BUDAPEST, May 26, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — World Congress of Families XI, The Budapest Family Summit has opened with a Demographic Forum in Hungary’s historic capital with a keynote address by Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary. Mr. Orban stressed the importance of Hungary being a family-friendly nation and stressed the importance of children, “We Hungarians believe that children magnify the strength of their parents, they magnify the strength of the family, and a generation of children magnify the strength of a nation, of a whole country, and finally our entire civilization. Mr. Orban delivered the speech before joining world leaders in Brussels for the NATO Summit.

The theme of WCF XI Budapest Family Summit is “building family-friendly nations, making families great again.” The World Congress of Families (www.worldcongress.org), is a project of the International Organization for the Family (www.profam.org) and unites and equips leaders worldwide to promote the natural family as the fundamental and only sustainable unit of society and to defend the sanctity and dignity of every human life from conception to natural death. As the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights observes, “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.”

Other sessions at the Congress which lasts through Sunday, May 28 include: “Family and Education,” “The Sanctity and Dignity of All Human Life from Conception to Natural Death,” “The Importance of Motherhood and Fatherhood,” “National Movements on Marriage” and “Family, Population and Demographics.”

Previous Congresses have been held in Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004), Warsaw (2007), Amsterdam (2009), Madrid (2012), Sydney (2013), Salt Lake City (2015) and Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia (2016).

WCF XI is taking place in the Congress Center in Budapest. More than 2,000 delegates have registered – among them leaders, activists, scholars and legislators, from more than 65 countries.

For more information visit www.wcfbudapest.org and www.budapestfamilysummit.com.

ANN ARBOR, MI —The Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, announced that yesterday afternoon its affiliated New Jersey attorney, Mr. Michael Hrycak, filed a lawsuit against Bernards Township in New Jersey to void a secret deal by Township officials to allow the construction of a mosque by the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge. The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, on behalf of Township resident Cody Smith.

The lawsuit alleges that various governmental entities of Bernards Township violated the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act (the so-called Sunshine Law) when they entered into settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge (Islamic Society). The Islamic Society and the DOJ had filed lawsuits in federal court alleging that the Township had discriminated against the Islamic Society when it declined to approve the construction of a large mosque on a lot that was far too small to handle the contemplated structure. However, the Township agreed to settle the cases without ever disclosing to the public the terms of those agreements. New Jersey courts have routinely held that the New Jersey Sunshine Law requires that the terms of proposed settlement agreements in land use lawsuits be disclosed to the public and open for public comment before any settlement is reached.

Prior to filing his lawsuit, Cody Smith made several attempts, both in writing and verbally at public meetings, to have the Township reveal the proposed terms of the settlements. The Township steadfastly refused, indicating it would not reveal the terms until the settlements were finalized.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of TMLC, observed, “There must be transparency in government. The attempt to shroud these settlements in secrecy is outrageous. Citizens have a right to know what agreements their elected officials are considering making in their names. Furthermore, these citizens have a right to have their public objections heard by their elected representatives before any vote is taken on a settlement.”

TMLC represents several Bernards Township residents who were served with intrusive and harassing subpoenas by Islamic Society attorneys. Their only involvement was to make comments at a public Township hearing. They were non-parties to the lawsuit, had never had an official role in the Township and had no authority to deny the Islamic Society’s permit request. Nonetheless, the subpoenas demanded the production of emails, voicemails, text messages, and social media posts concerning Muslims, Islam, or anything to do with Muslim worship. The subpoenas clearly infringed upon their First Amendment rights to free speech and freedom of association. The only purpose of the subpoenas was to punish residents who dared to oppose the Islamic Society’s request.

05/26/2017 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) marks the third anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rise to power in India with concern over the continued deterioration of religious freedom and security for the country’s religious minorities. Since coming to power in May 2014, religious minorities, especially Christians and Muslims, have endured significant increases in attacks on their communities and places of worship.

Over the course of 2016, ICC documented 361 attacks on Christians and their places of worship, making 2016 one of the toughest years for Christians in India’s recent history. These attacks ranged from physical assaults to the vandalism of churches to social boycotts against Christians to even the rape of Christian women. In the first five months of 2017, ICC has already documented another 50 attacks, including a series of attacks leading up to the Easter holiday.

Many of these attacks were reportedly carried out by members of radical Hindu nationalist groups such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and the Bajrangdal, emboldened by the “tacit approval” of the current government led by Prime Minister Modi. According to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), “Members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tacitly supported these groups and used religiously-divisive language to further inflame tensions.”

“Prime Minister Modi claims to be doing a better job for the country, but ever since he became Prime Minister things have become worse for Christians,” Pastor Mahesh Chand from Uttar Pradesh told ICC. “Attacks have increased year after year and there is sense of insecurity among the Christians as the authorities seem to be backing the Hindu radicals.”

“On average, at least one documented case is recorded every day by several Christian groups and helplines run, for instance, by the United Christian Forum,” Dr. John Dayal, a religious freedom activist in India, told ICC. “India faced sharp scrutiny at the United Nations Human Rights Council this May when its record of human rights violations in the 2012-16 Universal Period Review cycle came up for discussion in Geneva.”

William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “Today marks the end of another difficult year for Christians in India. Religious intolerance and hostility continue to rise as the BJP-led government fails to confront radical Hindu nationalist groups perpetrating much of the violence against India’s religious minorities. For India’s Christians, Prime Minister Modi’s time in office has been marked by little else than fear and the increasing violence facing members of their community. India’s constitution guarantees the right of religious freedom for all, yet Prime Minister Modi and his BJP-led government have done little to make this constitutional guarantee a reality for India’s religious minorities. If India is to continue to be considered one of the world’s leading secular democracies, this trend cannot and must not continue.”