Virtual Voices

Banned Book: The Bible

Religion

This week, libraries nationwide are celebrating Banned Books Week. The American Library Association names And Tango Makes Three - a children's book about a same-sex penguin couple who hatch their own baby penguin - the book challenged most often in 2006. But how did the Bible, a historically banned book, fare over the past 12 months?

November, 2006: British Christians accused campus authorities of driving their beliefs underground. They cited examples dating back to October 2005, when Edinburgh University banned the Bible from residence halls because it was "discriminatory" and unwelcoming to students of other faiths.

December, 2006: A British airline banned Bibles for airline personnel flying to Saudi Arabia, afraid of upsetting Muslims with non-Islamic religious material. A stewardess challenged the ban.

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January, 2007: In Burnaby, Canada, the school board banned Gideon International's distribution of free Bibles to elementary school students. School trustee Ron Burton told CBC news, "I think people see the school system as a haven where there is no religion, there is no politics."

April, 2007: In Turkey, Muslims murdered three employees of a Bible publishing house, binding their hands and feet and slitting their throats. Protesters had targeted the publishing house and threatened its employees before the attack, one of "a string of attacks on Turkey's Christian community," according to the Associated Press.

August 22, 2007: A federal appeals court upheld a Bible ban in Annapolis, Maryland, and Gideon International can no longer distribute free Bibles to fifth-graders in South Iron Elementary School.

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