Freedom of worship is still being repressed, unfortunately this week it is in Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has banned resident assistants from leading Bible studies in their own dorm rooms. In an effort to quell more misguided repression this upcoming holiday season, the Alliance Defense Fund announced last week it has more than 800 attorneys available nationwide to combat any improper attempts to censor the celebration of Christmas in schools and on public property.
The American Body of Christ continues its stand against the mainstreaming of the openly gay lifestyle. The United Methodist Church upheld its ban on practicing homo[s-x]uals serving as clergy, and also upheld a minister’s right to bar homo[s-x]uals from church membership. The next day, the Texas Southern Baptists unanimously passed a resolution encouraging Christian parents to investigate whether the public schools in their area are promoting homosexuality and, if so, to seek more suitable options for their children, such as private Christian schools or home education.
In international Christian news, what could be possibly the most ancient Christian church in the world was discovered in Megiddo in Israel, probably dating to the 3rd century, before Constantine lifted the persectution of Christians. The fact that only the floor mosaics remain testify that the rest of the structure may have been destroyed in a subsequent persecution. Speaking of church buildings, a Christian church will be built in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar (Broken link, active November 9, 2005), the first in a Muslim state since the advent of Islam in the seventh century. Somewhere in the world freedom of worship is advancing!
But while the news out of the Middle East is good, the news in China continues to be grim. A Chinese court on Tuesday sentenced a Protestant minister, his wife and her brother to prison terms of up to three years for illegally printing Bibles and other Christian publications. The U.S took a step in the right direction, however, when the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier ruling, allowing a persecuted Chinese Christian to apply for asylum in the United States.