The Briefing: Saeed Abedini’s wife offers thanks, LGBT activists target Baptist schools

Lisa Sergent —  January 19, 2016

The Briefing‘Saeed Is Free:’ wife offers thanks
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of released Pastor Saeed Abedini, has thanked President Barack Obama, the Rev. Franklin Graham, the various groups that campaigned for her husband’s release, and the millions of people around the world who signed petitions for the cause. “I wanted to say thank you to all of you for having prayed and have wept with us, have signed petitions and have called your government officials. Thank you for having stood with our family during this difficult journey,” Abedini wrote on Facebook.


LGBT activist group targets Baptist schools
The homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign has targeted 23 institutions of higher learning with Southern Baptist ties in a report that also names 35 other colleges and universities with distinct Christian identities. The report, “Hidden Discrimination: Title IX Religious Exemptions Putting LGBT Students at Risk,” asks education officials to increase reporting requirements for these 58 schools because each was granted “exemptions of interest” relating to either “gender identity” or “sexual orientation” or both.


SBC entities: Mandate violates religious liberty
The Obama administration’s abortion/contraception mandate forces Christians to violate either their religious beliefs or the government’s rules, Southern Baptist entities have told the U.S. Supreme Court. In a friend-of-the-court brief filed Jan. 11, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), the International Mission Board (IMB) and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary — as well as Southern’s president, R. Albert Mohler Jr. — urged the high court to rule the controversial, federal regulation infringes religious freedom.


Boy and girl locker rooms going extinct on U.S. coasts
At the end of 2015, two human rights commissions over 2,800 miles apart enacted new rules that could be precedent-setting for the gender battle across the nation, including giving people the right to use whichever locker rooms and bathrooms they choose. Now, concerns abound in Washington State and New York City over bathroom safety and privacy in wake of the transgender policies enacted last month by unelected officials.


Catholic hospital can’t be forced to do sterilizations
A California judge declined Thursday to force a Catholic hospital to facilitate a sterilization procedure for a woman who’s having a scheduled C-section at the facility later this month. “Religious-based hospitals have an enshrined place in American history and its communities, and the religious beliefs reflected in their operation are not to be interfered with by courts at this moment in history,” Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith said.

Sources: Baptist Press, Christian Post, World Magazine

Lisa Sergent

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Lisa is IBSA Director of Communications. A Missouri native, she moved to Illinois 22 years ago and arrived at IBSA a few years later. Lisa and her husband, Chris, have been married 19 years.