Atheist Republic News Summary: Religion Going Down in America

1. Religion is fast going down the tubes in America
Location: United States of America

2. Indian Minister says she is COVID free because she was 'born in cow dung'
Location: Madhya Pradesh, India

3. Pope Francis touches worshippers & vows to defeat coronavirus with love
Location: Vatican City

4. Why are anti-Shia sentiments on the rise in Pakistan?
Location: Pakistan

5. Judge Rules “Saudi Arabian women have the right to choose where to live”
Location: Saudi Arabia

6. “Indian Culture & Law Do Not Recognize The Concept Of Same-Sex Marriages”
Location: India

7. Nearly two-thirds of US young adults unaware 6m Jews killed in the Holocaust
Location:United States of America

8. Nigerian 13-year-old boy sentenced to 10 years in jail for blasphemy #BlasphemyIsNotACrime
Location: Nigeria


9. Athletes urge sanctions against Iran for execution of wrestler #Justice4Navid
Location: Germany & Worldwide


10. US blocks imports from China’s Uighur slave camps
Location: Xinjiang, China & United States of America

Video Descriptions:

1. Ronald Inglehart, one of the world’s leading social scientists claims in his upcoming book that the United States is experiencing a more dramatic shift away from religion than any other nation. He partially credits the Religious Right-Wing for this shift: “In the United States, politics accounts for some of the decline. Since the 1990s, the Republican Party has sought to win support by adopting conservative Christian positions on same-sex marriage, abortion, and other cultural issues. But this political appeal to religious voters has had the corollary effect of pushing other voters, especially those who are young and culturally liberal, away from religion.”

2. A minister from the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Imarti Devi, has said she believes that she is immune to the infection because she was born in cow dung and mud. "I am born in mud and cow dung. Corona[virus] cannot come near me," Devi, Minister of Women and Force Development of the state, said while talking to local media amid rumours that she had tested positive for COVID-19. In the clip, the politician, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), points at her mask, hanging by her chin, and said that she was wearing it forcefully.

3. Pope Francis removed his mask and reached out to touch the faithful, both young and old, at a recent ‘limited’ public audience at the Vatican. The 83-year-old told the packed San Damaso courtyard that the coronavirus would be defeated by God’s love. The pontiff removed his mask when he stepped out of his car, he smiled and chatted, shook hands and touched the foreheads of congregants who scrummed at the barriers. It was not clear if temperatures were checked, but photos showed that masks were not used by all in attendance. And although there was a socially-distanced seating plan, they crowded close together to meet the pontiff.

4. Since the beginning of Muharram 2020, there has been a stark increase in hostility towards the Shiite community. Thousands of people recently flooded the streets of Karachi in a massive anti-Shia demonstration which has sparked fears of sectarian violence in Pakistan. After the massive protests, the hashtag #ShiaGenocide began trending on Pakistani social media. Sea of protestors were seen chanting Shias are Kaffir" (disbelievers) and holding banners of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, a terrorist organisation, linked to the killing of Shias over the years. Some commentators attribute the increase in prejudice against Shias to the silence of elite moderate Sunnis of Pakistan.

5. A Saudi Arabian woman who was on trial for living and traveling alone without her father’s permission did not commit any crimes, according to a ruling issued by a judge. Public prosecutors had been pursuing the woman for being absent from her family’s home and traveling to Riyadh without permission. In his final ruling, the judge said, “the independence of the defendant in a separate house did not count as a punishable act … the defendant is a sane, adult woman who has the right to choose where to live.” He added to his statement saying, “What the defendant did by moving to Riyadh and living in a separate home is one of her natural rights and cannot be described as a punishable crime.”

6. Despite the Supreme Court decriminalising homosexuality in India, same-sex marriage is still not allowed. A public suit filed earlier this week urged to issue a declaration to the effect that since Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1956 does not distinguish between homosexual and heterosexual couples, the right of same-sex couples to marry should be recognized. Section 5 of the Act clearly lays down that marriage can be performed between 'any two Hindus'. Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta has opposed the petition by arguing that Indian culture and law doesn't recognise the concept of same-sex marriages.

7. Almost two-thirds of young American adults do not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and more than one in 10 believe Jews caused the Holocaust, a new survey has found, revealing shocking levels of ignorance about the greatest crime of the 20th century. According to the study of millennial and Gen Z adults, almost half (48%) could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto established during the second world war. Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) said they believed the Holocaust was a myth, or had been exaggerated, or they weren’t sure. One in eight (12%) said they had definitely not heard, or didn’t think they had heard, about the Holocaust. The Claims Conference, set up a taskforce to oversee the survey. Data was collected from 1,000 interviews nationwide and 200 interviews in each state with young adults aged 18 to 39 selected at random.

8. A Nigerian Sharia court has sentenced a 13-year-old boy to 10 years in jail for blasphemy. "He was having an arguing with a friend and uttered some blasphemy," reports Africa correspondent JJ Cornish. He added “This happened in Kano, one of the 13 Nigerian states with Sharia law that allows for death, amputation, flogging…” The United Nations has condemned the sentence, saying it breaks multiple conventions on the rights of children, including the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which Nigeria ratified almost 20 years ago.

9. The German athletic advocacy association Athleten Deutschland on Sunday urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and United World Wrestling (UWW) to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran for hanging a reportedly innocent champion Greco-Roman wrestler, Navid Afkari.  “We expect the IOC and UWW to take a strong stand against human rights violations of athletes...” the organization said, adding “This also includes establishing an appropriate sanction mechanism. The Iranian authorities hanged Afkari for the alleged crime of killing a security guard and protesting against regime corruption during nationwide demonstrations in 2018. Afkari, who was widely believed to have been brutally tortured to confess to a murder he did not commit.

10. This week, the Trump administration moved to block imports of cotton and tomato products from the Xinjiang region of China over concerns that they were made with forced labor. China is the world's largest exporter of cotton, most of which comes from Xinjiang. China has described the camps as vocational training centers. The centers are among places that imports are banned from. Federal law prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, manufactured, or produced, in part or fully, by convict labor, forced child labor, and indentured labor. “Surveying emerging threats of the last year, one menacing actor continues to evolve — China,” acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said in a speech, “We are preventing goods produced by slave labor from entering our markets and demanding that China respect the inherent dignity of each human being.”

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