Arson Attacks Hit Churches in Tamil Nadu, India

HYDERABADIndia (Morning Star News) – Three church buildings were set ablaze in six weeks in the state in southern India with the most attacks against Christians this year, sources said.

In one case, a church building in southern India’s Tamil Nadu state was burned to ashes after Christians refused to donate to an annual Hindu festival, they said. Members of Kingdom of God church were on their way home after an evening service on June 11 in Seekanankuppam, Kanchipuram District when their building was torched.

Pastor Arul Ruben was leading Bible study in Paramankeni, a village two and a half miles away, when he received a call about the fire.

“I received the call around 8 p.m., immediately asked the local pastor in Paramankeni to continue the service and rushed to Seekanankuppam,” Pastor Ruben, 37, said. “In 20 minutes I was able to reach it, but by that time, nothing was left – the fire had spread all over.”

Area Christians and neighbors tried to help Pastor Ruben douse the fire, but eventually firemen had to be called in to put it out. The pastor reported the attack the next morning at the Koovathur police station. Losses were estimated at approximately 100,000 rupees (US$1,450), he said.

Hindus in nearby villages became furious last year when no one from the 25 Christian families attending the church contributed to the annual Hindu festival held each May, and none contributed this year, Pastor Ruben said.

“[Last year] they humiliated the Christians for their non-participation and issued threats that the church would be destroyed if any Christian refused to contribute to the Hindu temple for the annual celebration of their deity,” he said. “Even this year, they visited the Christian families and asked them to donate for the celebration, but nobody contributed. When the festival is over, just when we were glad for the peace and harmony around us, we get to see the church turn to ashes.”

Charred remains of Advent Christian Church building in In Thiruvannamalai, India. (Morning Star News)

Charred remains of Advent Christian Church building in Thiruvannamalai, India. (Morning Star News)

In addition, a Hindu cemetery is located about 300 meters away, said a church leader identified as Pastor Benjamin.

“Behind the church, the Hindu residents from nearby villages demanded that the church be closed down so a short-cut way can be paved for Hindus taking their deceased for cremation,” he said. “They even carried the dead via the church premises to the cemetery. They stopped after the area president intervened and warned them that it is not right, and that they must avoid entering the church premises and take the long route instead.”

Son of church founder Joshua Anthony, who established the fellowship in Seekanankuppam 23 years ago, Pastor Benjamin said the congregation has also seen “immense opposition” in the past five years because their building was located along a national highway, the East Coast Road (ECR), connecting the state capital, Chennai, and the former French colony of Puducherry.

“The area is in demand because of the ECR route, and random businessmen and real estate dealers constantly ask us to vacate,” the pastor said. “They told us the land can be of best advantage for commercial use.”

The site is also in demand as many tourists traveling to Pondicherry use the ECR route.

On top of these issues, a music academy in the same area wrongfully registered the church’s land in its name, he said.

“It was a long battle, and with the help of the area leaders we were able to get the piece of land registered in the church’s name,” he said.

Buildings in Flames

In Puducherry, Karaikal District, passers-by who saw the Bible Presbyterian Church building in flames on May 25 alerted neighbors and Pastor David Santosham.

“It has been nearly two months, and police could not find the culprits,” Pastor Santosham told Morning Star News. “I met the sub-inspector of police recently, and he told me that the investigation is underway. We are building the church again by the grace of God. Please pray for the construction work.”

A neighbor who is an active member of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has opposed the church’s services since 2012, he said.

“I submitted a petition to the National Commission for Minorities in 2012, but was attacked again in 2016 while repairing the roof,” Pastor Santosham said.

Burnt pages of Bible at church building gutted by fire in Tamil Nadu, India. (Morning Star News)

Burnt pages of Bible at church building gutted by fire in Tamil Nadu, India. (Morning Star News)

In Thiruvannamalai, an Advent Christian Church building on May 5 was set on fire by miscreants who ran away when neighbors spotted them, pastor Govrathnam Anbarasan told Morning Star News.

“That week, we conducted a VBS [Vacation Bible School] program for children in the church,” he said. “There was opposition from Hindu fundamentalists in Thiruvannamalai, but we continued the church services.”

Children rehearsing a skit to perform the next day had left for their homes by the time the arsonists jumped into the compound and set fire to the structure’s coconut-leaf roof, he said.

“As the roof was woven with coconut leaves, it is enough to ignite a small portion and the fire can spread all over easily in short time,” Pastor Anbarasan told Morning Star News. “I was visiting a believer’s family about three miles away to pray for their son.”

Police have taken no action since church leaders filed a First Information Report at Thiruvannamalai police station, he said.

“Since the past two months, we have been worshipping in open air under a tent,” he added. “A relief organization had come forward promising to help, but I received nothing from them. We don’t have enough means to rebuild the church, even if temporarily.”

Last year, a pastor’s home and church building was burned down after villagers belonging to Vanniyar, a caste-based Hindu-sect, put their faith in Christ. The church in Attipattu village, Cuddalore District, was strongly opposed by hard-line Hindus who label Christianity as a religion of lower castes.

Violent Trend

Nehemiah Christie, director of legislations and regulations of the Synod of Pentecostal Churches in Tamil Nadu, told Morning Star News that violent trends against Christians are increasing as elections grow closer.

“On one side, we see the Hindu extremists barging inside the churches and attacking pastors, and the other side is what goes on behind us – in remote areas, they are burning away churches, especially those with roofs of tar sheet or coconut leaves, so fire can be spread speedily and easily, and before anybody can notice the perpetrators, they escape from the spot.”

Tamil Nadu was previously known for upholding secularism and unity, Christie said.

“The brotherhood Tamilians share irrespective of their caste or religion is today under threat, with political figures attempting to spread hatred against Christian and Muslim minorities for their political agenda,” he said. “In every case of arson, the police conveniently register it as fire accident due to short circuit, and they refuse to register the suspects’ names. But in reality, it is targeted violence to create communal disharmony between the Hindus and Christians.”

Hindu nationalists seek to create fear in Christians, especially new converts, that there can be church fires at anytime, so that especially the illiterate in remote areas won’t dare enter a church service, he added.

According to the Pew Research Center’s study on global restrictions on religion, India in 2016 had the highest level of social hostilities involving religion of 55 countries with high or very high levels of government restrictions on religion, under BJP’s rule.

The hostile tone of the National Democratic Alliance government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), against non-Hindus, has emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country to attack Christians since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014, religious rights advocates say.

India ranked 11th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of countries where Christians experience the most persecution.

Islamist Violence against Christians in Uganda Injures Pastors, Stops Church Services

A stone knocked pastor Tom Palapande unconscious at a Muslim-Christian debate in eastern Uganda. (Morning Star News)
A stone knocked pastor Tom Palapande unconscious at a Muslim-Christian debate in eastern Uganda. (Morning Star News)

Threats by Muslims in Mazuba village, Namutumba District, stopped worship services in a half-constructed church building and led the pastor to send his children to another town, he said.NAIROBIKenya (Morning Star News) – In further anti-Christian hostilities in eastern Uganda, Muslims knocked a pastor unconscious at a debate and Islamist threats in another village put a halt to worship services.

“The church members are now living in great fear for their lives and have stopped attending church services,” pastor Maseruwa Budallah told Morning Star News.

The 55-year-old pastor had resettled his family in Mazuba five years ago after fleeing persecution by Muslims in Sironko village, 70 kilometers (43 miles) away. In April, Muslims in Mazuba noticed that some Muslims had become Christians and were attending his church, and Muslim schoolchildren learned from Christian children that the pastor had left Islam to become a Christian.

Word that he was a convert from Islam spread quickly, and Muslim schoolchildren began bullying the pastor’s eight children, Pastor Budallah said. As area Muslims threatened to kill his children, the pastor and his wife felt compelled to send them to a boarding school in another town.

At beginning of the year Pastor Budallah donated a part of his land for construction of a church building. After walls had been built, however, area Muslims learned that he was a convert from Islam and put a stop to construction, he said. Besides confronting the pastor – telling him to stop construction as well as discontinue worship services – they have sent him threatening messages, he said.

“We know your tricks, that your intention of building the church is for you to convert our members to Christianity,” they wrote in a letter on May 8. “If you continue building the church, then you are risking your life as well as the life of your church members.”

Pastor Budallah also received threatening messages from his relatives back in Sironko, he said.

“You have refused to come back home, and we hear that you have started building a church for infidels,” read one text message. “Know that Allah is going to deal with you soon, and you will not finish it nor pray in it.”

Debate Violence

In Butaleja District, also in eastern Uganda, a pastor was knocked unconscious when irate Muslims threw rocks at him and other church leaders during a debate on Christianity and Islam in Kuwait village, sources said.

A stone struck pastor Tom Palapande, 38, in the head during an open-air debate on June 21, part of a two-week evangelistic campaign. The first week featured only evangelistic events, and the second week included debates with area Muslims about Islamic and Christian scriptures, the Trinity and the Sonship of Jesus, among other topics.

The first three debates took place without incident, but in the fourth debate about Jesus as the Son of God, a sheikh found himself ill-prepared and left in the middle of the event, sources said. Embarrassed Muslims in the crowd responded by throwing stones at Pastor Palapande and shouting the jihadist chant, “Allah akbar,” they said.

“A big stone hit the pastor’s forehead, and the stones as well injured three other church leaders who were close to the pastor at the podium – Moses Balabye, Agrey Gibenya and Milton Magezi,” a church leader told Morning Star News.

Pastor Palapande said that he regained consciousness in a Kuwait clinic and was later transferred to a hospital in Mbale.

“This is not the first time when Muslims attacked us, especially when they lost debates in Nasenye, Nabiganda and Bumadanda,” Pastor Palapande told Morning Star News by phone. “I was beaten up, and it was falsely reported in a local newspaper as well as the local radio station that I am disrespecting the religion of Islam. This is a calculated move to tarnish my name.”

He appealed for the government of Uganda to protect him and to stop Muslims from assassinating his character.

“The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be found and punished to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another.

Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with many concentrated in the eastern part of the country.

Drug deaths reach record high in Scotland

Drug-related deaths reached another record high in Scotland last year, according to new figures.

There were 934 drug-related deaths in 2017, an eight per cent rise on 2016.

Scotland’s drug-death rate is two and a half times more per capita than England and Wales and higher than any other EU country.

10,000 deaths

Campaign group Scottish Families Affected By Drugs and Alcohol have called for a public health emergency to be declared.

David Liddell, the Director of Scottish Drugs Forum, pointed out that since figures started to be collected, there has been 10,000 drug deaths in the country, the equivalent of the population of Fort William.

The official statistics were released in a report by the National Records of Scotland.

Opiates

Drugs including heroin, morphine and methadone were implicated in the overwhelming majority of deaths.

Three-quarters of the deaths were among people over the age of 35.

The NHS Board areas with most of the drug-related deaths were: Greater Glasgow & Clyde (30 per cent), Lothian (15 per cent) and Lanarkshire (11 per cent).

New public health minister Joe Fitzpatrick MSP offered his “deepest condolences to the families and friends who have lost loved ones over the last year”.

Drug rooms

Earlier this year, the UK Government blocked a proposal by Glasgow City Council to open an official ‘drug room’.

But three police and crime commissioners from outside Scotland are claiming it would be a positive move.

Ron Hogg (Durham), Arfon Jones (North Wales) and David Jamieson (West Midlands) sent a joint letter to Home Office minister Victoria Atkins setting out their support for so-called fix rooms.

NO BIBLES PLEASE OR YOU GO TO JAIL?

 

A public school district in Illinois sent a “cease and desist” letter to an unnamed person who gave away Bibles to boys and girls on a public street owned by the district.

“This individual was warned that law enforcement would be called should he or any affiliated persons come onto the School District campus for the purpose of distributing Bibles to students,” an attorney for the La Harpe Community School District no. 347 wrote in a letter to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers, had filed a complaint with the district over two issues regarding religion at La Harpe Elementary School.

The first involved flyers that Principal Lila McKeown had reported distributed to teachers at staff meetings.

The flyers referenced Christian holidays like Easter and Christmas and included Bible passages.

 

NO NO NO

“Easter is the celebration of God’s greatest gift – salvation through Jesus Christ,” one of the messages read. “Easter blessings! May you feel Christ’s Love in your Heart & be filled with his Peace & Joy this Easter Season.”

“Isaiah 9:6-7 (“For unto us is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,” read another message.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation accused the principal of using her position “to promote her personal religion to teachers and students.”

The school district said they have taken steps to eliminate Bible verses from future staff flyers.

“Principal McKeown will no longer be placing Bible verses in any staff communication or any other School District correspondence or communications in the future,” the district’s attorney wrote in a letter to FFRF.

The other issue involved unnamed individuals who gave away free Bibles to students on April 20. The out-of-town agitators accused the Gideon’s of being behind the Bible giveaway.

The Gideon’s, an international ministry that provides Bibles to school children, hotels and other areas, did not return calls seeing comment.

“La Harpe Elementary may not allow Bible distributions on school property,” the FFRF attorney wrote to the district. “It is unconstitutional for public school districts to permit Gideons to distribute Bibles as part of the public school day.”

The district explained that there’s a roadway that splits the grade school campus in half. Up until 2013 the city owned and maintained the road. And while the community still commonly views it as a city roadway it is in fact a school district roadway.

While the district cannot ascertain where the Bibles were distributed, the attorneys believe it happened on an area along the roadway.

“”Public schools have a constitutional obligation to protect the rights of conscience of young and impressionable students,” the FFRF wrote.

The district responded swiftly – vowing to call the police should anyone come onto the campus to distribute Bibles.

“This individual was clearly informed that North D Street is a part of the School District campus and cannot be used for Bible distribution activities,” the district’s attorney wrote.

So let that sink in for just a moment – a public school sent a cease and desist letter to someone who was giving children a copy of the Good Book. And they threatened to call the police.

That’s what a war on religious liberty looks like, America.

 

OK?

Temple Mount Activist: We Are Writing the 25th Book of the Bible This Year

Last year set a record for the number of Jews ascending to the Temple Mount but this week, with two months still left until the Jewish new year, that record was broken. This rising interest in Judaism’s holiest site is hopefully paving the way for the Third Temple and one activist notes that current events may one day be written down as an addendum to the Bible.

Elisha Sanderman, the spokesman for the Temple Mount activist organization Yera’eh, told Breaking Israel News that 22,566 have gone up to the Temple Mount so far this year, more than visited the site all of last year. His organization tracks this statistic daily, beginning and ending on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.

“It is difficult to estimate how many will arrive in the next few months,” Sanderman told Breaking Israel News. “Last year 2,264 Jews visited the Temple Mount on the 9th of Av, so it is reasonable to hope, though astounding to imagine, that twice that number will visit the Temple Mount on the 9th of Av this year.”

The 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, referred to as Tisha B’Av, is a fast day commemorating the destruction of both Jewish Temples. It begins on the evening of July 21 and ends the following evening.

“In these last two months leading up to Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur, we usually see more Jews go up as they begin to put a special effort into tshuva (repentance),” Sanderman said.

Sanderman speculated as to the reasons behind the powerful phenomenon.

“The police and government are being more supportive of Jews going up but that would be meaningless if it weren’t for a spiritual awakening among the Jews,” he said. “It used to be that just young men from the national religious movement visited the site. But now, we see all types of Jews, including Haredi, many of whom do so despite their rabbis’ objections.”

He even noted many non-religious Israelis who are taking an interest in Judaism’s holiest site. Sanderman told a moving story about a call he received from a secular Israeli who inquired about the religious laws pertaining to ascending to the Temple Mount.

“He said that he isn’t religious, but if he was going to go to the site, he wanted to do so in the one-hundred percent proper manner,” Sanderman related.

Yera’eh does not count the Christians who visit the site since they do not pass through the security checkpoint. Sanderman noted that there has been a new phenomenon of Christians and non-Jews who relate to the site as spiritually significant. He related how four non-Jews from Texas had taken an oath on the Temple Mount to uphold the Noahide Laws.

“We counted them along with the Jews in our statistics,” Sanderman said. “It was powerfully inspiring to witness their oath. In many ways, the Waqf (Muslim authority) guards relate to them even more harshly than they do to Jews. Their presence may not be as quantitatively impactful but it is no less significant in the struggle to return the Temple Mount to its role of ‘a House of Prayer for All Nations’.”

“We are witnessing history in the making. We know about 24 books in the Bible but we are writing the 25th book right now. One day, people will read about the construction of the Third Temple just as we read about Ezra and Nehemiah building the Second Temple and Solomon building the First Temple. Perhaps the 25th book of the Bible will even list names of people we know, those who have a special role in what is happening today in what we call politics but which is actually so much more.”

Hamas Has Invested USD $45 Million in Gaza Border Riots

Hamas has invested USD $45 million, over the past 100 days, in their riots along the Gaza-Israel border.

That $45 million went towards campaigning, protesters, logistics, compensation for the dead and wounded, arson kites and terror balloons, according to a report by Gal Berger of Kann News.

The end results of the Hamas investment were 678 fires, which burned down 2250 acres of Israeli forests, 1500 acres of Israeli agricultural land, and hundred of acres of open spaces in Israel, according to a YNet report.

In all likelihood, the money for the riots came from Iran.

Professing Christian Foster, Adoption Agency Agrees to Place Children With Homosexuals to Comply With Philadelphia Law

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — A well-known professing Christian charity has agreed to work with homosexuals seeking to foster or adopt children after its contract with the City of Philadelphia was suspended for a time due to its policies on child placement.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley has agreed to comply with the City’s nondiscrimination laws and has partnered with Mayor Jim Kenney’s Office of LGBT Affairs to train staff regarding “cultural competency for serving individuals and same-sex couples who are LGBTQ.”

“Our faith calls us to work with vulnerable children and families, and therefore, it is important that Christians remain in this space,” Bethany Christian Services said in a statement. “To that end, while we will remain compliant with the law, we also remain committed to our Christian beliefs and core values.”

When asked by the Christian Post if the organization will indeed place children in the homes of homosexuals, it replied, “As the statement addresses, Bethany of Greater Delaware Valley will comply with the law.” It did not explain how it would do so without violating the organization’s stated Christian values.

Palusky began serving as president of Bethany Christian Services in January, a position that according to a 990 form posted online, paid his predecessor over $230,000 a year. He lists Rob Bell, Rick Warren, Coldplay, The Police, Sting and U2 among his likes on social media. Under his “religious views” section, he provides a link to a message from Rob Bell. Palusky also characterizes his political views as being in the “center.”

Christian News Network reached out to Palusky about the policy change allowing the placements; a response was not received by press time.

As previously reported, following the release of an article earlier this year by The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services decided to suspend its partnerships with Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services after learning that the organizations do not place children with homosexuals. The suspension and investigation meant that the groups were unable to help place children who are in government custody until the contracts were reinstated.

The outlet had shared the report of two lesbians, who said that they had approached Bethany Christian Services in October and were advised that the organization had never placed a child in a same-sex home. The representative rather offered the women referrals to others who might do so.

In reporting on the occurrence, The Philadelphia Inquirer decided to also reach out to Catholic Social Services to ask about its practices, and was informed that the entity likewise doesn’t place children with two men or two women. The organization has never been approached by anyone in a same-sex relationship, the representative noted.

Both organizations were consequently placed under investigation and further placements of any kind were halted. Philadelphia City Council also passed a resolution to look into the Department of Human Services’ policy on working with agencies that decline to place children with homosexuals.

Catholic Social Services has since sued the City of Philadelphia over the matter, and still refuses to bend, while Bethany Christian Services decided to change its policies to conform to the City’s nondiscrimination ordinance in order to resume the partnership.

“We appreciate the city’s decision to allow Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley to continue to serve foster youth throughout the Philadelphia community,” the organization said. “We have a long-standing history of partnering with government and secular organizations to aid children in crisis, and we look forward to continuing our nearly 20 year partnership with the city.”

Proverbs 25:26 reads, “A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain and a corrupt spring.”

Alabama Man Takes Over Church Pulpit, Pulls Out Gun

An Alabama man who allegedly took over a church pulpit during a worship service Sunday, July 8, tried to pull out a gun before being tackled by congregation members, according to AP. No shots were fired.

The irate man reportedly talked about his pending divorce while in control of the pulpit at O’Neal Church of Christ in Athens, Alabama, reports say.

The suspect, 34-year-old Thomas Zebulun Lewter, has been charged with making a terroristic threat at the church, says Limestone County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Stephen Young.

“During the service, he approached the pulpit and announced that he was sorry he was going to have to do what he had to do,” says wife Kathryn Lewter, who filed for divorce last month. Since the incident, she has petitioned the court for protection from abuse.

Kathryn Lewter claims her husband had been on antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants and had been “acting erratically” and threatening her family, according to The News Courier.

Thomas Lewter has been taken to a hospital for evaluation, reports AP.

PERSECUTION UK gov’t fires doctor for rejecting transgender pronouns

United Kingdom flag

The British government fired a Christian doctor for refusing to identify patients by the transgender pronoun of their choice.

After working as a doctor with the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom for 26 years, Dr. David Mackereth claims that he was “sacked” from working as a medical assessor for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) because he would not renounce his sincerely held Christian belief that gender is determined at birth and refer to patients by their preferred transgender pronouns.

“I’m not attacking the transgender movement, but I’m defending my right to freedom of speech and freedom of belief [as a Christian],” Mackereth contended, according to the UK’s Sunday Telegraph. “I don’t believe I should be compelled to use a specific pronoun.”

Dr.: UK should reexamine its medical policies

Being a registered doctor since 1989, Mackereth is not trying to be controversial or offensive to leftists and the LGBT community, but he believes that the medical profession is headed in the wrong direction by denying his employment over the hot-button issue.

“I am not setting out to upset anyone, but if upsetting someone can lead to doctors being sacked, then – as a society – we have to examine where we are going,” the 55-year-old father of four asserted.

Working most of his career as an NHS doctor in Accident and Emergency wards, Mackereth firmly believes as a Christian and veteran physician that sex is genetically and biologically determined at birth – not by a person’s choice, as the government position forces him to acknowledge.

“Mackereth – who is a Reformed Baptist – revealed that he underwent a training course in May for the DWP role, but was told that he must refer to patients as the gender they identify with,” The Christian Post (CP) reported. “He was also told that gender is ‘fluid.’”

The veteran doctor of more than a quarter of a century says those considering him for the government position as a health and disability assessor classified him as “unfit” to work in for the department because he would not abandon his “centuries old” belief rooted in his religious convictions about human sexuality being determined by God.

“His role would have involved compiling independent reports about the health of those he interviewed who were claiming disability benefits,” the UK’s Daily Mail explained. “But matters began to sour when his instructor said reports must only refer to the patient or client by the gender that person self-identifies as.”

Attack on Christian beliefs

Mackereth is afraid that more Christians working as professionals will also be terminated for holding on to their faith-based beliefs regarding human sexuality, and he believes that he is being punished for voicing his convictions that do not align with the government’s secular and politically correct worldview.

“I said that I had a problem with this,” the doctor from Dudley in the West Midlands explained, according to theTelegraph. “I believe that gender is defined by biology and genetics, and that – as a Christian – the Bible teaches us that God made humans male or female.”

As a physician, he felt convicted to be truthful about his take on human sexuality.

“I could have kept my mouth shut, but it was the right time to raise it,” Mackereth recounted. “The tutor took me aside and said he had passed my comments up the chain to the DWP.”

But his response was not well-received.

“Dr. Mackereth then received an email from Advanced Personnel Management (APM) – the agency that employed him and would have hired him out to the DWP,” the Telegraph’s Steve Bird informed. “They explained he could undergo training about the department’s policy, but the DWP had consulted lawyers and was adamant that any report or contact with clients should refer to them in their chosen sex – otherwise, it ‘could be considered to be harassment, as defined by the 2010 Equality Act.’”

Mackereth then responded that he could not submit to the demands “in good conscience,” which resulted in the government terminating his DWP contract – a determination he contests on three counts.

“Firstly, we are not allowed to say what we believe,” the British medical professional pointed out. “Secondly – as my case shows – we are not allowed to think what we believe. Finally, we are not allowed to defend what we believe.”

He sees this as leftists declaring war on those who hold to their Christian beliefs.

“By stating what has been believed by mankind for centuries – namely that gender and sex are determined at birth – you can come under ferocious attack,“ Mackereth continued. “If we are no longer allowed to say that you believe sex and gender are the same and are determined at birth, everyone who holds my views can be sacked on the spot under this Act. I’m not an isolated case.”

It was contended by a spokeswoman for the DWP that the UK’s Equality Act declares it unlawful to directly or indirectly discriminate against individuals based on a “protected characteristic,” such as one unnaturally created through gender reassignment.

“Dr Mackereth made it clear during his training that he would refuse to use pronouns which did not match his own view of a person’s biological gender,” the DWP spokeswoman maintained, according to the Telegraph. “We expect all assessors to handle assessments sensitively and adhere to the Equality Act 2010.”

Church Booted from Building over Sign Criticizing Homosexuality

Church Booted from Building over Sign Criticizing Homosexuality

A small church in Indiana is being evicted from its building due to an outdoor sign that criticized homosexuality.

Remnant Fellowship Church in Auburn, Ind., posted a message on its sign that read: “LGBTQ is a hate crime against God. Repent.” WPTA-TV ran a story about the sign on June 27, focusing on the sign and the pushback by some in the community against it. On July 8, WPTA reported that the congregation had been booted from building by the landlord. A church member confirmed the news.

The pastor had told the television station that the sign was an attempt to “reach young people and steer them away from a lifestyle they believe is harmful to them.”

The controversy apparently began when one woman, Kristin Russell, was offended by the sign and changed it so it read, “Stay Open Minded.” She posted the picture of the new sign on Facebook, sparking the WPTA report.

“I kind of sat there for a little bit, what am I supposed to do about this?” Russell said. “I saw the message ‘stay open minded’ in the letters, so I thought, why don’t I just change it to that,” Russell said.

The church changed the sign back to the original message.

Now, the congregation is looking for a new home.

Readers on WPTA’s Facebook were split on the issue.

“Churches, I thought, were about love and forgiveness,” Gail Bailey Adams wrote.

Wrote Bleu Hefner, “Freedom of speech will end soon. Sad you can attack religious beliefs but if you’re for religious beliefs, well it’s fine to be attacked.”

Another person, Rose Marie, wrote, “So said … I hope you find another place real soon.”