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Religion news around the world

Lawsuit in school raid gets go-ahead

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that a lawsuit filed against the state over a raid at a northeast Missouri Christian school for wayward youths may proceed to trial, allowing the nearly decadelong fight to continue.

Missouri juvenile authorities sent a bus to Heartland Christian Academy in October 2001 and removed all but five of the 120 students living on campus at the time. The state cited concerns over child abuse related to the school's disciplinary methods.

Three days later, a judge allowed the children to return. Heartland, along with some parents and students, immediately sued. In 2004, a federal judge prohibited future removals from the school unless students were deemed in imminent danger, a ruling later upheld by the 8th Circuit.

Heartland, its parent corporation and former students and parents sued again in 2006, seeking unspecified damages. A three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Monday allowed the lawsuit to proceed to trial. A court date has not been set.

Report released in Catholic sex abuse

BERLIN (AP) — The German news magazine Der Spiegel reports that the number of suspected sexual abuse cases in Germany by Roman Catholic clergy and laymen is much higher than was thought.

According to a poll by Spiegel, answered by 27 Catholic dioceses in Germany, more than 94 clerics and laymen have been suspected of sexual abuse since 1995. Only 30 have been prosecuted, due to the statute of limitations.

Ten employees of the Catholic church are currently accused of sexual abuse in Germany.

Germany has been shocked by revelations of serial sex abuse by Catholic priests in recent weeks. More than 20 alumni of Berlin's prestigious Canisius Kolleg have reported abuse by their former Jesuit teachers. Other students have also reported cases in cities across Germany where the priests also taught.

ACLU says teacher quoted Bible as fact

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An instructor at a public community college in Fresno has been presenting his religious views on homosexuality, abortion and global warming as fact to students in an introductory health science class, the American Civil Liberties Union claims.

Elizabeth Gill, a staff attorney for the ACLU, said at least two students at Fresno City College have complained that health science instructor Bradley Lopez quoted the Bible as proof that human life begins at conception, characterized homosexuality as a mental illness and discussed apocalyptic Christian prophesies during a lesson on climate.

If the students' descriptions are correct, Lopez's teaching methods would violate California laws protecting gays from discrimination and prohibiting religious indoctrination at public schools, Gill said. She sent a letter to college president Cynthia Azaria asking the school "to act immediately to ensure that all its health classes provide only accurate and unbiased information."

Sens. McCain, Lieberman urge Bosnia to consider joining EU, NATO

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — A U.S. delegation led by Sens. John McCain and Joe Lieberman has urged Bosnia's leaders to overcome ethnic and religious differences that prevent the nation from progressing toward EU and NATO membership.

During a brief visit to Sarajevo last Friday, the delegation met with Bosnia's three-member presidency and defense minister.

McCain and Lieberman told reporters they hope Bosnians will use this year's election to choose leaders who can take the country toward unity and membership in those alliances.

However, that requires a stronger national government, and since the 1992-95 war, Muslim Bosniak and Catholic Croat leaders have had little luck persuading Christian Orthodox Serbs to overcome the country's ethnic divisions.