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Cultural News
Survivors: Quake Was God's Blessing in Disguise
Amidst the devastation and immense human suffering in Haiti, some of its people are responding with faith. As the sun begins to set over the capital city of Port-au-Prince, a few hours of Heaven comes down on a corner of the devastated city...read more
Pro-Life Leaders to Protest Abortion 'Supercenter'
Several prominent pro-life leaders are rallying in Houston, Texas on Monday to protest what will be the largest abortion clinic in the western hemisphere. ...read more
Vietnam Churches Reach Out to Country's Addicts
HO CHI MINH, Vietnam - Christians in Vietnam are reaching out to those lost in a world of drugs and despair....read more
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Music News
Multiple GRAMMY ® Nominee Gungor Selling Out Major Cities On Headline Spring Tour
With numerous honors and stellar reviews for their latest album, Ghosts Upon the Earth, it is no surprise that three-time GRAMMY ® nominated group Gungor is selling out shows...read more
New Music From The Afters To Appear in the Upcoming Feature Film October Baby
Fans looking for an early preview of new music from chart-topping foursome The Afters will have their chance later this month as the band’s song “Life Is Beautiful” is featured in the upcoming feature film October Baby. ...read more
Music Icon Steven Curtis Chapman Collects 16th GRAMMY ® Nomination for No. 1 Hit “Do Everything”
The already five-time GRAMMY ® award-winning multi-platinum selling artist Steven Curtis Chapman garnered the 16th GRAMMY ® nomination of his prolific 20+ year career....read more
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The Criminalization of Christianity
16 February 2005

CBN.comIt is a story that has the Christian community on the edge of its seat. In Philadelphia, 11 Christians were arrested and charged under Pennsylvania’s hate crimes law (the Ethnic Intimidation Act), for preaching the Gospel. The arrests took place at a homosexual event last October, and five of the 11 still face serious criminal charges.

Twenty-five-year-old Michael Marcavage is at the center of a case that could determine whether preaching the Gospel is a hate crime; specifically, whether preaching against homosexuality is a hate crime.

Marcavage, who has a ministry called Repent America, and 10 other Christians, took their message "Homosexuality is sin, Christ can set you free" to Outfest, Philadelphia's annual gay "coming out" celebration, last October.

The video of the event shows the Christians being surrounded by an aggressive homosexual security force that was holding giant pink styrofoam angels and blowing loud whistles.

Marcavage's lawyer, Scott Shields, says the video is key to their defense.

Shields said, “Because a picture tells a thousand words, it shows exactly what happened and when the Christians appeared at this event. Michael Marcavage and the other defendants were met by this hostile, lawless mob -- and they really were. They had these gigantic, pink styrofoam boards to block their written messages, and they were blowing these obnoxious whistles, and when you see the whole video, you can tell that the police are just getting very tired of hearing all of this noise. And the only way to stop that wasn't to tell them to stop and put down their pink boards and put their whistles away. They arrested our clients.”

Marcavage is seen on the video questioning police about his First Amendment rights. Later, he and the others are led away from the crowd, handcuffed, and put into a paddy wagon and taken to jail. Once behind bars, Marcavage discovered just how serious the charges were: three felonies and five misdemeanors. The felonies include: ethnic intimidation and inciting a riot found under Pennsylvania’s hate crimes law. The charges could mean 47 years in prison, if convicted.

Marcavage said, “Well, it was absolutely astonishing. I had no idea that I would be one of the first victims in our nation to be charged under hate crimes legislation, which I see as the criminalization of Christianity. When you look at the target audience of these hate laws, it is the Christians -- they want to silence our message."

By Wendy Griffith - CWNews

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