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Freedom Of Religion

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NEWS
December 16, 1987 | WILLIAM D. MONTALBANO, Times Staff Writer
Pope John Paul II appealed to world leaders Tuesday to accept religious freedom as a fundamental human right. "Religious freedom, an essential requirement of the dignity of every person, is a cornerstone of the structure of human rights," the Pope said, "and for this reason, an irreplaceable factor in the good of individuals and of the whole of society as well as of the personal fulfillment of each individual."
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OPINION
February 16, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948 says, "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. " But, like other rights enshrined in that declaration, religious freedom is widely violated around the world. Is that any of the business of the United States? President Obama thinks so, and he's right. Before the most receptive audience imaginable - a National Prayer Breakfast - Obama recently insisted that "promoting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy.
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NEWS
April 20, 1988
American evangelist Billy Graham praised Chinese leaders, saying they are working to broaden freedom of religion. "There's no complacency here that I've found among the leaders," said Graham, who met with foreign reporters in Beijing. Graham's visit to China--his first--ends April 28.
OPINION
June 17, 2012
Is religious freedom suddenly under attack in America? That's what the nation's Roman Catholic bishops and some non-Catholic allies would have you believe. But reports of the demise of this fundamental liberty are greatly exaggerated. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishopshas designated June 21 to July 4 as a "fortnight for freedom. " During those two weeks, the church will trumpet its already well-known opposition to an Obama administration regulation that private health insurance plans include contraception services.
NEWS
December 25, 1994 | DAVID G. SAVAGE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Advocates of religious rights quickly tick off the examples. In St. Louis, "a fourth-grader was put in detention three times for whispering a prayer before eating his meal," one said. Another cited a Pennsylvania case in which a "student's lunch box was confiscated because it included a note that said: 'Jesus loves you.'
WORLD
October 25, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
An Ontario Superior Court judge struck down a section of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, saying it violated guarantees of freedom of religion and thought. Judge Douglas Rutherford made the decision in the case of Mohammed Momin Khawaja, a Canadian man charged with conspiring to carry out bombings in Britain. Rutherford said a clause that limits the definition of terrorist activity to acts motivated by religion, politics or ideology was unconstitutional. He left the rest of the act in place.
NEWS
July 31, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A lawsuit filed in federal court in Salt Lake City challenged official praying at public schools. Prayers at graduation ceremonies and other school-sponsored activities violate freedom of religion and the guaranteed separation of church and state, according to the suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of four students, a teacher and a counselor. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1962 banned daily prayer rituals at public schools.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 1990
A federal judge Monday refused to dismiss a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles by the leaders of a church that includes sex in its rituals and that the city alleges is a front for prostitution. In denying the city's request to throw out the suit, U.S. District Judge William Byrne said the case brought by Will Tracy and his wife, Mary Ellen, of Canyon Country, raises "numerous triable issues." The two were convicted by a Los Angeles Municipal Court jury Sept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2000 | Religion News Service
In a report issued Monday, the French government called on nations worldwide to stop the growth of religious sects, and criticized the United States for offering too much religious freedom to "cults." "The confusion maintained across the Atlantic between religious freedom . . . and prevention, even repression, of punishable sectarian excesses does not make dialogue any easier," said the report, issued by the Interministerial Mission for the Fight Against Sects. A U.S.
NEWS
December 20, 1988
A judge in Preston, Minn., ruled that Amish people must display slow-moving vehicle signs on their horse-drawn buggies, but lawyers said the religious-freedom issue could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. State law requiring the signs does not violate the Amish's First Amendment right to freedom of religion, Fillmore County District Judge Clement Snyder ruled. Phillip Villaume, an attorney for the Amish, said the case will be appealed. He and Fillmore County Assistant Atty.
NATIONAL
June 13, 2012 | By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
ATLANTA - Stung by criticism that they are engaging in partisan attacks in a presidential campaign, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops insisted Wednesday that their fight with President Obama has nothing to do with party politics or contraception, and everything to do with what they see as a fundamental assault on religious liberty. The bishops did not shrink from attacking the administration in a dispute that has become their signature issue, one involving what Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton called "the most serious intrusion of government that we have ever experienced.
WORLD
October 25, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
An Ontario Superior Court judge struck down a section of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, saying it violated guarantees of freedom of religion and thought. Judge Douglas Rutherford made the decision in the case of Mohammed Momin Khawaja, a Canadian man charged with conspiring to carry out bombings in Britain. Rutherford said a clause that limits the definition of terrorist activity to acts motivated by religion, politics or ideology was unconstitutional. He left the rest of the act in place.
WORLD
May 12, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Pope Benedict XVI met Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and listed concerns about religious freedom in the largely Catholic nation, the Vatican said. A statement issued later said the pope had reaffirmed the Vatican's right to name bishops freely and expressed his concern that the religious freedom of St. Rose University in Venezuela was under threat. Chavez told reporters, "I think we can completely turn the page and relegate these conflicts to the past."
WORLD
March 27, 2006 | Wesal Zaman and Henry Chu, Special to The Times
After days of international outcry, an Afghan court has dismissed the case against a man threatened with being put to death for having converted from Islam to Christianity, a court official said Sunday. The charges of apostasy against Abdur Rahman, a 41-year-old medical aid worker, were being dropped for lack of evidence, said Abdul Wakil Omari, a spokesman for the Afghan Supreme Court. "It has been sent back to prosecutors," Omari said of the case.
WORLD
March 26, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Pope Benedict XVI has written to Afghan President Hamid Karzai asking that charges be dropped against a man facing a possible death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity, the Vatican said. The appeal to spare Abdur Rahman was sent in the pope's name by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who said the pope's appeal was inspired by the "firm belief in the dignity of human life and by respect for every person's freedom of conscience and religion."
WORLD
March 22, 2006 | From Reuters
The United States and three NATO allies with troops in Afghanistan urged the Kabul government Tuesday to respect the religious freedom of an Afghan convert to Christianity who faces the death penalty there. The United States, which counts Afghan President Hamid Karzai as a key ally in the region, raised the case with visiting Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah, calling on Kabul to uphold Afghan citizens' constitutional right to choose their faith.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 1989
The self-professed leaders of a church that includes sex acts in its rituals asked Thursday for a federal court order prohibiting Los Angeles police and prosecutors from "harassing" the church and said they will appeal their recent conviction on prostitution charges.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 11, 1999 | Reuters
The United States released a report on religious freedom worldwide Thursday, concluding that much of the world's population lives in countries in which religious freedoms are restricted. Many of the countries faulted, including China, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, regularly show up on the annual U.S. list of overall human rights abusers. But the report also criticized some U.S. allies, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, for intolerance.
NATIONAL
February 22, 2006 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
In a victory for religious freedom, the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the Bush administration's claim that it can bar a small congregation in New Mexico from using a hallucinogenic tea during its rituals. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., speaking for a unanimous court, said the government had not shown the harm in allowing 130 followers of a Brazilian sect to use their tea. Administration lawyers had argued that strict federal drug laws should prevail over their claim of religious freedom.
NATIONAL
November 26, 2005 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
If there is a sure winner in the cases decided by Samuel A. Alito Jr., it is freedom of religion -- any religion. During his 15 years as an appellate judge, President Bush's Supreme Court nominee has written decisions in favor of Muslim police officers in Newark, N.J., who wore beards; a Native American from Pennsylvania who raised sacred black bears; and a Jewish professor who said she was pushed out of her job for refusing to attend faculty events on Friday evenings and Saturdays, her Sabbath.
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