Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Students Around the World Gather for 'See You at the Pole 2012'
- Ahmadinejad to UN: 'Uncivilized Zionists' Threaten Iran
- NYC Makes Morning-After Pill Available in 13 High Schools
- Humanitarian Group Deems Child Trauma in Syria 'Appalling'
Students Around the World Gather for 'See You at the Pole 2012'
More than three million students from at least 20 countries gathered on school grounds yesterday morning for "See You at the Pole 2012," the annual global day of student prayer, OneNewsNow.com reports. It was the 22nd anniversary of See You at the Pole, which is held on the fourth Wednesday of every September and is student-initiated, student-organized and student-led. Students from elementary school to college meet at their campus flagpoles before school to pray for their friends, families, teachers, school and nation. The theme for this year's event was "Awaken," taken from the prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21. According to Caleb Stanley, a high school senior and president of the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter in Oxford, Miss., "They try so hard to take prayer and take God out of school, and it's just awesome to see all these students come together and ... say, 'No -- we're going to be close to God, and there's nothing you can do about it to stop us.'"
Ahmadinejad to UN: 'Uncivilized Zionists' Threaten Iran
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called once again for the end of Israel as he addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, CBN News reports. U.N. schedulers chose Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, to hear from Ahmadinejad, who stepped to the podium as Israeli Jews were preparing to wind up 24 hours of fasting and prayers. With U.S., Canadian and Israeli representatives boycotting his speech, Ahmadinejad said his country was threatened by "uncivilized Zionists ... and the self-proclaimed centers of power who have entrusted themselves to the devil ... are responsible for poverty, corruption, ignorance and oppression and discrimination in every corner of the world." Ahmadinejad had already accused the United States on Tuesday of bullying, during a speech in which he also called for a new world order.
NYC Makes Morning-After Pill Available in 13 High Schools
The New York Department of Education is making the morning-after pill available to high school girls in 13 public schools, CBN News reports. The pilot program, called "Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health" or "CATCH," allows girls as young as 14 to get the so-called Plan B pill -- which can cause abortions -- from Health Department doctors without parental consent. Parents will have to opt out of the program if they don't want their daughters to participate. The program has sparked protests from parents and others, with many saying the city is trying to take the parents' place. "What we're finding here is government trying to usurp the role of the parent," said city councilman Fernando Cabrera. Greg Pfundstein of the Chiaroscuro Foundation believes the program will just lead to more risky behavior, likely meaning more pregnancies and abortions: "You end up with actually more sexual behavior and you end up with higher-risk behavior and you end up with an increase in STDs," he said. "And you have no change in the number of pregnancies and no change in the number of abortions because people have actually changed their behavior based on their perception of risk."
Humanitarian Group Deems Child Trauma in Syria 'Appalling'
According to a report by the humanitarian group Save the Children revealed at the start of the U.N. General Assembly, the civil war in Syria has subjected children to "appalling" torture, imprisonment and abduction, Mission Network News reports. Save the Children cited numerous cases of abuse against children during the 18-month conflict that began in March 2011 and now has an estimated total death toll of between 20,000 and 30,000. "Now we hear about kids who were involved and being used to force the families to be on one side or another," said George Makeen of the Middle Eastern Christian satellite TV broadcasting company SAT-7. Ongoing attacks have forced more than a quarter of a million Syrians to seek safety in neighboring countries, such as Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. The U.N. estimates more than 1.2 million internally displaced people, and 2.5 million in need of humanitarian assistance.
Publication date: September 27, 2012