In today's edition:
- 1,000 Children in Africa Born with HIV Every Day
- Bush, On Book Tour, Tells Rick Warren of Faith
- Ethiopia Imprisons Christian Accused of Defacing Quran
- Pro-Family Groups Fight against 'Hate Group' Label
1,000 Children in Africa Born with HIV Every Day
About 33.3 million children -- including 2.5 million children -- live with the HIV/AIDS virus around the world, according to UNAIDS. Today, on World AIDS Day, activists and humanitarian groups are reminding people that the disease still needs global attention. Reuters reports that at one World Aids Day event in Sydney, Australia, U2's lead singer Bono urged first world nations to continue funding for treatment despite recessionary times. More than 80 landmarks in 13 countries are dressed in red today to mark the occasion, according to The Washington Post. In Africa alone, more than 1,000 children are born each day with HIV, according to UNICEF. Additionally, half of the HIV-positive women in Africa do not have access to proper drugs to prevent transmission to their children. An estimated 1.8 million people died of AIDS last year.
Bush, On Book Tour, Tells Rick Warren of Faith
Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church has welcomed presidential candidates to its stage before; on Monday, Warren welcomed a former president onto his turf. Former President George W. Bush and Warren talked about a range of topics from Bush's new memoir, "Decision Points." Bush told Warren that he read the Bible every morning of his presidency, adding, "I think religion is discipline." He said it wasn't easy to reconcile the ego necessary to run for president with the humility needed to be religious, the Los Angeles Times reported. Several protesters had to be removed from the event when they stood up and shouted in the audience of 3,100, but the former president also drew sustained applause. The Times noted that Bush seemed careful to avoid criticizing President Barack Obama or discussing current politics.
Ethiopia Imprisons Christian Accused of Defacing Quran
Compass Direct News reports that a Christian in Ethiopia's southern town of Moyale has been sentenced to three years of prison, church leaders said. Tamirat Woldegorgis, a member of the Full Gospel Church in his early 30s, was arrested in early August after a Muslim co-worker in the clothes-making business the two operated out of a rented home discovered Woldegorgis had inscribed "Jesus is Lord" on some cloth. His business partner later accused him of writing "Jesus is Lord" in a copy of the Quran, although no evidence of that ever surfaced. Woldegorgis was sentenced on Nov. 18 for allegedly defacing the Quran and was subsequently transferred to Jijiga prison. Jijiga is the capital of Ethiopia's Somali Region Zone Five, which is governed by Islamic principles, and his transfer there - after a period in which his whereabouts were unknown - puts his life in greater danger, a church leader said.
Pro-Family Groups Fight against 'Hate Group' Label
The Family Research Council (FRC) is on the defensive after a secular policy organization labeled the FRC a hate group. The Christian Post reports that FRC President Tony Perkins called the move by the Southern Poverty Law Center nothing but "juvenile name calling." He defended his group's stance against same-sex parenting, gays in the military, and laws that could criminalize criticism of homosexual behavior. "We think to be silent when it comes to homosexual behavior that's both harmful to society and, more importantly, to the individuals who engage in it, to be silent, that is in fact hateful," he said. Southern Poverty Law Institute emphasized that not every anti-gay group is also a "hate group," citing Focus on the Family as an example.