Catch up on the latest and most important religious freedom headlines around the web.
Federal Court Rules Against New York’s Ban on Guns in Houses of Worship
The Christian Post reports: A federal judge has temporarily blocked the state of New York from enforcing its new law—banning guns in houses of worship—against a pastor and church who argue that the law violates their constitutional rights.
Judge John L. Sinatra of the Western District of New York ruled that Senate Bill S51001, which prohibits carrying firearms in “sensitive locations,” including houses of worship, violated the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The law was passed last July.
First Liberty filed a lawsuit challenging the law on behalf of His Tabernacle Family Church, a nondenominational Christian church in Horseheads, New York, founded by Pastor Micheal Spencer.
Student Group Alleges Religious Discrimination at UNH Law School
Valley News reports: A Christian student group seeking formal recognition by the UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law is threatening legal action after alleging the school’s student governing body failed to act on its nomination. After submitting an application, the group’s members claim the school’s Student Bar Association has unnecessarily delayed its formal recognition and that a proposed faculty advisor for the group withdrew his support after facing pressure. First Liberty Institute recently sent a letter asking the university to approve the pending recognition.
Prayers for Damar Hamlin Show Bond Between Football and Faith
The New York Times reports: As the ambulance carrying the injured Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin rolled slowly off the field in Cincinnati Monday night, a huddle of players and team staff knelt in a massive yet intimate circle on the field. They bowed their heads, some placing hands on each other’s shoulders and others with tears streaming down their faces, in a moment of spontaneous prayer led by the team’s chaplain, Len Vanden Bos. The hushed crowd at Paycor Stadium burst into applause as the players knelt and again as they rose…To outsiders, the intensity of these expressions of faith might have seemed surprising, an unusual display of public devotion in an increasingly secular culture. To observers of the close relationship between Christianity and American football, the exhortations to prayer were natural.
Franklin Graham Decries ‘Anti-God agendas,’ Socialism in New Year’s Facebook Post: ‘They’ll Get Worse’
The Christian Post reports: One day before the start of 2023, the Rev. Franklin Graham wrote that “as we begin 2023, the world we live in seems to be imploding.” After Graham condemned how “developed nations are being overtaken by socialism, removing God from anything and everything in the public square,” he stressed that “if you think things are bad, just wait, they’ll get worse.” Graham urged people of faith across the country to remain vigilant.
Military Service Members Granted Relief After Being Denied Religious Exemption from COVID-19 Vaccine
CBN News reports: A Texas federal judge recently granted relief to 10 military service members after the Army denied their religious accommodations from the vaccine mandate. Our friends at Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of six U.S. Army soldiers and four Army West Point cadets who requested an exemption to the Army’s shot mandate due to their religious beliefs, but were denied.
Biden Administration Partially Rescinds Trump ‘Conscience’ Health Care Rule
Healthcare Finance reports: The Biden administration is proposing to partially roll back a Trump-era “conscience” rule that would have allowed health care workers to refuse to provide care that conflicted with their religious beliefs. The Department of Health and Human Services claims that these proposed changes would increase access to care.