Here are some interesting news stories involving law and religion from the past week:
- The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a gun attack in France that left a policeman and the suspected gunman dead.
- The Israeli Supreme Court reversed a previous decision and held that some businesses in Tel Aviv can remain open on the Jewish Sabbath.
- In an election watched closely by international observers, a candidate supported by hardline Islamists defeated the sitting Christian governor of Jakarta.
- A Swedish midwife who was excluded from employment because she refuses to perform abortions lost a lawsuit in which she claimed that this exclusion constituted discrimination, but she has indicated that she will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won sweeping new powers in a referendum conducted two weeks ago, paving the way for Turkey to transition from a parliamentary democracy to an executive presidency.
- Observers believe that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of a Missouri church which challenged the state’s refusal of the church’s application for a grant to enable it to resurface a playground it operates.
- A lawsuit filed in West Virginia federal court alleges that a county clerk made disparaging remarks to a same-sex couple seeking a marriage license.
- The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation approved the government’s ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses, allowing authorities to seize church property and criminalizing all worship activities.