Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
U.S. Passes 55 Million Abortion Mark
At some point in the past year, the United States experienced its 55 millionth legal abortion -- a number far more than the combined U.S. death toll of every American war since the nation's founding, Baptist Press reports. The total spans 40 years, beginning with the Jan. 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The abortion count is based on data compiled by the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights. National Right to Life releases an annual tally using the Guttmacher data. "That's 55 million creative minds, 55 million people that could be working, 55 million that could be contributing to society," said Randall K. O'Bannon, National Right to Life's director of education and research. "It's hard to fathom all the different ways in which any person has the potential to impact the community and impact our country. The loss is staggering." To put the total of 55 million in perspective, the combined number of military deaths in all of America's wars -- from the Revolutionary War to the second Iraq war -- is 1.2 million.
53 Percent of Americans Say Abortion 'Not That Important' Compared to Other Issues
How important is the abortion issue to Americans? Fifty-three percent of the public says abortion is "not that important" compared with other issues, while 45 percent says abortion is either "one among many important issues" (27 percent) or "a critical issue facing the country" (18 percent), according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. However, the split masks stark differences between those who attend religious services at least once a week (37 percent of U.S. adults) and those who attend less often. About two-thirds (64 percent) of weekly churchgoers say abortion is a critical or important issue, while about two-thirds (65 percent) of those who attend less say abortion is not that important of an issue.
Boko Haram Attacks and Kills Five in Nigeria
After remaining silent for several weeks, the Islamist group Boko Haram killed five people in Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri, International Christian Concern reports. The five victims were beheaded in their homes overnight after militants suspected to be working with Boko Haram broke in. At least 23 others were killed this week in separate attacks in Nigeria's north blamed on militants wanting to impose Islamic law. Boko Haram has killed more than 3,000 people since it started its armed insurgency in 2009, and many Christians fear the group will be successful in creating a purely Islamic state in northern Nigeria.