Atheist Republic News Summary: Sudan to Outlaw Female Genital Mutilation

1. Sudan to outlaw female genital mutilation
Location: Sudan
Engagement: 854 Like 92 comments 54 shares

2. YouTuber arrested after handing out boxes of trash disguised as food to transgender women
Location: Indonesia
Engagement: 1.7k Like 522 comments 498 shares

3. Sikh doctor in Canada takes ‘difficult decision’ of shaving beard to treat Covid patients
Location: Montreal, Canada
Engagement: 1.6k Like 650 comments 137 shares

4. Pennsylvania governor signs bill banning child marriage, similar legislation passes in Minnesota Senate
Location: Pennsylvania & Minnesota
Engagement: 537 Like 107 comments 57 shares

5. Emails reveal Mayor de Blasio ‘abused his power’ to help stall yeshiva probe
Location: New York City, NY
Engagement: 23 Like 4 comments 4 shares

6. Pastors Claim Bill Gates Will Use COVID Vaccines to Impose the Mark of the Beast
Location: United States of America
Engagement: 654 Like 195 comments 137 shares

7. More than 12,000 Catholic churches in the U.S. applied for PPP loans – and 9,000 got them
Location: United States of America
Engagement: 486 Like 99 comments 195 shares

8. Forced exorcisms touted as 'cure' for LGBT Indonesians
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Engagement: 100 Like 29 comments 17 shares

9. Republican Ohio State Lawmaker Refuses to Wear Face Mask Because God Created Humans Without One
Location: Ohio, USA
Engagement: 305 Like 164 comments 68 shares

10. Yet Another Girl In Pakistan Abducted, Forcibly Converted And Forcibly ‘Married’ To Her Abductor
Location: Pakistan
Engagement: 354 Like 52 comments 100 shares

Video description verbiage:
Sudan’s council of ministers approved the a law on 22 April, outlawing female genital mutilation (FGM). Anyone found carrying out FGM will face up to three years in prison. Sudan has one of the highest rates of FGM in the world. According to the UN, 87% of Sudanese women have undergone the practice. Some states in the country banned FGM a few years ago, but attempts to ban it nationally were not successful under former president of Sudan Omar al-Bashir.

Last week, Ferdian Paleka uploaded a video in which he and a friend claimed to be handing out instant noodle boxes to people whom they called “bencong,” an Indonesian slur for transgender women. The boxes actually contained bricks, rotten vegetables, and garbage. The video gained national notoriety and several victims of the prank reported Paleka and his friends to the police. Reportedly, Paleka and his cohorts face up to 12 years in prison and a potential $804,000 fine.

Montreal physician Dr. Sanjeet Singh-Saluja, was unable to wear the mandatory N-95 mask because it didn’t fully cover his beard. Sanjeet has been practising one of the tenets of Sikhism called ‘kesh’ which mandates not cutting one’s hair. “It was an extremely difficult decision for us, but one that we felt was absolutely necessary in this time of need…This was an exception to the rule, so we had to do what we had to do to help out.” In contrast, earlier in May, at least five physicians were removed from their shifts at the NHS (National Health Service) hospitals in the UK after they refused to shave their bears and failed the ‘fit test’ for critical facial protective gear.

Pennsylvania became the third state in the U.S. to ban child marriage as Governor Wolf signed a bill Friday prohibiting issuing of a marriage license to anyone under the age of 18. And on May 6th, the Minnesota Senate unanimously passed a bill outlawing child marriages, which is expected to be signed into law in August. Currently, there is no federal law regarding child marriage, and the only other states with an outright ban on child marriage are Delaware and New Jersey. According to advocacy group Unchained at Last says that 77% of minor girls who got married in the U.S.  between the years of 2000-2010  were married to adult men.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was personally involved in a deal with Orthodox Jewish leaders to delay a long-awaited report on poor yeshiva education. The Department of Education launched an investigation of the yeshivas, but as it dragged on, critics suspected that City Hall was delaying the probe to curry favor with the Orthodox Jewish voting bloc. “These internal communications reveal what we suspected all along: Mayor de Blasio abused his power by interfering with the yeshiva investigation,” said Naftuli Moster, founder and executive director of Young Advocates for Fair Education (YAFFED).

The question on everyone’s mind: Is this COVID19 vaccination plan a cover for a more sinister plot to usher in the Mark of the Beast? Well, earlier in the pandemic, pastor Curt Landry urged his followers to avoid any future COVID-19 vaccinations, claiming this would protect them from receiving the Mark. Louisiana pastor Ronnie Hampton, predicted a mandatory vaccine that would inject “some type of chip in you and maybe even have some mood, mind-altering substances.” Pastor Rick Wiles released a video in which he directly connects Bill Gates to the Antichrist and Satan, saying “This man is building Lucifer’s Antichrist system.”

With the COVID recession, businesses around America are looking for loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). More than 12,000 of the 17,000 Catholic churches in the U.S. applied for PPP loans and 9,000 got them. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, "...houses of worship... qualify for PPP... loans as long as they meet the requirements of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code…”  Pat Markey, the executive director of the Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference said “The PPP isn't about the federal government assisting churches... PPP is about keeping people on payrolls…we all should have availability to do that."

Forced exorcism is a common story for LGBT people in Indonesia, where a conservative shift has been occuring in recent years. It is still widely believed that being gay or transgender is the result of a person being possessed by evil spirits. Treatments range from being bombarded with Koranic verses while trapped in a locked room for days, to being doused with freezing water by an imam promising to purge the "gender disease". Now, conservative Islamic lawmakers have tabled a so-called "Family Resilience" bill. Gay and transgender people would be forced to undergo "rehabilitation" to purge what bill advocates say is a sexual deviancy.

Republican Ohio State Representative Nino Vitale said on Facebook that despite the risk of community spread coronavirus, he would not wear a face mask because covering the face would hide the image of God. On his Facebook page, Vitale said he would defy the requests of his state's government's on religious ground. He wrote, "This is the greatest nation on earth founded on Judeo-Christian Principles. One of those principles as that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. That image is seen the most by our face. I will not wear a mask.”

At the end of April 2020, a 14 year old Christian girl, Myra Shehbaz, was reportedly abducted and forced to marry in Faisalabad, Punjab. The latest information suggests that she was forcibly converted and married to her abductors. Although a National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) certificate has been produced confirming her age, a marriage certificate contradicts this, stating her age as 18. A typed statement was also produced, allegedly made by her, stating that she left her home and married willingly. The case is yet to proceed through the courts.

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