Religion Today Daily Headlines - July 31, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - July 31, 2012

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Bible Museum Closes $50 Million Deal for D.C. Spot
  • British Women Aborting IVF Down Syndrome Babies
  • India: Kidnapped Missionary Pastor Released
  • Court Upholds South Dakota's Informed-Consent Law


Bible Museum Closes $50 Million Deal for D.C. Spot

Planners of a Bible museum in Washington, D.C., closed a $50 million deal July 26 on a building two blocks from the National Mall, the Religion News Service reports. The Museum of the Bible, a nonprofit group planning the yet-unnamed museum, announced it would be housed at 300 D Street SW, in what is now the Washington Design Center, a series of showrooms of luxury home furnishings. "Our intent is for this museum to showcase both the Old and New Testaments, arguably the world's most significant pieces of literature, through a non-sectarian, scholarly approach that makes the history, scholarship and impact of the Bible on virtually every facet of society accessible to everyone," said Mark DeMoss, a member of the museum's board. The museum, which will likely open in 2016, will highlight the collection of the billionaire Green family of Oklahoma -- more than 55,000 items including biblical artifacts ranging from Dead Sea Scrolls to Torah scrolls that survived the Holocaust. Museum officials also expect to showcase other prominent collections from around the world.

British Women Aborting IVF Down Syndrome Babies

More than 120 British babies conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) over a five-year period were aborted because the unborn children were diagnosed with Down syndrome, Baptist Press reports. From 2005 to 2009, government records showed 123 IVF babies were aborted because they apparently had the condition -- meaning women chose to abort their children despite going to great expense and likely waiting several years to conceive. "We have to question the values of a society which focuses so greatly on adult 'wants,'" said Andrea Williams of Christian Concern. "That a woman pursues a baby through fertility treatment and then aborts it because it is not perfect is selfish and harsh." An estimated 90 percent of mothers in the United States and Great Britain who learn their unborn children have Down syndrome abort them.

India: Kidnapped Missionary Pastor Released

A pastor kidnapped by armed gunmen a week ago in southern India was freed by his captors Monday, CBN News reports. K.P. Yohannan, founder and president of Gospel for Asia, called pastor Ponnachan George's release "a huge miracle," crediting the work of Indian authorities and the prayers of thousands of supporters. The kidnappers had threatened to kill George unless a large ransom was paid, but the missions organization has a policy of non-negotiation. "These people are known for shooting and killing in cold blood for their cause," George said. "I was frightened and really thought I would never be freed. I thought about my wife and young children and felt helpless. That is when I began to meditate on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. And I reminded myself that my leader sent me out with a one-way ticket to this mission field. The passage in Acts 20 where Paul says 'I don't regard my life dear to myself' became a source of strength." George added that he will not stop his work in India because "a good shepherd does not leave his flock when the wolf comes."

Court Upholds South Dakota's Informed-Consent Law

Despite years of legal attack from Planned Parenthood, South Dakota may continue requiring abortion doctors to inform pregnant mothers that abortion may increase their risk of suicide, WORLD News Service reports. The full 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling July 24 means that the last remaining contested provision of the state's informed-consent law, passed in 2005, is constitutional. "A woman's right to make a fully informed choice is more important than Planned Parenthood's bottom line," said Steven H. Aden, Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel. "If Planned Parenthood truly cared about the well-being of women, it would not try to prevent them from being informed of the well-documented risk of suicide that accompanies abortion." Planned Parenthood sued South Dakota over the law in 2006, and ADF attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief in 2010 on behalf of several pro-family groups. "The 8th Circuit has done the right thing in upholding a reasonable law that protects the well-being of women by making sure that the truth is not hidden from them," Aden said.

Publication date: July 31, 2012