1. Majority of world’s population live in countries that violate religious freedom, report says, By Inés San Martín, Crux, April 20, 2021
A papal charity says that at least two thirds of the world’s population live in countries where religious freedom is not upheld, and the most persecuted religious group are Christians.
The 2021 Religious Freedom Report by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) found that around 5.2 billion people live in countries where there are grave violations to religious freedom, including three of the world’s most populous countries: China, India and Pakistan. In most of these countries, religious minorities are the most targeted, and in recent years, the faith-based persecution by authoritarian governments has intensified.
2. USCCB migration chairman urges Biden to raise cap on refugee admissions, By Catholic News Service, April 20, 2021
The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ migration committee said April 19 he is disappointed that President Joe Biden announced he will not increase the 15,000 cap on the number of refugees who can be resettled in the United States for the current fiscal year.
The historically low cap was put in place by the Trump administration last Sept. 30 for fiscal year 2021, which for the federal government began Oct. 1.
“The number of refugees who will be welcomed this year is far short of what we can do as a country, and is not an adequate response to the immense resettlement need,” said Washington Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration.
3. Bill ending religious vaccine exemption likely to pass House, By Susan Haigh, Associated Press, April 19, 2021, 7:17 PM
The Connecticut House of Representatives on Monday was expected to pass a contentious bill that would end the state’s long-standing religious exemption from immunization requirements for schools, beginning with the 2022 school year.
Democratic House Speaker Matt Ritter of Hartford said there are enough votes in the Democratic-controlled chamber to pass the legislation by a “pretty overwhelming” margin. It’s the only bill on the House agenda for Monday and the debate was expected to run into the evening. If it passes, the bill will still need approval in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday he’s ready to sign the bill into law.

The legislation stems from an uptick in the number of families in Connecticut who have sought a religious exemption from a host of childhood vaccinations, ultimately lowering the vaccination rate in as many as 100 schools at one point to under 95%.
4. Tennessee House: Fetal remains must be buried or cremated, By Kimberlee Kruesi, Associated Press, April 19, 2021, 8:13 PM
Medical providers in Tennessee would be required to cremate or bury fetal remains from surgical abortions under legislation advanced by the GOP-controlled House on Monday.
The proposal has sparked criticism among reproductive rights advocates, who argue such measures — which have been enacted in other Republican-majority states — are unnecessary and would stigmatize a legally available procedure.

TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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