Important developments in the church and the world (as they appeared in our May issue).
The US Supreme Court will decide in June whether pregnancy resource centers in California must post notices advertising state-funded contraception and abortion, or whether the state requirements violate their free speech. During the oral arguments for National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra in March, justices appeared critical of how the state law may unfairly target pro-life centers. They will also issue in June another First Amendment ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case of the Christian baker who refused to provide a cake for a same-sex wedding.
A year and a half after detaining American pastor Andrew Brunson on what US officials believe to be erroneous terrorism charges, Turkey finally issued an official indictment and began court proceedings this spring. Brunson, an Evangelical Presbyterian who spent 23 years in ministry in the majority-Muslim nation, faces a sentence of life in prison. He is among hundreds accused of conspiring with exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen to overtake the Turkish government in a 2016 coup. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has called on the White House to secure Brunson’s release.
A group of about 100 refugees from Iran spent over a year in Vienna, Austria, awaiting resettlement in the United States, only to learn their applications had been denied under stricter requirements set forth by the State Department. Most of those stranded came from heavily persecuted communities of Armenian and Assyrian Christians; they hoped to reunite with family members …