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FāVS Religion News Roundup: March 29


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FāVS Religion News Roundup: March 29

Diverse topics such as environmental justice tied to Spokane’s 50th anniversary of Expo ’74, a Journey to the Cross, Islamophobia on University of Washington’s campus and how adoption got easier for religious parents in Idaho but may be harder for LGBTQ adoptees are just some of the themes we explore in this week’s Roundup.

News Story by FāVS Staff

Islamophobic Hate on UW Campus

The Washington chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) called on the University of Washington to speak out against a racist and Islamophobic hate mail received by the UW Seattle Somali Student Association (SSA) during the first few days of Ramadan on March 13. The hateful letter told the SSA to “go back to whatever s**thole” they came from. 

In light of this incident, as well as ongoing harassment of Muslim student Isha Hussein and a recent hijab attack near campus, CAIR-WA urged UW this week to address Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bias. The SSA filed a police report over the hate mail.

On Thursday the SSA hosted a protest march on UW. Over 75 people gathered to listen to members of the SSA, Students United for Palestinian Equality & Return UW and other individuals give speeches and lead chants. They called on the administration to address Islamophobia on campus and to ensure the safety of Muslim and Black students.

This took place amid the month-long Ramadan observance of fasting, prayer and community celebrations culminating on April 9.

Idaho Enacts Law Protecting Religious Beliefs in Adoptions Amid Concerns Over LGBTQ Rights

Gov. Brad Little (R-Idaho)

Idaho has enacted a new law prohibiting the state from discriminating against adoption agencies or parents seeking to adopt based on their sincerely-held religious beliefs, according to the Christian Post. Signed by Gov. Brad Little on Monday, the law declares that the state government cannot take discriminatory action against people who provide or decline to provide adoption or foster care services consistent with their religious beliefs. It also protects parents who guide or intend to raise an adopted or foster child according to their religious convictions.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal organization that has argued religious freedom cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, applauded the law, saying it prioritizes the well-being of children by preventing discrimination against faith-based adoption providers. However, the ACLU of Idaho testified against the bill over concerns it could lead to harm against LGBTQ minors, such as forcing them into conversion therapy. The law comes amid cases where Christian parents have faced rules requiring them to affirm a child’s LGBTQ identity.

Hollywood Visual Artist Helps with Latter-day Saint Easter Production

Latter-day Saint Hollywood visual effects artist Clark Schaffer will lend his expertise for Spokane Easter event “Walk with Christ.” Schaffer has worked in the film industry since 1994, with companies like Paramount, Lucasfilm Amblin and Disney. As part of “Walk with Christ,” he designed the sets that recreate Jerusalem where participants can go back in time and observe the events surrounding Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. 

Groups of 6-12 people will be escorted through the scenes, which will take about 40 minutes. The event is cost free. Tour times will take place Friday from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Spokane North Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 401 W. Regina Ave. 

Spokane Invited on ‘Journey to the Cross’

The Spokane Valley Adventist Church presents the “Journey to the Cross” outdoor walk-through event on Easter weekend. Guests won’t hear the story from a stage, but they will experience the story on a walking tour surrounded by a cast of 250. They start every 10 minutes and last approximately 45 minutes. This event is free of charge. Spokane Valley Adventist Church, 1601 S. Sullivan Rd., will host the event. The tours will take place Friday, from 6-8 p.m., Saturday, from 4-9 p.m., and Sunday, from 4-7 p.m.

Upcoming Event with an Arab Israeli Christian Pastor with Unique Perspective on Israel

The Gathering House Presents “A Conversation with Pastor Saleem Salash: An Arab Israeli Christian” on April 11 at 6:30 p.m. This free event will bring “unique perspectives on what it’s like to live in Israel today,” according to the event’s flyer. Salash has been featured in All Israel News, Newsmax World and Christians for Israel International. He is also the founder of The Humanitarian Aid Center. The event will also include Philip McCallum, who operates tour groups to Israel and has traveled there several times since the war began.

Gonzaga Celebrates Expo ’74 with Environmental Justice Event

The Gonzaga Climate Institute will host “50 years of Environmental Justice in the Inland Northwest” in honor of the 50th celebration of Expo ‘74. This one-day event at Gonzaga will look retrospectively at the environmental justice work done over this half century and what work remains to be done in the coming decades. 

Panelists throughout the day will discuss the Spokane River, enforcement and the future of environmental justice. The event will take place April 12, from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., in the Barbieri Courtroom on the first floor of Gonzaga Law School. The event will also be available online. For more information on the schedule and who the panelists are visit the event’s website.

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