Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Hobby Lobby Won't Violate Faith Over Abortion Drugs
- Islamist Constitution Spells Trouble for Egypt's Christians
- Putin Signs Bill Banning Americans From Adopting Russian Orphans
Hobby Lobby Won't Violate Faith Over Abortion Drugs
The Christian owners of Hobby Lobby say they must remain true to their faith despite the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to block the Obamacare contraception mandate, CBN News reports. Hobby Lobby's attorney, Kyle Duncan, said the company would not provide the morning-after and week-after pills in its employee insurance plan when the health care mandate takes effect Jan. 1. "The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees," Duncan said in a statement. "To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs." Hobby Lobby faces a fine of $1.3 million per day for ignoring the Obamacare mandate; the company is still fighting the law in court.
Islamist Constitution Spells Trouble for Egypt's Christians
Egypt has approved a new, pro-Islamist constitution, and Christians and other minorities foresee bleak and repressive days ahead, Patheos.com reports. Voter turnout in the two-stage nationwide referendum was reportedly limited, and Christians were particularly underrepresented -- as low as 7 percent in some areas. Intimidation from Islamists kept many away from the polls, and in one instance, an estimated 50,000 pro-constitution Egyptians marched through Christian areas of the city of Assiut before the election. Men on horseback with swords led the way -- evoking the seventh-century Muslim conquest -- as marchers chanted that Egypt would be "Islamic, Islamic, despite the Christians." Under the new charter, the rights of Christians and other religious minorities are "undermined beyond salvage," says Hudson Institute scholar Samuel Tadros. According to Arizona congressman Trent Franks, who co-chairs the bipartisan International Religious Freedom Caucus, "The first few constitutional articles -- the foundation of Egypt's new legal framework -- are especially frightening once the implications are assessed and the articles are viewed in context o one another."
Putin Signs Bill Banning Americans From Adopting Russian Orphans
Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a bill on Friday banning American families from adopting Russian orphans, apparently in retaliation for U.S. criticism of his nation's human rights record, Fox News reports. The law will block dozens of Russian children expected to be adopted by American families from leaving the country and cut off one of the main international routes for Russian children to leave orphanages. Russia is the single biggest source of adopted children in the U.S., with more than 60,000 Russian children being taken in by Americans over the past two decades. According to UNICEF estimates, there are more than 700,000 Russian orphans but only 18,000 Russians waiting to adopt a child. The U.S. State Department previously expressed deep concern about the Russian measure. "The welfare of children is simply too important to be linked to political aspects of our relationship," said spokesman Patrick Ventrell.
Publication date: December 31, 2012