Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Colorado Day of Prayer Ruled Unconstitutional
- Egyptians Want to Ditch Peace Treaty With Israel, Poll Shows
- London Law Society Bans Christian Group From Holding Discussion on Marriage
- Groupon Boycott Grows Over Pornography
Colorado Day of Prayer Ruled Unconstitutional
A Colorado appeals court panel ruled that the state's Day of Prayer is "predominantly religious" and therefore violates the constitutional rights of nonbelievers, CBN News reports. The Freedom From Religion Foundation challenged the statewide Day of Prayer -- proclaimed six times between 2004 and 2009 by Govs. Bill Ritter and Bill Owens -- claiming it amounted to a government endorsement of religion. The three-judge Colorado Court of Appeals panel agreed because the proclamations included Bible verses and religious themes. "[The Day of Prayer] undermine[s] the premise that the government serves believers and nonbelievers equally," Judge Steven Bernard wrote in the 73-page decision. The case will now go back to a trial court to decide whether future Colorado governors should be barred from making prayer proclamations.
Egyptians Want to Ditch Peace Treaty With Israel, Poll Shows
As Egyptians prepare to vote for their first post-Mubarak president next week, the frontrunners' antipathy toward Israel aligns with the findings of a new poll, in which 61 percent of Egyptian respondents favor abandoning the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, up from 54 percent a year ago, CNSNews.com reports. The survey, by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, also found a small decline among Egyptians in favorable views of the United States -- now just 19 percent -- while 61 percent said the billions of dollars given by the U.S. in military and economic aid has a "mostly negative" impact. Additionally, 61 percent of respondents chose Saudi Arabia as the preferred model for the role of religion in government, 60 percent said Egypt's laws should strictly adhere to the Quran, and 70 percent viewed the Muslim Brotherhood favorably (down from 75 percent in 2011). Egyptians go to the polls May 23-24; if no candidate secures an absolute majority a run-off election will be held in June.
London Law Society Bans Christian Group From Holding Discussion on Marriage
The Law Society in London has banned a Christian organization, Christian Concern, from hosting an informal discussion at its headquarters on the issue of marriage entitled "One man. One woman. Making the case for marriage for the good of society," according to Christians in Crisis. The Law Society wrote in an email to Christian Concern, "The nature of your event has recently been drawn to our attention, and it is contrary to our diversity policy, espousing as it does an ethos which is opposed to same-sex marriage." The Law Society's decision comes at a time when the debate over the UK government's proposal to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples has reached fever pitch after more than half a million people have signed a petition opposing the plans. Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said she was not looking for another venue but asking the Law Society to honor its contract with the group. "How can the Law Society's 'diversity policy' not include the protection and respect of a range of view on the issue of marriage?" she said.
Groupon Boycott Grows Over Pornography
More than 15,000 people have contacted the online coupon company Groupon to cancel their membership after Morality in Media uncovered Groupon's substantial support of pornography, Baptist Press reports. Groupon offered discounts on tours of a pornography studio in San Francisco, and after a boycott was launched in April, Groupon supported an event at the Playboy mansion. When confronted about its support of the pornography studio, the company responded, "This business has proven to be a responsible member of their community and the tour offered in this deal is historical and informational in nature." According to Morality in Media, advertisements related to these two offers "have now been wiped from the company's site, though expire coupons for other businesses are still on the site." Dawn Hawkins, executive director of Morality in Media, said, "Until Groupon announces that it will no more support sexually exploitive businesses, the boycott will grow." A "Boycott Groupon" page has been set up for supporters to call on Groupon executives to "reject partnership with businesses that glamorize the exploitation and abuse of women."
Publication date: May 15, 2012