Religion Today Daily Headlines - June 18, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - June 18, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Chinese Woman Seven Months Pregnant Beaten, Forcibly Aborted
  • Study: Fatherhood Good for Men
  • Survey: Gay Teens Less Likely to be Happy Than Straight Peers
  • Gutted Church Building Leaves Egyptian Copts With Debt


Chinese Woman Seven Months Pregnant Beaten, Forcibly Aborted

A woman was forcibly aborted at seven months of pregnancy on June 3 in Shanxi Province, China, reports. According to Women's Rights Without Frontiers, the China-based human rights organization 64Tianwang indicated that the woman, Feng Jianmei, was beaten and dragged into a vehicle by a group of family planning officials while her husband, Deng Jiyuan, was out working. The officials asked for RMB 40,000 in fines from Feng Jianmei's family, and when they did not receive the money, they forcibly aborted her, laying the body of her aborted baby next to her in the bed. It was her second child. Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, said: "This is an outrage. No legitimate government would commit or tolerate such an act. Those who are responsible should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity." Chai Ling, founder of All Girls Allowed, said: "We learned that family planning officials in Jianmei's region are launching a campaign of forced abortions this month. They received a lower grade from the government because of 'over-quota' births, and Jianmei's story shows us how they plan to respond."

Study: Fatherhood Good for Men

While many studies have shown that a father's involvement improves a child's well-being, newer research finds that fatherhood affects the men, too, USA TODAY reports. "We're finding that [fatherhood] does have mental health, well-being and actual physical health benefits," says David DeGarmo, a research scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center. DeGarmo is lead author of a 2010 study that found when a father was more involved with his kids, "he had better health, drank less and had lower substance use." Other recent findings have shown that "fatherhood prompts men to be less self-centered, more giving and more outward-focused," says Richard Settersten, Jr., professor of human development and family sciences at Oregon State University. "It can prompt them to be more responsible and become more mature, especially to temper some of their risks." He says involved fathering promotes "more positive attachments and relationships."

Survey: Gay Teens Less Likely to be Happy Than Straight Peers

According to a new study, teenagers who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender are less likely to be happy, more likely to report harassment, and more inclined to experiment with drugs and alcohol than their straight peers, the Los Angeles Times reports. Of the more than 10,000 gay 13- to 17-year-olds surveyed, only around 40 percent described themselves as "happy," compared to nearly 70 percent of straight teens. Fifty-two percent had experimented with drugs or alcohol -- more than twice what their straight peers reported -- and 17 percent said they had been assaulted at school, compared with 10 percent of straight youth. Nearly three in four gay teens said they were more honest about themselves on the Internet than elsewhere, and 67 percent said their schools were "generally accepting" of gay people.

Gutted Church Building Leaves Egyptian Copts With Debt

A hasty, inadequate renovation of a church building that Salafi Muslims largely gutted a year ago has left the congregation with staggering debt from additional repairs, Compass Direct News reports. On May 7, 2011, at least 12 people were killed and more than 200 were wounded when members of the hard-line Islamic movement attacked at least two churches and surrounding Christian-owned homes and businesses in a poor section of Cairo. Salafis then set fire to the Virgin Mary building of the Coptic Orthodox Church after a rumor spread that a Coptic woman who had allegedly converted to Islam was being held inside the building against her will. Alfons Ghatas, a deacon at the church, said the construction company the government hired, Arab Contractors, worked around the clock on the project, but that their materials and workmanship were inferior. The Rev. Sarabamoun Abdo, elder priest of the church, said the congregation still owes 350,000 Egyptian pounds (US $57,760) to the second set of contractors required for additional renovations.

Publication date: June 18, 2012