Religious Watch

2019

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Prayers answered...

New Zealand repeals its blasphemy law


Link Here 7th March 2019
New Zealand's archaic law prohibiting the publication of material which may vilify or insult Christianity has been repealed in Parliament.

Previously it was an offence in New Zealand to publish anything which may be considered blasphemous libel, meaning to condemn Christ or Christianity. The offence of blasphemous libel had not been prosecuted in New Zealand since 1922

Justice Minister Andrew Little commented:

This obsolete provision has no place in a modern society which protects freedom of expression.

Laws should be relevant to modern society and the last time a blasphemous libel case was considered, in 1998, the Solicitor-General rejected it. The view was expressed that it would be inconsistent with the freedom of expression as protected by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

No doubt New Zealand still has a modern day equivalent that can be used to prosecute insults or criticism of religion.

 

 

Singapore recommends...

Swedish metal group Watain


Link Here 7th March 2019
Singapore has banned Swedish death metal group Watain from performing a concert taking issue at the band's history of denigrating religions and promoting violence.

Watain is noted for its nightmarish live shows, which have included performing Satanic ceremonies on stage and dousing their fans with blood.

Censors from the Media Development Authority (IMDA) said it cancelled the concert following an assessment submitted to it by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The ministry spoke of serious concerns about the concert, given the band's history of denigrating religions and promoting violence.

 

 

A Big MacKerfuffle...

Violent religious protest in Israel over an artwork of a crucified Ronald McDonald


Link Here 15th January 2019
A McJesus Sculpture Has Provoked Violent Protests in Israel. The gallery is now fending off government censorship as well as the artist's own request to remove the work in solidarity with a pro-Palestinian boycott of Israel.

Jani Leinonen's McJesus (2015) has become the subject of violent protests at Israel's Haifa Museum of Art.  the Rev. Archimandrite Agapious Abu Sa'ada of the Greek Melkite Catholic Archeparchy of Acre told Haaretz:

We denounce the exhibition and the injury to the holiest symbol of Christianity by an institution that is supposed to serve citizens of all religions,

Hundreds of Arab Christians were on hand Friday to protest the controversial work, while police mobilized to prevent them from entering the museum and removing the work by force. Three policemen were injured by protesters throwing stones, while officers Officers, meanwhile, used tear gas and stun grenades to clear the crowd, according to the Independent .

The demonstration followed a letter on Thursday from Israeli culture minister Miri Regev calling for the work to be removed and threatening to revoke the museum's government funding.

McJesus was installed in September as part of the exhibition Sacred Good, which looks at religion and faith through the lens of consumerism. The museum describes the piece as a way to address the collaboration between religious systems and the consumer culture.

So far, the museum has refused to take the work off display, instead meeting with church leaders and officials from the Haifa Municipality and determining that the most appropriate response to is to hang a sign at the exhibition entrance warning visitors of potentially offensive content.

 

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