Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Vatican Calls for Homosexuality to Be Decriminalized
- China: Registered Church Demolished, Christians Beaten
- Anglican Leader Questions Human Cost of Economic Measures
- Iran: Radio Ministry Celebrates Two Years on Air
Vatican Calls for Homosexuality to Be Decriminalized
Religion News Service reports that the Vatican on Friday (Dec. 19) called for the decriminalization of homosexuality, but said a proposed United Nations declaration on gay rights is vague and excessively far-reaching. The statement by the Holy See's UN delegation was a response to the "Declaration on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity," presented to the UN General Assembly on Thursday. "The Holy See appreciates the attempts made in [the declaration] to condemn all forms of violence against homosexual persons as well as urge states to take necessary measures to put an end to all criminal penalties against them," the statement said. But the Vatican said that the UN declaration "goes beyond this goal and instead gives rise to uncertainty in the law and challenges existing human rights norms."
China: Registered Church Demolished, Christians Beaten
Christian News Wire reports that a group of police officers with nearly a thousand civilians forcibly demolished a church in Jiangsu province of China on Dec. 17. The destruction of this registered church came less than 24 hours after the church won a court case protecting their building against the same individuals who attacked it. The mob took away property belonging to the church and beat more than 10 Christians. Contacts report that the destruction was the result of government officials and powerful businessmen working in collusion to obtain the coveted church property by force.
Anglican Leader Questions Human Cost of Economic Measures
The Christian Post reports that the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion has warned world governments against letting the most vulnerable bear the brunt of the economic downturn. Dr. Rowan Williams told the U.K. Telegraph that government must remember "the unique concerns and crises of the pensioner whose savings have disappeared, the Woolworth's employee, the hopeful young executive, let alone the helpless producer of goods in some Third-world environment where prices are determined thousands of miles away," urging them to remember the faces amid their policies. “How we make it all work is vastly complicated – no one is pretending it isn't. But without these anxieties about the specific costs, we've lost the essential moral compass,” said Williams.
Iran: Radio Ministry Celebrates Two Years on Air
Mission News Network reports that Christian satellite TV ministry SAT-7 PARS is celebrating two years on the air in Iran. David Harder with SAT-7 says, "It is an exciting anniversary for us -- two years of being able to broadcast 24-hours a day, being able to reach people all throughout the day with the good news of Jesus and to be able to bring training." Christian evangelism is banned in Iran, and government even employs spies to monitor Christian groups. The channel works to provide Christian education and training for all ages, as training materials are scarce in Iran.