Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- One in Five Teen Births Are Repeats
- Christian Leaders Reach Out to Rick Warren After Hurtful Comments Are Made on Son’s Suicide
- As North Korea threatens Nuclear War, More Christians Suffer
- Robert Edwards, Inventor of Test Tube Babies, Dies at 87
One in Five Teen Births Are Repeats
More than 18 percent of all babies born to teenagers in the U.S. are baby No. 2 or 3, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s bad news not only because it means young mothers aren’t getting the message about birth control, but also because babies born to teenagers, especially unmarried teenagers, are more likely to be underweight and to have other health problems.
“Although teen birth rates have been declining for the last two decades, in 2010, more than 367,000 teens aged 15–19 years gave birth,” the CDC said in its report.
“Teen mothers want to do their best for their own health and that of their child, but some can become overwhelmed by life as a parent. Having more than one child as a teen can limit the teen mother’s ability to finish her education or get a job. Infants born from a repeat teen birth are often born too small or too soon, which can lead to more health problems for the baby," adds the CDC.
Source: NBC News
Christian Leaders Reach Out to Rick Warren After Hurtful Comments Are Made on Son’s Suicide
Well-known Pastor Rick Warren's personal tragedy of losing his son Matthew as the result of suicide last Friday has not only garnered sympathy and condolences from around the world, but also online vitriol from his detractors, The Christian Post Reports. Even worse to Warren and many in the Christian community, some of the attacks have come from people professing to be Christians. Upon learning of the news of Mathew Warren's death and the response on the Internet by some Christians, Beth Moore, founder of Living Proof Ministries, wrote in her blog post that after a mixture of emotions on Saturday, she became "madder and madder at the bullies in the Body of Christ." Christian author Frank Viola also defended the Warrens, stating, “If you are a Christian and your heart doesn't go out to this brother and his family, something is wrong with you spiritually.” Warren, who uses social media frequently and has nearly a million followers on Twitter, was more active on Tuesday than previous days, posting his thoughts and recommending articles through links. "WOW. We love you @BethMooreLPM for your powerful and prophetic #SadnessAndMadness blog [link]," he posted in regards to Moore's "Sadness and Madness" article.
As North Korea threatens Nuclear War, More Christians Suffer
As the world turns its attention to North Korean threats of nuclear war, human rights groups are bringing attention the extensive human rights violations in the country. Long considered the world's worst persecutor of Christians, estimates place the number of imprisoned Christians at between 30,000 and 70,000, the ICC reports. Once known as the Jerusalem of the East and a center of Christianity in Asia, the Communist regime run by the Kim family has tried to crush Christianity into oblivion for more than half a century.
On Friday, the North Korean government said it would not be able to guarantee the safety of embassies after April 10, and suggested that Russia, China, and Great Britain consider evacuating their diplomats. While the situation appears to be serious, governments are playing down the rhetoric from North Korea, assuming it represents yet another tantrum by a regime starving for attention, legitimacy, and economic aid. North Korea is the worst perpetrator of persecution against Christians in the world. Christians are tortured, imprisoned, and murdered. Private, non-state-sanctioned religious activity is prohibited. Anyone discovered engaging in clandestine religious activity is subject to arrest, torture, or even public execution.
As many as 100,000 believers are thought to worship secretly. Possessing a Bible, saying the words God or Jesus, and meeting together are all offences punishable by death. VOM reports estimate that of the hundreds of thousands incarcerated in labor and concentration camps, about 30,000 are Christians
Robert Edwards, Inventor of Test Tube Babies, Dies at 87
Nobel Prize winner Robert Edwards, a University of Cambridge professor known as the "father of in vitro fertilization," died Wednesday at the age of 87 after battling a long illness, World Magazine reports. Edwards and his late colleague, gynecologist Patrick Steptoe, were the first to enable a woman to give birth using in vitro fertilization (IVF), 35 years ago. Edwards and Steptoe's work aroused indignation in the 1970s. Critics said manipulating the procreative process in a lab was degrading to humans. They pointed out many embryos, created in petri dishes but never transferred to the womb, were simply "washed down the sink"—a scenario that continues today. At the time, Edwards defended himself in The Quarterly Review of Biology, arguing life was transferred gradually from parent to child, rather than created at the moment of conception: "The assumption of full human rights at a single moment … demands making arbitrary decisions that are unjustified biologically," he wrote.
Other scientists have since disputed that view and affirmed that human life begins at conception. The denial of life at conception undergirds the justification for abortion today, although abortion proponents rarely try to defend that dubious tenet, instead preferring to talk in terms of "choice."