In today’s News:
Lutheran church leader called home
The Rev. Dr. David Rakotonirina, president of the Malagasy Lutheran Church, passed on to glory suddenly on July 11, after a brief stay in hospital. A funeral service was held the following day. Because of the covid-19 pandemic, a funeral open to the public was not possible, but the service was streamed online. During his presidency, the Malagasy Lutheran Church pursued greater relationship with confessional Lutherans worldwide. In May 2018, the church voted to pursue altar and pulpit fellowship with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Later the same year, the Malagasy Lutheran Church was accepted into full membership of the International Lutheran Council on September 26, 2018, during the ILC’s world conference meeting in Antwerp, Belgium.
Islamic Turkey is criticized
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom decries the decision of Turkey’s Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, to permit the conversion of the historic Hagia Sophia from its current status as a museum back into a mosque. Built in the sixth century, the Hagia Sophia served as a Greek Orthodox cathedral for nearly 1,000 years before Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II converted it into a mosque following the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. It became a museum in 1935, following the founding of the Republic of Turkey. In its 2020 annual report, USCIRF recommended that the State Department place Turkey on its special watch list for engaging in or tolerating severe religious freedom violations. The present Hagia Sophia was completed in 537, and it remains standing today. The first religious services in Hagia Sophia were held on December 27, 537.
‘No Religious Services’ order is challenged
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed another amicus brief at the federal court of appeals continuing to support Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit on behalf of Maryville Baptist Church against Gov. Andy Beshear’s “no religious services” orders on churches. The federal court of appeals already issued two 3-0 decisions in favor of the church regarding parking-lot and in-person services. The church is continuing the case to obtain a permanent injunction against Beshear to prevent him from returning to the prior orders, which he clearly wants to do based on his arguments before the courts.
A Florida abortion center is under investigation
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has called for an investigation of an abortion center that provided an abortion to a 15-year-old girl who became pregnant in the course of being repeatedly assaulted and filmed in videos that were eventually uploaded to pornhub. The girl’s trafficker took the girl for an abortion in an attempt to cover up his crimes. Moody now wants to know if the abortion center failed to report “abuse or neglect” of the minor and if such failure did “enable the further exploitation of the victim in this case.” If the abortion center had followed Florida’s parental notice of abortion act, the girl could have been rescued from her trafficker earlier.