NEW YORK, June 22, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — Catholic League President Bill Donohue comments on a new Pew Research Center poll on religion:

On June 20, Pew Research Center released the findings of a new poll on President Trump’s job performance. It found that 39 percent of the public approves of his performance in office, while 55 percent disapproves. But among those who attend church weekly or more the respective figures are 48 percent and 45 percent. This suggests that it is secularists who are driving down his approval ratings.

Among white non-Hispanic evangelical Protestants, Trump wins the approval of 74 percent; 20 percent disapprove. Among white non-Hispanic Catholics, he wins the support of 52 percent; 42 percent disapprove.

Overall, 48 percent of Protestants approve of the president’s performance, while 45 percent disapprove. Among Catholics, the figures are 38 percent and 56 percent. The drop-off in support overall is clearly due to the Hispanic input. Here’s more proof.

White non-Hispanics, independent of religious affiliation, approve of Trump’s handling of the job by a margin of 50 percent to 44 percent. But among Hispanics, the figures are 20 percent and 72 percent, respectively.

Trump’s lack of support among Hispanics is well known, but more controversial is his support among the faithful. To take a line from President Bill Clinton, he feels their pain.

Two weeks ago, President Trump told religious Americans that the “bitter voices” of elites are responsible for the “hatred” and “prejudice” toward religion. Saying the faithful are “under siege,” he vowed to “put a stop to the attacks on religion,” pledging to “end discrimination against people of faith.”

This is a welcome change from the Obama years where the executive branch used its powers to challenge the autonomy of churches and religious non-profits. The faithful are taking note, redounding to the favor of President Trump.

With regard to the role of religion, two conclusions seem plain. One, religious Americans like the president. Two, secularists don’t like him. A third conclusion, based on other data, is also warranted: militant secular activists are the “bitter voices” of hatred and prejudice against the faithful.

This is one more reason why the culture war is not going away, and why practicing Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Mormons, and Muslims must stand up to the bullies who are leading the attacks against them.

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(THE CHRISTIAN POST) – A mosque in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been renamed in honor of the Virgin Mary. Located in Al Mushrif district in Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Mosque is now known as “Mariam, Umm Eisa,” which in Arabic means “Mary, Mother of Jesus.”

Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, requested the change of name to “consolidate bonds of humanity between followers of different religions” and to show that his nation is open to people of different faiths.
The change of name was officially done on June 14, which coincided with the Zayed Humanitarian Day. The Blessed Virgin Mary is considered one of the most esteemed women in Islam and is among only eight people to have a Qur’anic chapter named after them.

READ MORE AT THE CHRISTIAN POST

Muslims may endorse Mary but Mary does not endorse either Islam or the Qur’an.

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HANOI – Police have looked the other way as groups of youths have terrorized a Catholic community in northeast Vietnam.

Ucanews.com reported that, throughout June, gangs of youths — wearing red T-shirts with yellow stars and waving national flags — have attacked Catholics and their property in Song Ngoc Parish in Quynh Luu District of Nghe An province.

“We see that the attacks have been carried out in an orchestrated manner, and the police know well what is occurring, but are ignoring what is going on,” said 11 priests in a June 13 petition given to the Vietnamese government.

The priests accused the government of “aiding and abetting those who intentionally violate laws, cause hatred and divide Catholics from others.”

The attacks have occurred at night, and at least two Catholics have been seriously injured, sources told ucanews.com.

READ MORE AT NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER

(CRUX) – BEIJING, China — The German ambassador to China on Tuesday called on authorities to end the apparent confinement of a Catholic bishop and said he is concerned by proposed changes to the country’s rules governing religion.

Ambassador Michael Clauss said in a statement posted on the embassy’s website that Shao Zhumin appears to have been forced by authorities to move to unknown locations four times over the past year. Shao, who was recognized as a bishop by the pope but not by Beijing, now appears to be confined to his home.

“His full freedom of movement should be restored,” Clauss said in the statement.

READ MORE AT CRUX

By John Moody at Fox News –

Franklin Graham denounced it in a tweet to President Trump, who is known to check his Twitter account now and again. Newspaper editorials have called it unjust. Still, unless a judge intervenes, dozens of Iraqi Christians living in Detroit are going to be deported to their war-torn country of origin for crimes committed as long as 30 years ago. That’s probably not what Trump intended when he ordered a round-up of alien criminals.

As many as 114 Chaldean and Assyrian Christians, including some U.S. military veterans, were apprehended on June 10-11 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. Their fate is in the hands of U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith, who scheduled a hearing for Tuesday. They are now being held in Youngstown, Ohio.

To be fair, these aren’t saints. All of the detainees have criminal records, though their lawyer, Clarence M. Dass, argues the majority of the convictions are for minor drug offenses and financial crimes dating back to the 1990s. Some have already served prison sentences for their crimes, and thus, paid their debt to society.

READ MORE AT FOX NEWS

Edward Pentin
VATICAN CITY — Christianity offers the “greatest alternative” against the “culture of death” because Christians “promote the culture of life and of hope,” Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has stated.

In this June 14 email interview with the Register, the German cardinal elaborates on the need for Christian hope in the world today — a theme that runs through a new book-interview with him that has just been published.

Entitled The Cardinal Müller Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church, Cardinal Müller says he agreed to collaborate on it as part of the congregation’s efforts “to both promote and to defend the Catholic Faith.”

READ MORE AT NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER

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NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today lauded the victory of Congresswoman-elect Karen Handel in Georgia’s special election to fill the seat of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

“Karen Handel’s victory is not only a triumph for the cause of life, it’s yet another well-deserved defeat to the death dealers at Planned Parenthood,” said Fr. Pavone.  “Congresswoman-elect Handel knows that a billion-dollar abortion corporation shouldn’t receive money from legitimate charities and certainly shouldn’t be subsidized by taxpayers.  Babies in the womb – and all Americans who value them – have another strong voice in Congress in Karen Handel.”

Mrs. Handel, who attempted to redirect money away from Planned Parenthood and toward groups that provide comprehensive cancer screening while at the Susan G. Komen Foundation, defeated a pro-abortion candidate in the special election to fill Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District.  The race had been considered too close to call, but Mrs. Handel won by a four-point margin.

“Planned Parenthood can buy a lot with its money – it can hire major public relations firms, build fancy offices, and threaten people who dare to oppose it – but it can’t buy legitimacy and it can’t buy votes,” added Fr. Pavone.  “The people of Georgia’s Sixth District have spoken and like most Americans, they want their money used for healing, not killing. Congratulations to Congresswoman-elect Handel for standing toe-to-toe with Planned Parenthood and emerging victorious!”

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(NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER) – VATICAN CITY — After seven months of not receiving a response from Pope Francis to their request that he clarify highly disputed parts in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), four cardinals asked the Holy Father for an audience in April but the Pope has yet to respond, it has emerged.

In an April 25 letter hand-delivered to the Holy Father on May 6, Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke and Joachim Meisner wrote to Francis asking for an audience, having received no response to the dubia they sent him on Sept. 19 last year.

The cardinals’ dubia, which they made public on Nov. 14, are five questions, or “doubts,” seeking simple “yes” or “no” answers about Amoris Laetitia, the Pope’s summary document on the 2014 and 2015 Synods on the Family.

A long-established procedure aimed at clarifying doctrine, the cardinals used it to ascertain if controversial passages of the papal document are consistent with past papal teaching.

READ MORE AT NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER

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(CRUX) – MUMBAI, India – A religious sister in India has been charged with human trafficking after she accompanied four young women on a train in central India on June 13.

The Railway Police and Hindu nationalists stopped the women in the state of Madhya Pradesh as they were travelling to Bhopal.

Hindu nationalists accused the nun of trying to convert the others to Christianity.

The police said one of the girls was a minor, although Sister Bina Joseph maintains all were over the age of 20.

Madhya Pradesh state, which is over 90 percent Hindu and less than 1 percent Christian, is ruled by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which also controls the national government.

READ MORE AT CRUX

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(FOX NEWS) – Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., has given President Trump a grand opportunity to do something he has yet to do in his first months in office: make significant progress on religious freedom for persecuted Christians and other religious minorities around the world. With the recent passage of the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act (HR 390) by the House of Representatives, the President is well-positioned to make a bold move to stabilize the region.

If passed by the Senate, the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act will provide relief to those victimized by the ongoing genocide, human rights violations and war crimes by terrorist groups. But it is perhaps the secondary effects of this bill that will lead to the most powerful and lasting impact.

HR 390 allows the U.S. to assist in the reestablishment of Christian, Yazidi and other minority communities in the Middle East, which are central to the survival of a pluralistic and open society—a giant slap in the face to the stated goal of ISIS to drive out all those who do not embrace their savage ideology. It also gives hundreds of thousands of refugees the opportunity to return to their homes instead of seeking refugee status in the West or risking dangerous journeys to enter Europe in desperation. And to be sure, as we often witness firsthand at Open Doors through our work on the ground in Iraq and Syria, many Christians wish to remain in their homeland and would do so if they had not lost hope after years without resources, as the world turns a blind eye to their plight.

READ MORE AT FOX NEWS

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(CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS) – Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, who has been held by police since May 18, has apparently returned to Wenzhou, put remains under custody at an undisclosed location.

Bishop Shao—a leader of the “underground” Church, whose position is not recognized by the Chinese government—was summoned by the government’s bureau of religious affairs on May 18, and disappeared. The faithful of the Wenzhou diocese were unable to extract any information from the government about their bishop’s whereabouts or his health.

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(IOL) Bangassou – Approximately 1,500 Muslim civilians sheltering in a Catholic church in Bangassou in the Central African Republic (CAR), after fleeing vigilante violence carried out by the Anti-balaka militia in May, are growing increasingly desperate, according to reports.

“The situation is not safe enough to leave, and so they cannot move from here,” said Father Alain Blaise Bissialo, the church’s priest, Al Jazeera reported on Sunday.

“There are men who walk around town with guns.” Following the May attacks by the mostly Christian Anti-balaka, thousands fled from Tokoyo, a largely Muslim district of Bangassou, to a local mosque seeking refuge. However, the mosque was subsequently also attacked and the local imam killed.

READ MORE AT IOL

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