the UK, alleged Facebook’s platform allowed and intensified hate speech against the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The survivors are demanding compensatory damages, totalling over €150 billion, in addition to punitive damages. James Clayton, of the North America Tech Report at BBC, said the lawsuits are particularly interesting because “Facebook isn’t denying that it could have done more.” An internal investigation conducted by Facebook in 2018 revealed that the company failed to prevent the circulation of hate speech and incitement of violence against the Rohingya. In September 2021, a US judge ordered Facebook to release archived posts that portrayed Rohingyas in “sub-human terms” and posts that called for military action. Yet, Facebook resisted releasing the documents. Professor Josh Davis, at the University of San Francisco School of Law, says that it’s hard to prove that Facebook’s conduct harmed individual class members.
Pope Francis Calls Pre-Martial Sex “Not the Most Serious Sin”
Pope Francis recently told reporters that “sins of the flesh are not the most serious.” “Sins of the flesh are not the most serious,” the pope explained, referring to sexual relationships outside marriage. Instead, he said that pride and hatred are “the most serious of sins.” The pope’s comments were made while being questioned about the resignation of Archbishop Michel Aupetit, the disgraced archbishop of Paris, France. Archbishop Aupetit had resigned in early December after admitting to an ‘ambiguous’ relationship with a woman in 2012, a relationship that many viewed as inappropriate or even a breach of his vows of celibacy. He told the reporters that he accepted Aupetit’s resignation, not because of the sin but the “damaging rumors.” According to him, Aupetit was unfit to govern due to the rumors and how the public opinion surrounding him had become toxic. The pope also expounded on his responses, saying, “it was a failure against the sixth commandment [thou shall not commit adultery], but not a total one.”
Rising Violence: Indian Priest Chased with Machete, Christian Books Set On Fire
On December 11th, an unidentified man armed with a machete barged into a church in Karnataka’s Belagavi and chased the priest in charge. CCTV footage shows that the man with the weapon was following Father Francis D’Souza. The perpetrator eventually fled the scene, unable to get close enough to the Father. On the same day, members of the Christian community in Srinivaspur town of Kolar district were reportedly going door-to-door to distribute some religious texts, described by some news agencies as Christmas cards, when members of right-wing Hindu groups protested and set the texts ablaze. These incidents come a day before the state Assembly meets for the Winter Session in Belagavi. A controversial anti-conversion bill is tabled to be discussed this session, with a likelihood of it being passed. Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai stated that the government will not let Churches misuse someone’s poverty to lure them into converting to Christianity.
Iranian Soldiers Arrest Lesbian Near Turkish Border
On November 6th, Tasnim News Agency (TNA) reported that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) arrested individuals suspected of being “head of a women and girls’ network, trafficking Iranian girls” and “supporting homosexual groups” in the West Azerbaijan Province of Iran. IranWire reported that the person IRGC arrested is an LGBTQ+ supporter named Sareh. This is not the first time Sareh has been arrested. Her first arrest occurred after she had interviewed with BBC Persian and discussed the current plight of the LGBTQ communities in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. Following the interview, she was detained by Iraqi-Kurdistan police for 21 days. After being released, Sareh decided to travel through Iran to then cross the Turkish border and seek asylum. A British human rights and LGBTQ+ advocate, Peter Tatchell, said Sareh’s arrest indicates that the Islamic Republic of Iran still actively persecutes members of the LGBTQ+ community.
New Study Shows Explosive Increase of Non-Religious in the United States
According to the annual National Public Opinion Reference Survey (NPORS) of the Pew Research Center, around three out of ten US adults now consider themselves unaffiliated to any religion. The survey shows that more than 10 years ago, about 75% of adults identified as Christians. Now, the number has significantly dropped to 63%. A similar annual survey conducted by Gallup reflects that before 2000, church membership was consistently above 70%. By 2020, it dropped down to 47%. The decline seen in the Protestant population is higher than within Catholic and Mormon populations. David Campbell, a professor at the University of Notre Dame who also wrote about secularization in America, said the decline in religious identity “is at least in part a reaction to the political environment.”
Indian Court vs Atheist Republic
On November 30th, Atheist Republic’s legal counsel in India attended a hearing at the Delhi High Court, in which prosecuting lawyers sought to have the Indian government move to order Twitter to remove several of Atheist Republic’s tweets that were deemed “objectionable.” At that time, Twitter’s legal representation asked the court to give them a week to file an affidavit in compliance with the High Court’s order to remove the specified tweets. This means that Twitter is moving to demonstrate to the Court that they have complied with their orders. After the requested 10 days the matter was due to be heard again on Dec. 9th, but the Bench was not sitting, and the next hearing has been moved to February 2022. The lawyers who originally brought forth the petition have also engaged Senior Counsel, so at the next hearing this will allow for a better understanding of what they are arguing, and if they will seek a full suspension of the account. Atheist Republic’s legal counsel is poised to intervene against coercive orders at the next hearing. Tackling these legal proceedings has lead to increased expenses for our organization, please consider donating to our legal fund to help offset the costs: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-us-fight-hindutva
Read More Atheist Republic Mother Teresa Charity Investigated for “Forced Conversions”