Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Iranian Pastor Nadarkhani Issues Letter to Supporters, Expresses Faith and Perseverance
- California May Ban Teen Reparative Therapy for Same-Sex Attractions
- Georgia Passes Two Pro-Life Laws
- Police in New Dress Code Crackdown in Iranian Capital
Iranian Pastor Nadarkhani Issues Letter to Supporters, Expresses Faith and Perseverance
Imprisoned Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who faces execution for refusing to recant his Christian faith, has issued a letter to persecution aid group Present Truth Ministries, the Christian Post reports. In the letter, Nadarkhani asks for continued prayer that he will be released, and assures his supporters that although he continues to await his freedom, he maintains eternal faith in God's will. "I would like to inform all of my beloved brothers and sisters that I am in perfect health in the flesh and spirit," he writes. "And I try to have a little different approach from others to these days, and consider it as the day of exam and trial of my faith. And during these days which are hard in order to prove your loyalty and sincerity to God, I am trying to do the best in my power to stay right with what I have learned from God's commandments. I need to remind my beloveds, though my trial due has been so long, and as in the flesh I wish these days to end, yet I have surrendered myself to God's will." Nadarkhani's letter can be read in its entirety here.
California May Ban Teen Reparative Therapy for Same-Sex Attractions
A first-of-its-kind bill is being proposed in California that would ban teens and children from receiving reparative therapy for same-sex attractions, according to Dr. James Emery White's blog on Crosswalk.com. Opponents of the bill -- which would ban anyone under age 18 from receiving sexual-orientation change efforts and require adults seeking treatment to sign a release form stating that the therapy would be ineffective and "dangerous" -- are calling it a blatant denial of freedom and parental rights, but it has already made its way through the state Senate Judiciary Committee. Brad Dacus of the legal defense group Pacific Justice Institute said the measure was "one of the most outrageous, speech-chilling bills we have ever seen in California -- and that's saying a lot." White added: "This particular bill is one of the most egregious and frightening I've ever seen. It essentially prevents a parent from leading their child away from unwanted same-sex attractions and attempts to prevent adults from receiving help to leave the homosexual lifestyle. In effect, it is not simply attempting to gain acceptance for homosexuality, but make its opposition illegal."
Georgia Passes Two Pro-Life Laws
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law bills banning late-term abortions and making it a felony to assist in suicides, WORLD News Service reports. Perhaps the most significant of the new laws is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act, which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2013, and will move Georgia from having one of the most liberal abortion policies nationwide to becoming a state with one of the strictest. Currently, abortions may be obtained in the state for almost any reason throughout the entire pregnancy, but under the new law, abortions cannot be performed after the 20th week of pregnancy. The National Right to Life Committee estimates the change will save as many as 1,500 babies annually.
Police in New Dress Code Crackdown in Iranian Capital
Police in Tehran are conducting a new crackdown on women whose clothing does not comply with Islamic dress standards, according to ASSIST News Service. Such operations, in which police screen foot and vehicle traffic at major junctions and shopping centers, are conducted fairly often in Iran. The latest crackdown -- which police chief Hossein Sajedinia said was "asked for by the people" -- was ordered days ahead of the May 4 second round of parliamentary elections, and as the onset of warm weather has prompted Iranian women to don lighter clothing. Women wearing "bad headscarves, bad dress, and model-type women in vulgar dress" will be stopped, Sajedinia said, and fined or detained in police stations until relatives bring them more modest clothing. Sajedinia also said companies importing "illegal clothes" that did not comply with Islamic dress standards would be given a warning or closed.
Publication date: May 11, 2012