Religion Today Summaries - April 13, 2012

Religion Today

Religion Today Summaries - April 13, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Planned Parenthood Launches 'Prayer Campaign' for Abortions
  • Birth Rate for U.S. Teens is Lowest in History
  • India: Islamic Mob Storms Prayer Meeting, Beats and Harasses Christians
  • Evolution's 'Weaknesses' Can Be Taught in Tennessee


Planned Parenthood Launches 'Prayer Campaign' for Abortions

A local Planned Parenthood in California has launched a prayer campaign in support of abortion called "40 Days of Prayer: Supporting Women Everywhere," which some say mocks the pro-life "40 Days for Life" campaign that has saved the lives of hundreds of unborn children, CBN News reports. Six Rivers Planned Parenthood in Eureka, Calif., said the event was designed to celebrate "women and reproductive rights." A flyer lists 40 different prayers for those involved in an abortion, including the mothers, their escorts and their doctors. For example, Day 1's prayer is "Today we pray for women for whom pregnancy is not good news, that they know they have choices," Day 34's prayer is "Today we give thanks for abortion escorts who guide women safely through the hostile gauntlets of protesters," and Day 40's prayer is "Today we give thanks and celebrate that abortion is still safe and legal." Mathew Staver of the conservative legal defense group Liberty Counsel said, "As much as they might not like the comparison, Planned Parenthood today is no different than the eugenics promoted by its founder, Margaret Sanger, who advocated the elimination of 'undesirables,' just like the most famous eugenicist, Adolf Hitler."

Birth Rate for U.S. Teens is Lowest in History

A new federal data report released this week shows teen births are at their lowest level in almost 70 years, USA Today reports. The teen birth rate dropped 9 percent from 2009 to 2010 to a historic low of 34.3 births per 1,000 teens -- down 44 percent from 61.8 in 1991. The decline was seen in all racial and ethnic groups. According to Sarah Brown, CEO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, "young people are being more careful." She attributes the decline to less sex and the increased use of contraception. The National Center for Health Statistics credited "strong pregnancy prevention messages" and says contraceptive use "may have contributed."

India: Islamic Mob Storms Prayer Meeting, Beats and Harasses Christians

Islamic extremists in India attacked a Christian prayer meeting in West Bengal state, beating a 65-year-old widow and other women less than a month after they helped drive a young woman out of her home and village for her faith, Compass Direct News reports. On March 30, a mob of about 100 Muslims in NutangramMurshidabad district forced their way into a home where 11 Christians were gathered for lunch and worship. The mob shouted anti-Christian slogans and threatened to murder the Christians as they pushed, kicked and slapped them. 65-year-old widow Moyazan Bewa was beaten, and others received minor injuries. Hundreds of other Muslims gathered to watch as the mob chased the Christians outside and throughout the village and harassed them for about 90 minutes. "We pleaded with the radicals to let us go, and eventually they freed us while they were still shouting at us to leave Jesus or face more sufferings," one Christian said. The Christians fled to the outskirts of the village and took refuge in a home; they filed a police complaint against the assailants but so far no arrests have been made. In the same area of Nutangram on March 9, Islamic extremists drove 22-year-old Rekha Khatoon out of her village after helping her parents beat her nearly unconscious because she gave thanks to Jesus for healing.

Evolution's 'Weaknesses' Can Be Taught in Tennessee

A bill that will allow Tennessee public school teachers to present the "weaknesses" of scientific theories such as evolution has become law without the governor's signature, Baptist Press reports. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam returned the bill to the legislature April 10 without vetoing it or signing it, signaling that he wasn't fully pleased with it but acknowledging that his veto could be overridden. The bill passed the House 72-23 and the Senate 25-8. The new law states that legislators believe teachers may be "unsure" about some issues, including "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning," and that since a major purpose of scientific education is "to help students develop critical thinking skills," state officials cannot prohibit teachers from "helping students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories." Casey Luskin, an attorney for the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, said the law would protect teachers around the country who are "harassed, intimidated and sometimes fired" for presenting arguments against evolution, even if they back up their claims with evidence.

Publication date: April 13, 2012