Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- 'Chick-fil-A Day' Sign-Up Tops 175,000
- Muppets Makers End Partnership with Chick-fil-A Over Gay Marriage
- Unintended Pregnancies More Likely for Cohabitating Couples
- Syria: Christians Increasingly Being Targeted, Driven From Homes
'Chick-fil-A Day' Sign-Up Tops 175,000
More than 175,000 people have signed up so far to take part in Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on August 1, despite the fact that Facebook workers may have censored the event page for about 12 hours Tuesday, Baptist Press reports. Mike Huckabee launched the idea for a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day over the weekend, saying he was "incensed" at the "vitriolic assaults" on the company's president, Dan Cathy, for affirming a biblical definition of marriage. On Tuesday, a Facebook sign-up page Huckabee had launched suddenly disappeared, leaving him and others wondering what had happened. Huckabee posted a note saying he had asked Facebook "to look into this," and about 12 hours later the page reappeared. He noted that during those 12 hours, Facebook had left up a webpage sponsored by gay activists promoting a "national same-sex kiss day" at Chick-fil-A on August 3, which about 4,700 have signed up for. As part of Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, Huckabee is asking supporters to visit the restaurant or speak up for it via social media. "Let's affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, August 1," he wrote on Facebook.
Muppets Makers End Partnership with Chick-fil-A Over Gay Marriage
The company behind the Muppets has severed its partnership with Chick-fil-A over the remarks by the restaurant chain's president, Dan Cathy, in support of the biblical definition of marriage, the Christian Post reports. The Jim Henson Company announced that because it embraced "diversity" and "inclusiveness," it would no longer partner with Chick-fil-A -- meaning no more Muppets toys for kids' meals. Meanwhile, a Chicago official has pledged to block Chick-fil-A from opening in his district, and Boston mayor Thomas Menino told the Boston Herald he no longer wanted Chick-fil-A in his city. Last week, Chick-fil-A issued a statement saying it would "leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena," adding that it had always aimed to "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -- regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."
Unintended Pregnancies More Likely for Cohabitating Couples
According to a new study by the National Center for Health Statistics, couples who are living together have more unplanned pregnancies than those who are married, CBN News reports. Researchers found that about half of all births to cohabitating women are "accidental and unwanted," while only about 25 percent of births to married couples are unintended. Among single women not living with a mate, about 33 percent of pregnancies are unplanned. The study also found an increase in births overall to women living with their boyfriends -- from 14 percent in 2002 to 23 percent in 2010.
Syria: Christians Increasingly Being Targeted, Driven From Homes
According to church sources inside Syria, Christians are increasingly being targeted and driven from their homes and districts, the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin reports. Some 138,000 Christians have fled Homs, where Christians have been terrorized and churches have been looted and occupied by rebel forces. At least 9,000 Christians have fled the neighboring western city of Qusayr after the leaders of a rebel faction issued an ultimatum that was repeated from mosque minarets. "We will chop you up and feed you to the dogs," Sunni cleric Adnan Arour warned Syrian loyalists in a fatwa -- Christians and Muslims alike. According to Elizabeth Kendal of Religious Liberty Monitoring, "The plight of Christians is being buried under a mountain of propaganda from the jihadists and the U.S.-Saudi-Gulf Arab axis, which is seeking to hurt Iran through regime change in Syria. Please pray for Christians in Syria, including thousands of Assyrian-Chaldean refugees from Iraq."
Publication date: July 27, 2012