Faith Killing: The consequences of rejecting modern medicine and trusting in God for healing

WRITTEN BY JO STEPHANIE, AAI NEWS TEAM

In late November 2013 a woman from Kitwe, Zambia’s second largest city, died from pneumonia after allegedly following the advice of her pastor to stop taking her medication. Rather than advise the woman in question to continue taking her medication he recommended that she instead pray and fast. Faith healing was the solution he suggested, not medicine. The woman obliged and four days later she was dead.

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Israel & Palestinian Territories Hit 6-Year High in Religious Hostilities

Religious hostilities are very high and rising within both Israel and the Palestinian territories. According to a 2014 Pew Research study, social hostilities involving religion (including mob or sectarian violence, religion-related terrorism or conflict, organized attempts to dominate public life with a particular perspective on religion, harassment over attire for religious reasons, and other religion-related intimidation or abuse) have reached 6-year highs in both areas.

Pew uses a tool called the Social Hostilities Index (SHI) to measure social hostilities by country.  The tool measures the presence and intensity of various measures of social hostility on a scale from 0 (no social hostilities) to 10 (all-out civil anarchy).  According to the report, Israel reached a high of 9.4 out of 10 on the Pew Social Hostilities Index in regards to religious violence in 2012.  The Palestinian Territories reached a high of 9.0 out of 10.  This is in comparison to the Middle East & North Africa, which rated at 5.7 out of 10 in 2012; and in comparison to the world, which rated at 2.9 on the Index.

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The Religious Right Subverts the Law to Impose Their View

WRITTEN BY R. CLEVENGER, AAI NEWS TEAM

The Alabama House committee, despite majority opposition, without any regard to the 1st and 14th Amendments of the Constitution, and with complete disregard of McCollum v. Board of Education, has passed a bill that would require public school teachers to open class every morning with a prayer.

The religiously biased politicians in this case have done an end-run to put enforced prayer into public schools in the guise of teaching congressional procedure. They are not invoking religious privilege or claiming discrimination for not being allowed to pray within the confines of the school grounds in this case, but rather are specifying a 15-minute period at the commencement of the first class of each day to study the formal procedures of the U.S. Congress, which must include a verbatim reading of a prayer from the beginning of the House or Senate meetings.

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'AIDS Pastor Had Sex With Churchgoers'

 

Parishioners at an Alabama church have filed a lawsuit against their pastor who is accused of having sex with congregation members while knowing he had AIDS.

The members of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church of Montgomery hope to oust longtime pastor Juan McFarland.

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Reports of Witchcraft-Related Child Abuse On the Rise in London

By: Alexander Smith 

According to NBCNews, Kevani Kanda was just six years old when her family accused her of being a witch. She was being molested by a relative and the trauma made her wet the bed and sleepwalk.

But instead of trying to find out what was wrong, Kanda's family were convinced she was possessed by an evil spirit. For the next five years, she was starved, forced to eat her own vomit, beaten repeatedly and given suppositories containing spices to "get rid of the evil spirits." And the torture occurred in a London suburb.

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Let’s not be witnesses to a load of elitist nonsense

 By: Tom Elliott

70,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses are set to arrive in Melbourne next week for a massive conference at Etihad Stadium. I’ve done some research into this religion and what I’ve discovered has convinced me that scepticism about blind faith is absolutely the right path.

Despite their earnest efforts to convert people via doorknocking, “Witnessing Jehovah” is an extremely exclusive religion. Among other things, the Jehovah’s Witnesses say that only 144,000 people globally will eventually ascend into heaven. That means that 99.99999% of the population will go somewhere far less pleasant if Judgment Day ever arrives.

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Majority of Canadians support assisted dying

According to Global News, eighty-four per cent of Canadians say they support assisted dying, according to a new national poll released Wednesday.

Just a week before the Supreme Court of Canada will begin hearings on a landmark case on assisted dying, a Dying with Dignity and Ipsos Reid survey suggests that Canadians are supportive of the controversial idea.

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Bill Maher 1, Ben Affleck 0

By: Michael Tomasky 

The Real Time host’s spat with the 'Gone Girl' star gets to the heart of a major and longtime problem within contemporary Western liberalism

Every once in a great while, something happens on television that you know while you’re watching it: Well, this is unusual. Those old enough to know what I’m talking about when I say “Al Campanis”  will remember that that was one of your more extreme cases. The exchange between Bill Maher and Ben Affleck on last Friday’s Real Time wasn’t a Campanis moment, but I knew instantly—watching it in, well, real time, as it were—that this was going to spark discussion,  as indeed it has.

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The Pell Tolls for Sex Abuse Compensation

The Pell tolls for church sex abuse compensation

The Atheist Foundation of Australia welcomes the news that George Pell has been promoted within the Catholic Church to the position of Prefect for the Economy of the Holy See. A main function of this role is management and reform of the Vatican's finances.

The news continues to flow from the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse of the systemic cover ups and stand-over tactics used by churches to prevent justice for the victims. It’s reasonable to anticipate that examples of abuse of this type are going to continue to become public and that the public outrage and compensation claims will continue to grow.

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Islamic Boko Harem Gunmen Kill 40 at Local School

WRITTEN BY CLEOSLICK EMILY, AAI NEWS TEAM

Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members have attacked and killed dozens of students at the Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, a town in the Nigerian state of Yobe. Yobe state Police Commissioner Sanusi A Rufai confirmed that twenty-nine male students were killed and twenty-four structures including the administration block, student hostel and staff quarters were burnt down.

 Boko Haram is a militant group known for attacking citizens, government targets, bombing churches, attacking schools and police stations, and kidnapping Western tourists. Former Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf stated before his death his belief that the fact of a spherical Earth is contrary to Islamic teaching and should be rejected, along with Darwinian evolution. He also stated his belief that the fact of rain originating from water evaporated by the sun should never be taught in schools.

(Warning: Graphic photo included at end of article)

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I agree with Sam Harris and Bill Maher

By: Sameen Qazi

A few days ago, social media went rife with people praising Ben Affleck. “Batman comes to the rescue” was the general sentiment tweeted by everyone and my friends happily posted the link to the clip from Bill Maher’s show. People were ecstatic that an American, a prominent actor at that, finally stood up for Islam on a highly rated TV show.

The clip did not just cause a sensation in Pakistan; it opened a debate online with prominent analysts like Reza Aslan and Fareed Zakaria taking up sides and expressing their opinions.

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Mohammed Asghar, a mentally ill person will be shot in a Pakistani jail for blasphemy

By: Lesley Roberts 

According to Daily Record, two weeks ago, one of the police officers responsible for protecting him in jail decided to impose his own summary justice.

Mohammad Asghar had been lying in his prison bed – in part of a Pakistani jail reserved for those sentenced to death for blasphemy – when a guard walked in and fired a bullet into his back. A second shot missed.

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ISIS may use Eboula as bio-weapon

According to International Business Time, there are growing concerns that the Islamic State jihadists may use Ebola virus as a bio terror weapon to attack the West. According to some experts, the ISIS fanatics may try to infect themselves with Ebola virus to become carriers and attack others.

The virus is rampant in West Africa and already killed 4,000 people in the past few months

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POPE CALLS OUT “BAD SHEPHERDS” AS CONSERVATIVES PREPARE TO FIGHT CHANGE

According to Religion Dispatches, just a day before gay marriage in the U.S. received a significant boost from the Supreme Court, the much-anticipated Extraordinary Synod on the Family opened in Rome yesterday with Pope Francis pointedly criticizing “bad shepherds” who seek money and power and “lay intolerable burdens on the shoulders of others, which they themselves do not lift a finger to move.”

As some 190 bishops and a collection of lay advisors meet to discuss “pastoral challenges” facing Catholic families, divisions are being laid bare in the church that were largely suppressed in the Pope John Paul II/Benedict years, with a cabal of conservative bishops (presumably the “bad shepherds”) looking to beat back any liberalization of church doctrine promoted by more moderate cardinals.

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Pakistan’s blasphemy laws threatening EU relationship

For years now, the international community and human rights activists within Pakistan have been trying to draw the attention to minorities' rights in the country and the use of the blasphemy laws by hardline groups as a tool to oppress and prosecute minorities.

According to The Parliament Magazine, in the most recent incident, a 70 year old British citizen of Pakistani descent who had been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges was shot by his guard in a high security prison.

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It’s official: We’ll have a referendum to remove blasphemy from the Constitution

According to The Journal, Irish voters will have be asked to vote on whether to remove the crime of blasphemy from the Constitution, it was announced this morning.

Junior Minister Aodhán Ó’Ríordáin told the Dáil:

“The Government accepts the main recommendation of the [Constitutional Convention], which is that a referendum should be held on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution.”

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