Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Nigeria: Suspected Islamic Militants Kill 10 Christians in Machete and Gun Attack
- Washington State to Eliminate 'Bride' and 'Groom' on Marriage Certificates
- Britain, France Threaten to Recall Israel Ambassadors
- West Point Hosts First Same-Sex Weddings
Nigeria: Suspected Islamic Militants Kill 10 Christians in Machete and Gun Attack
Suspected Islamist militants killed 10 Christians in an overnight machete and gun attack in the remote village of Chibok in Nigeria's Borno state on Dec. 2, BBC News reports. Residents said a group of men went from house to house in a largely Christian area of Chibok, setting people's houses on fire before slitting the throats of 10 people. Later, gunmen attacked government targets and churches near the border with Cameroon, killing five policemen. It is still unclear who is behind the attacks, but the army suspects the Islamist sect Boko Haram, which has targeted churches and government establishments in the region in the last few years, killing more than 3,000. The group is fighting to overthrow the government and impose a strict form of sharia, or Islamic law.
Washington State to Eliminate 'Bride' and 'Groom' on Marriage Certificates
The words "bride" and "groom" are about to become archaic language in Washington state as officials prepare to remove the terms, along with "husband" and "wife," from marriage and divorce certificates, Todd Starnes reports. Tim Church, a spokesman for the Washington health department, told Fox News they will likely be removing those words in favor of more gender-neutral terms in response to the same-sex marriage law that takes effect in the state December 6. "We've been quickly moving ahead to change our marriage certificate to make sure it fits for everyone who is going to be using it," Church said. The words "bride" and "groom" could be replaced with "Spouse A" and "Spouse B" or "Person A" and "Person B." The department has been taking public input, but the state's secretary of health will ultimately decide which terms are used. "We want our form to work for everyone who is getting married," Church said. Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council said: "It is one sort of symbolic indication of how radical a change the legalization of same-sex marriage is. Symbolically, they are doing away with the whole concept of bride and groom, husband and wife -- at least in the eyes of the law."
Britain, France Threaten to Recall Israel Ambassadors
Britain and France threatened to recall their ambassadors after Israel announced plans to build on land Palestinian Arabs claim as part of a future Palestinian state, CBN News reports. In protest to last week's U.N. vote that granted non-member observer state status to the Palestinian Authority, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the announcement that Israel would build more than 3,000 new apartments in areas known biblically as Judea and Samaria. The U.N. vote abrogated agreements the Palestinians and Israel made to each other in the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel said. Some lawmakers in Washington, D.C., wanted to cut funding to both the PA and the U.N., but the British and French governments objected to Israel's decision to build. "We don't tell the British or the French where to build in Paris or London and we do not expect anybody to tell us what do to," Israeli Minister of Infrastructure Uzi Landau said. Another part of the controversy concerns plans to expand Maale Adumim, a Jewish community just outside Jerusalem with a population of more than 40,000. Palestinians say the expansion would create a land barrier breaking the continuity of their future state, but for Israel, it would link the suburb to Jerusalem. Though U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and many nations call the land "occupied" territory, Israel says it is not "occupied" but "disputed," and that the nation has both a natural right and territorial claims to it. Meanwhile, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas addressed crowds in Ramallah after the U.N. vote, promising that "one day, a young Palestinian will raise the Palestinian flag over Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the state of Palestine."
West Point Hosts First Same-Sex Weddings
The U.S. Military Academy at West Point hosted its first same-sex weddings over the past two weekends, CBN News reports. Both weddings were held in historic campus landmarks: the Cadet Chapel and the Old Cadet Chapel in the campus cemetery. Army chaplains from other bases performed the ceremonies because the denominations of the West Point chaplains don't allow them to perform same-sex weddings. New York legalized same-sex marriage last year, just months before the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was repealed, allowing gays to serve openly in the military. According to Dr. Albert Mohler of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: "The celebration of a same-sex marriage ceremony in Cadet Chapel at West Point, complete with the saber arch and full military honors, represents a huge step toward the normalization of same-sex marriage, and of homosexuality itself, in the larger society. The event was a powerful symbol of the great revolution in sexual morality that marks our times."
Publication date: December 4, 2012