Religion Today Daily Headlines - May 15, 2013

Religion Today Daily Headlines - May 15, 2013

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

In today's edition:

  • Nine of 12 Jurors in Gosnell Trial Were 'Pro-Choice'
  • Government Appeals Unrestricted Sale of Plan B
  • Tebow Finds Fulfillment Off the Field
  • Nigeria: Open Doors Appeals for Prayer After Reports of Boko Haram Attack


Nine of 12 Jurors in Gosnell Trial Were 'Pro-Choice'

According to Philadelphia local affiliate NBC 10, nine of the 12 jurors who convicted abortionist Kermit Gosnell of murder on Monday were "pro-choice," reports. The jury found Gosnell guilty of first-degree murder in three instances of killing babies born alive during abortions by snipping their spinal cords with surgical scissors. According to NBC 10 reporter Jacqueline London: "And to give you some background on the jurors, of the seven women and five men who are on the jury, at least nine told the court that they are pro-choice. Two say that they are neither pro-choice nor pro-life. So, interesting background on them, they have been very attentive throughout this entire trial." In addition to the three first-degree murder charges, Gosnell was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of a patient and more than 200 other related charges. Earlier on Monday the jury was hung on two of the counts, though the court would not specify which ones. Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge Jeffrey P. Minehart told the jurors to try again to reach a unanimous verdict.

Government Appeals Unrestricted Sale of Plan B

The Obama administration has filed an appeal that will delay the sale of the morning-after pill Plan B One-Step and its generic competitors to girls without prescriptions, CBN News reports. The government says U.S. District Judge Edward Korman overstepped his authority when he ruled that any girl of any age should have access to the contraceptive drug. Last week, Korman refused to delay enforcement of his decision while the government challenges it. Monday's last-minute appeal asks the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to postpone the judge's ruling while the case is being decided.

Tebow Finds Fulfillment Off the Field

Eleven days after the New York Jets cut him, Christian quarterback Tim Tebow told a crowd of about 3,000 at Lake Michigan College that his main goal is to impact lives, whether on or off the field. And that shouldn't be too hard considering a survey released last week named Tebow America's most influential athlete. Despite the controversy surrounding his public faith, Tebow finished ahead of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Jamaican track star Usain Bolt and Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. "That’s a huge honor," Tebow said in response to the survey. "I see it as a great responsibility to be a role model for future generations. That's something I care about more than winning football games. If I can take the game of football and can transcend football -- go to hospitals and make kids smile -- I'll be doing things that matter." Although Tebow didn’t mention his dismissal from the Jets during his hour-long speech or offer any insight as to what his next move might be, the 25-year-old did talk about finding a life of fulfillment after the game. "What I want to do with my life is impact lives," he said. "When a kid in a hospital is fighting for his life and I'm trying to win a football game, what really matters? This game isn't as important as a lot of us make it out to be. If I can give him a little bit of hope, I can do something that matters. That's what I want my legacy to be about. That's how I want to be remembered."

Nigeria: Open Doors Appeals for Prayer After Reports of Boko Haram Attack

Open Doors USA has issued an urgent appeal for prayer after receiving news that suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked the predominantly Nigerian Christian village of Zangan in southern Kaduna state around midnight on Monday. Local sources report fatalities and Open Doors says it understands "the entire village has been destroyed." The village chief's residence was reportedly burnt to the ground and the village chief's whereabouts remain unknown after he fled Zangan. Churches and homes were among the buildings destroyed in the attack. Open Doors reports: "Zangan villagers are fleeing in large numbers for fear of escalating violence. Local sources have told us that Boko Haram had vowed earlier to destroy the predominantly Christian communities located in southern Kaduna. We do not have any more details at this stage, but understand that this area saw a similar attack about four weeks ago. Open Doors urges to pray for the people of southern Kaduna state and Zangan village in particular." Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra said: “The extremist group Boko Haram wants to create an Islamic state and put Sharia Law into effect in a country split almost equally between Christians and Muslims. Attacks by Boko Haram have killed more than 3,000 people since 2009, based on figures from Human Rights Watch. Please pray for peace as the violence is spreading, especially in northern Nigeria."

Publication date: May 15, 2013