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An appeals court in the U.S. state of Indiana recently found a religious right to abortion under the state’s religious freedom statute (Individual Members of the Med. Licensing Bd. v. Anonymous Plaintiff 1 (Indiana Ct. App. Apr. 4, 2024)). However startling its holding, the court’s analysis is doctrinally orthodox, closely following U.S. Supreme Court precedent applying the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause and the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act to claims for religious exemptions.

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Series: The Russian Orthodox Church Beyond Russia: Global Pretensions and Security Concerns

by Jerry G. Pankhurst, Thomas Bremer, Pavlo Smytsnyuk, Regina Elsner, Kristina Stoeckl, Alar Kilp, Sebastian Rimestad, Robert C. Blitt, and Nadieszda Kizenko

This series scrutinizes the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in three overlapping contexts: ROC pretensions to the leadership of the Orthodox world, the ROC as a global conservative force, and the ROC as a supporter and tool of Russian geopolitical ambitions. Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine has significantly affected all three contexts. And it has deepened and intensified conflicts between the ROC and the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its allies as well as the split in global Orthodoxy generally. …

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FoRB Podcast: Qur’an Burning Cases

by Dmytro Vovk, Merilin Kiviorg and Ed Brown

In this first episode of the FoRB Podcast, Dmytro Vovk and Merilin Kiviorg invite Ed Brown from Oslo-based Stefanus Alliance International to discuss Qur’an-burning cases in Scandinavian countries and beyond. They touch on state responses to Qur’an burning, goals of religious and anti-religious expressions, Pussy Riot songs and Buddha statues, capitalist logic behind religious tolerance, and why criminalization is not the best way to protect religious minorities from anti-religious speech.

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On 1 January 2024, the Israeli Supreme Court in its longest-ever judgment struck down a highly controversial law passed by Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in its attempts to limit the judicial branch. Bar-Ilan University Professor Ori Aronson comments on the main issues of the case, explains the role in this decision of the October 2023 deadly Hamas attack on Israel, and elaborates on whether the government and the right-wing coalition in the Knesset will respect it.

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Human Dignity Initiative

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with an invitation to a global conversation about preserving and protecting human dignity for everyone everywhere.

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