Atheist Republic News Summary: Sudan Separates Religion & State

1. Sudan Separates Religion & State
Location: Sudan

2. Church Leader Who Blamed Pandemic on Gay Marriage Contracts COVID-19
Location: Ukraine

3. Macron decries 'Islamic separatism,' defends blasphemy
Location: France

4. A Growing Number of Catholic Schools Are Shutting Down Forever
Location: United States of America

5. Former N*zi twins: ‘We’ve unlearned racist ideology’
Location: United States of America

6. Muslim man forced to say “Jai Shri Ram” then murdered in alleged hate crime
Location: India

7. Pakistani Christian sentenced to death for 'blasphemous texts'
Location: Pakistan

8. Landmark complaint: Uighurs accuse China of mass detention & torture
Location: Xinjiang, China aka East Turkestan

9. Hindu Man Beheads Wife In Front Of Children To 'Honour' Deity
Location: Madhya Pradesh, India

10. Former congresswoman claims Black trans Marxists are ‘seeking to overthrow’ the government, just like the Bible predicted
Location: United States of America

Video Descriptions:

1. Sudan’s transitional government agreed to separate religion from the state, ending 30 years of Islamic rule in the North African nation. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu, a leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North rebel group, signed a declaration in the Ethiopian capital, adopting the principle. “For Sudan to become a democratic country where the rights of all citizens are enshrined, the constitution should be based on the principle of ‘separation of religion and state,’ in the absence of which the right to self-determination must be respected,” the document states.

2. A leading church figure in Ukraine who previously described the coronavirus outbreak as "God's punishment" against gay marriage has contracted COVID-19. 91 year old Patriarch Filaret, leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, is in a stable condition in hospital after it was announced that he had contracted the virus. Speaking during an interview with Ukrainian national TV network Channel 4, Filaret said the outbreak was "God's punishment for the sins of men, the sinfulness of humanity." "First of all, I mean same-sex marriage," he added. The comments were criticized as "dangerous" by Amnesty International Ukraine in a country which has seen widespread homophobic attacks and where same-sex unions are not legally recognized.

3. French President Emmanuel Macron criticized what he called “Islamic separatism” in his country and those who seek French citizenship without accepting France’s “right to commit blasphemy.” Speaking at a ceremony celebrating France’s democratic history and naturalizing new citizens, the French president said, “You don’t choose one part of France. You choose France....The Republic will never allow any separatist adventure.” Macron’s centrist government has promised a law in the coming months against “Islamic separatism” but it is not clear yet exactly what it would entail.

4. As schools around the country debate how to reopen safely, a growing number of Catholic schools — already facing declining enrollments and donations from before the pandemic — are shutting down for good. About 150 Catholic schools have closed, said Kathy Mears, the director of the National Catholic Educational Association, equal to about 2 percent of the 6,183 schools that were up and running last year. The number of closures is at least 50 percent higher this year than in previous years, Ms. Mears said. As the percentage of practicing Catholics has declined across the United States, so has the number of children enrolling in Catholic schools. Enrollment for the 2019-20 school year was down to about 1.7 million.

5. American sisters Lamb and Lynx, 11 years old when they featured in Louis Theroux’s 2003 ‘Louis and the N*zis,’ were a N*zi pop duo in the band ‘Prussian Blue’, named after a residue left from the Zyklon B gas used to kill tens of thousands in the Holocaust. The twin sisters whose teenage N*zi songs made them white supremacist pin-ups have told British documentary maker Theroux that they have “unlearned” the racist ideology that he covered 17 years ago. “Those little girls were so separate from what we are now. We were very removed. Even watching it now, it’s very hard. We didn’t comprehend and understand fully how controversial those topics are.” The twins, who were once pictured wearing smiley-face Hitler T-shirts, said they were now “pretty liberal,” adding that “racism and those beliefs, they are learned and they can also be unlearned and untaught”.

6. A cab driver, Aftab Amal, was found dead in his car while coming home after dropping a passenger in Uttar Pradesh. His family alleged he was made to chant "Jai Shri Ram" (the rallying cry of violent Hindutva action) before he was killed by some passengers who he had picked up in the UP town on his way back. Mr. Amal picked up three people and at some point during the drive, Mr. Amal called his son using his mobile phone. His son is quoted as saying, "Papa must have felt these people were not good, so he rang me and kept his phone aside in the car... 7-8 minutes into the call they are heard telling papa to chant 'Jai Shri Ram', which he did... They made him stop the car, then killed him. They did not loot him...The wallet was not stolen.” The police have denied any communal angle in the death of the 45-year-old cab driver, Aftab Amal.

7. A court in Lahore has sentenced a Christian man to death for having committed "blasphemy", in the latest case of Pakistan's strict religious laws being applied against religious minorities. Asif Pervaiz, 37, has been in custody since 2013 when he was accused of having sent "blasphemous" text messages to a former supervisor at work. Speaking in his own defence in court earlier in the trial, Pervaiz claimed the supervisor confronted him after he quit work at the factory, and when he refused to convert he was accused of having sent blasphemous text messages to the man. The court rejected his testimony and sentenced him to death. Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws prescribe a mandatory death penalty for the crime of insulting Islam's Prophet Muhammad, and strict penalties for other infractions such as insulting Islam, the holy Quran or certain holy people.

8. A complaint has been lodged at the International Criminal Court (ICC) by two organizations of Uighurs. The organizations accuse the Chinese government and specific senior officials of crimes against humanity, torture and genocide. It is the first time members of the ethnic minority group have sought to use international law to hold Beijing accountable for their alleged mistreatment, including mass internment and repressive measures against their religion. The broader allegations filed with the ICC, are that the Chinese government enforced sterilization programs among the Uighur population, carried out mass surveillance and massacres inside Xinjiang, and coerced some individuals into becoming informants on Uighurs living overseas. The United States and China are among several countries that do not recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction, but the court still has 123 other member states that do acknowledge its status, and so investigations of and trials against those suspected of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity carry significant international weight.

9. A 50-year-old Hindu man allegedly beheaded his wife in front of his two children to offer her as a human sacrifice to a deity, police said. The incident took place in the district's Basauda village. Brajesh Kewat, killed his wife Bitti in front of his children and buried the head and torso separately in the prayer room of his house. "He killed his wife in the middle of the night and when his two children woke up, he threatened them too. They ran away and informed the locals," according to police. When the police team reached his house, the head was buried near the deity. Police said the accused had killed a goat some days ago over his superstitious beliefs.

10. Former Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann has claimed that Black trans Marxists are plotting to overthrow the US government, and it was all predicted in the Bible thousands of years ago. Bachmann, gave the bizarre rant on televangelist Kenneth Copeland’s The Victory Channel as she warned of anti-fascist protesters destabilising the United States. “If you go to [Antifa’s] website, their materials, they are directly traceable to the Communist Party because their goal is the overthrow of the United States government and to bring communism into America,” she began. “For people who know their Bible, this is exactly what the prophets told us,” she said. “So, we stand on the word of God, the Bible, and we say, ‘Satan, flee, we’re going to stand on the truth of God.’”

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