Religion Today Daily Headlines - September 6, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - September 6, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Democrats Put God, Jerusalem Back in Platform
  • China: Christian Summer Camp Shut Down
  • Study Shows Little Risk to Unborn From Chemotherapy
  • India: Hindus Angry at Burial of Pastor Force Church Members to Exhume His Body


Democrats Put God, Jerusalem Back in Platform

Democratic officials reinserted language into their official platform Wednesday evening that invokes God and affirms Jerusalem as the capital of Israel -- though some delegates who objected to the changes were infuriated, the Los Angeles Times reports. The new amendments were introduced by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and put to a vote by convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa, who was forced to call for three voice votes in an effort to pass the changes. "I, uh, I guess I'll do that one more time," Villaraigosa said after the second vote resulted in equally loud "ayes" and "nos." After a third attempt, Villaraigosa declared the amendments had passed. "In the opinion of the chair, two-thirds have voted in the affirmative," he said, drawing boos and objections from delegates. A line in the Democratic platform from four years ago, "We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential," was originally omitted from the 2012 document but reinserted Wednesday night. The added passage regarding Jerusalem, which had been in the 2008 document, said the city "is and will remain the capital of Israel."

China: Christian Summer Camp Shut Down

In China's Shaanxi province, police raided and broke up a summer camp organized by a house church, confiscating church property and taking the organizer to a police station for questioning, China Aid reports. Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, chairman of the 200-member house church that organized the camp, said police forced their way into the meeting -- where Christians were tutoring more than 30 children and teenagers -- and forcibly removed teaching supplies, such as computers and overhead projectors. Police also removed religious decorations from the home. According to a member of the church surnamed Chang, an official "said this was an illegal meeting, that proper procedures had not been completed. He said that house churches that have not gone through the proper procedures cannot meet again after today."

Study Shows Little Risk to Unborn From Chemotherapy

A new study shows there is little evidence that chemotherapy treatments on a pregnant woman will negatively impact her unborn child's health, Baptist Press reports. The research on more than 400 European women with breast cancer showed their babies weighed less but were not at a greater risk for birth defects, blood disorders or hair loss. Premature birth, not chemotherapy, actually caused the babies' low birth weight in the study, according to the German Breast Group, which led the research. However, the group acknowledged more research was needed to determine if chemotherapy could cause physical or mental problems for a child later in life. In the past, physicians have told women with breast cancer that chemotherapy could harm their unborn children -- and sometimes recommended abortion -- but this study, among others, has shown such treatments after the first trimester can be safe for both the babies and their mothers.

India: Hindus Angry at Burial of Pastor Force Church Members to Exhume His Body

Hindus angry at the burial of a former Christian pastor in a new cemetery last week forced church leaders to exhume his body, Open Doors News reports. The body of the Rev. Daniel Das, retired pastor of the Church of North India in Pithora, was buried again Thursday in an older Christian cemetery that was already full and prone to flooding during India's summer monsoons, now in full swing. The new burial plot promptly filled with water. The church's pastor, Rev. Rodrick John, said since the cemetery was full and often inaccessible during the summer rains, the sub-divisional magistrate for the area set aside new ground for a cemetery six years ago. However, when church members buried the late Rev. Das in a plot in the new burial ground, about 600 members of a local Hindu agricultural community stormed the site, shouting anti-Christian slogans. The magistrate "left it to us Christians as to what we would do," John said, so to avert violence, the Christians exhumed the body and moved it to the older cemetery. The situation grew even more tense when the Hindus staged a rally against the Christians in the area; no violence has been reported, but "the incident has left the community shaken and the village polarized," John said.

Publication date: September 6, 2012