Oklahoma bishop deplores state enforcement plans
Oklahoma Bishop Rt Revd Poulson Reed has publicly opposed a state court’s decision to set execution dates for 25 death row inmates over the next two years, ENS reports. In an email to his diocese on Tuesday, Bishop Reed said his position was “not overly partisan” but “deeply grounded in Christian theology,” citing passages from Genesis to the Epistles. The state has a history of botched lethal injections that led to a more than five-year moratorium on awaiting trials, until, in June, the Oklahoma Attorney General petitioned the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set the final trial dates. execution. The bishop writes: “Given the current reality of our state’s criminal justice system, our shared convictions regarding the sanctity of human life and the proper functioning of state power lead us to call for an immediate moratorium on the death penalty in Oklahoma”. Twenty-five other church leaders in the state have signed his letter.
Church founder fights to protect place of worship
The founder of UP Wild Church (a non-denominational ministry in the Diocese of Northern Michigan, USA), Lanni Lantto, is fighting to protect the natural area where church members worship from becoming a commercial rocket launch site, ENS reports. The church conducts nature prayer services and nature walks in pine forests, inland lakes, and on the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. The proposed site for the Michigan Launch Initiative would be built on private land directly adjacent to one of their places of worship. Activists’ environmental concerns include threats such as toxic materials strewn across the area, failed rocket launches falling into Lake Superior, and the risk of a wildfire destroying old growth trees around the site.
Boston to pay $2 million for Christian flag case
THE city of Boston in the United States has agreed to pay more than $2.1 million to the Christian legal organization Liberty Counsel, which backed the case brought by a conservative activist who had his request to fly a Christian flag outside City Hall denied. In May, the Supreme Court found that city authorities had discriminated against activist Harold Shurtleff because of his “religious views” when it denied his request to wave a white banner with a red cross on a blue background to commemorate Independence Day. Constitution in September 2017 (News, May 6). Organizations may request that his flag temporarily replace the City of Boston flag outside the hall. The settlement announced Tuesday by Liberty Counsel covers attorneys’ fees and other costs associated with the legal battle, the AP reports. The lower courts had upheld the City Council’s decision.
Body exhumed against family’s wishes
A TRIBAL community in Antagarh, India, has exhumed the body of a 35-year-old Christian woman against her family’s wishes due to her conversion to Christianity, reports Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The woman, Janki Sori, was buried on her family’s land on November 1; two days later, members of a tribal group known as the Sarv Adivasi Samaj exhumed her remains, claiming that her village belonged only to people who followed their religion and culture, which is mainly animist and is said to be influenced by Hinduism. The body was reburied in a nearby town.