Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Religious Parents' Divorce May Cause Children to Leave the Church
- More Than 1 Million Refugees Flee War-Torn Syria
- New York City: 40 Percent of All Pregnancies Still End in Abortion
- Arkansas Lawmakers Back Nation's Most Restrictive Abortion Bill
Religious Parents' Divorce May Cause Children to Leave the Church
A new study has found that the children of religious couples are much more likely to leave the religion if their parents get divorced, according to U.S. News & World Report. The study, published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, found that children who have two religious parents who get divorced are twice as likely to become estranged from their church as adults compared to people whose parents don't get divorced. "When both parents are religious, the effect of divorce has a negative effect on religiosity," said Jeremy Uecker, a professor at Baylor University and lead author of the study. "They might think their parents' marriage was ordained by God or something and that breakup can have more of an effect on their religiousness in adulthood." The effect of divorce on a child's future religious beliefs was seen across all religions, Uecker said. In the future, he hopes to study why children of divorced parents seem more likely to be less religious.
More Than 1 Million Refugees Flee War-Torn Syria
The number of Syrians who have fled their war-torn country has now topped the 1 million mark, CBN News reports. The figure is based on reports from United Nations field offices in neighboring countries that are giving shelter to those who have escaped; meanwhile, thousands continue to cross the border every day. The U.N. also estimates that more than 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime. "With a million people in flight, millions more displaced internally, and thousands of people continuing to cross the border every day, Syria is spiraling towards full-scale disaster," said Antonio Guterres, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
New York City: 40 Percent of All Pregnancies Still End in Abortion
The abortion statistics in New York City are improving slightly, but 40 percent of all pregnancies there still end in an abortion, LifeNews.com reports. The Chiaroscuro Foundation, which tracks abortion figures in New York City, says discernable progress is being made on the ratio of abortions to live births, but it warns that progress could easily be reversed in Governor Andrew Cuomo forces through an abortion expansion measure in Albany that could drive abortion rates higher. While the city remained the abortion capital of America in 2011, with abortion ratios almost twice the national average (the national average was 22 percent in 2008), the ratio of live births to abortions citywide in 2011 fell below 40 percent (39.55 percent) for the first time since 1970, when abortion was legalized in New York. The Bronx continues to lead the city in percentage of abortions to live births at 47.97 percent, and Staten Island women terminated pregnancies the least often at 29.89 percent. For African-American women, the ratio of abortions remained the highest, at almost 58 percent.
Arkansas Lawmakers Back Nation's Most Restrictive Abortion Bill
Overriding a veto by Arkansas' Democratic governor, the state's Republican-controlled House and Senate approved a bill to ban abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, the most restrictive such law in the country, CNN reports. Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed the bill Monday, saying it "blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court," but on Wednesday, the Arkansas House voted 56-33 to override the veto, following a 20-14 override vote a day earlier in the state Senate. The Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU of Arkansas promised to mount a legal challenge in federal court, while supporters said they were prepared to fight back. Called the "Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act," the bill requires testing to determine "whether the fetus that the pregnant woman is carrying possesses a detectable heartbeat." Abortions would be banned if a heartbeat is detected and the unborn baby "is under 12 weeks or greater gestation."
Publication date: March 8, 2013