Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Texas Woman Forced to Cover Up 'Vote the Bible' T-Shirt at Polls
- CDC: U.S. Birth Rate Hits All-Time Low; 40.7 Percent of Babies Born to Unmarried Women
- Four Iranian Christian Leaders Each Sentenced to One Year in Prison
- Poll of Absentee Voters in Israel Finds Overwhelming Support for Romney
Texas Woman Forced to Cover Up 'Vote the Bible' T-Shirt at Polls
A woman who voted early last week near Austin, Texas, was forced to cover up her T-shirt that said "Vote the Bible," CBN News reports. According to the pro-family group Texas Values, Kay Hill was told by election workers at the Taylor City Hall polling place in Williamson County that her shirt was "offensive." She was told to either turn the shirt inside out, go home and change, or cover up the words "Vote the Bible." She tried to disagree but was eventually forced to cover up the words, and poll workers reportedly provided a jacket for her to wear over the shirt. Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, said: "It's outrageous that a person of faith would be mistreated this way while trying to vote. If this isn't voter intimidation, I don't know what is. No one should have to suffer the humiliation, embarrassment and intimidation that Ms. Hill endured. No one should be asked to give up their religious freedom in order to vote."
CDC: U.S. Birth Rate Hits All-Time Low; 40.7 Percent of Babies Born to Unmarried Women
The birth rate in the United States hit an all-time low in 2011, according to a report released in October by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CNSNews.com reports. "The 2011 preliminary number of U.S. births was 3,953,593, 1 percent less (or 45,793 fewer) births than in 2010; the general fertility rate (63.3 per 1,000 women age 15-44 years) declined to the lowest rate ever reported for the United States," the CDC said. The report also found that 40.7 percent of all babies born in the U.S. last year were to unmarried women -- a slight decline from 40.8 percent in 2010. In 2011, 1,606,087 babies were born to unmarried women and 2,347,506 were born to married women. Although the percentage of babies born to unmarried women was highest among teens, the percentage of babies born to unmarried women of older ages increased from 2010 to 2011.
Four Iranian Christian Leaders Each Sentenced to One Year in Prison
An Iranian Assembly of God pastor, his wife and two other church ministers have each been sentenced to a year in prison for preaching Christianity, ASSIST News Service reports. The four Christians, who were arrested in a church raid on Dec. 23, 2011, had their trial Oct. 15, 2012, at Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court in Ahwaz. The Revolutionary Court said their charges were "converting to Christianity, inviting Muslims to convert, as well as propagating against the Islamic regime through promoting evangelical Christianity." When the Christians' homes were searched, security authorities confiscated a number of personal items, including their computers, books, cell phones and DVDs, as well as sound equipment and musical instruments used at their church. The Christians have an opportunity to appeal the sentencing, but the verdict issued by that court will be final.
Poll of Absentee Voters in Israel Finds Overwhelming Support for Romney
An exit poll of Americans who voted absentee in Israel finds Republican candidate Mitt Romney beating President Barack Obama by a significant margin -- 85 percent to 14 percent, the Washington Free Beacon reports. IVoteIsrael, a nonpartisan organization founded over the summer to encourage American absentee voting, conducted the poll among 1,572 of the approximately 80,000 people it registered to vote absentee. The survey has a margin of error of 2.5 percent. Among those who said they were voting on "jobs and the economy," Romney beat Obama 59 percent to 29 percent. Among those voting on Iran, the margin was 86 percent to 5 percent, and among those voting on Israel-related issues, Romney won 89 percent to 3.5 percent. The organization estimated that the swing-state breakdown for absentee ballots cast in Israel included 7,500 votes in Florida, 3,500 in Ohio and 3,500 in Pennsylvania.
Publication date: November 2, 2012