Oregonian Couple’s Religious Exemption Defense Fails: News Roundup

In the news this week: another religious exemption defense fails in Oregon, Christians fear future in Syria, a Jewish man encounters bias from a state agency, and other stories.

Another couple in Oregon is found guilty of manslaughter despite their religious exemption defense. The couple, of the Followers of Christ, prayed over their ill newborn boy for the nine hours he was alive. A pediatric expert who testified at the 10-day trial said the baby had a 99.9 percent chance of surviving if he had been taken to a hospital — the standard response for premature babies born at home. Even defense medical experts agreed hospitalization was the right choice. The Oregonian
 
An unemployed Jewish man in San Francisco received a notice to attend a “re-employment eligibility assessment appointment” on September 29, the first day of Rosh Hashanah. When he notified the EDD that he would need to reschedule for religious reasons, he was told that he was at risk of losing his unemployment benefits if he did not show up on the 29th. He appealed to the California State Employment Development department, but the EDD said that no special accommodation could be made. In the end, the local office accommodated Weinberger, but Weinberger is in touch with the Anti-Defamation League about the incident. Jewish Daily Forward
 
Kazakhstan’s upper house of parliament approved a bill Thursday that backers say will help combat religious extremism, but that critics call a blow to freedom of belief in the ex-Soviet nation.
 
The bill approved by the Senate will require existing religious organizations in the mainly Muslim nation to dissolve and register again through a procedure that is virtually guaranteed to exclude smaller groups, including minority Christian communities. Washington Post
 
Warning that Christians currently suffer more persecution because of their faith than any other religious group, the Holy See today told the United Nations the denial of religious freedom threatened peace and security and precluded integral human development. UN News Centre
 
With chaos in Syria growing, some of the country’s Christians fear that a change of power could usher in an anti-Christian regime. NY Times
 
Shoreh Rowhani, an Iranian Baha’i and promising young student, has run up against a system which – while promising opportunity on the surface – is blocking her from earning her degree. She asked officials why her application was rejected as incomplete. "They told me that this has happened because you are a Baha'i," she reported in a letter recently sent to several human rights organizations. Baha’i World News Service
 
Vanderbilt University is requiring religious student organizations to remove requirements that the groups’ leadership be of the faith the organization is affiliated with. The groups contend that this amounts to religious discrimination. The Tennessean