Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Military Contractor to Pull Bible Verses on Weapons
- Leading Evangelicals Call for Haiti's Debt Cancellation
- Pro-Lifers Mark Roe v. Wade Anniversary with Hope
- OBI Restores Clean Water to Haiti's Largest Hospital
Military Contractor to Pull Bible Verses on Weapons
Religion News Service reports that a Michigan military contractor will remove encoded Bible references on weapons it builds for U.S. military after a firestorm of complaints from both believers and atheists. "Trijicon has proudly served the U.S. military for more than two decades, and our decision to offer to voluntarily remove these references is both prudent and appropriate," said Stephen Bindon, president and CEO of Trijicon Inc. ABC News' "Nightline" reported Monday (Jan. 18) on the biblical references on weapons used by soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq after learning about them from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a watchdog group. One rifle sight included the code "JN8:12," a reference to the Gospel of John in which Jesus says, "He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Leading Evangelicals Call for Haiti's Debt Cancellation
More than 60 Christian leaders have signed a statement calling for international governments and lending bodies to cancel the Haitian government's foreign debt following last week's quake. A statement released Friday, organized by the recently-formed New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good and signed by more than 60 prominent Christian leaders, states, "We believe that Jesus calls us to work together to set free those who are held captive by debt... This call is especially acute in times of crisis. In light of the catastrophic earthquake and the destruction of Haiti's already fragile infrastructure, we, the undersigned, call upon all nations and institutions that have made loans to the Haitian government to quickly and completely forgive these debts. The New Evangelical Partnership is led by Rev. Richard Cizik., former National Association of Evangelicals Vice President for Governmental Affairs.
Pro-Lifers Mark Roe v. Wade Anniversary with Hope
The Christian Post reports that pro-life groups met this year's Jan. 22 anniversary of Roe v. Wade with some optimism. Surveys in 2009 showed that support for abortion has dropped among many demographics, including young adults. A Gallup poll showed that 51 percent of Americans are pro-life, while 42 percent consider themselves pro-choice. A similar Gallup in 1995 found only 33 percent would call themselves pro-life. "The compassionate outreach of pregnancy centers is infectious and our movement is growing," said Care Net President Melinda Delahoyde. Care Net's faith-based network extends to 1,180 pregnancy centers across North America. The number of abortion clinics throughout the U.S. has also declined significantly from 1991, when there were 2,200 clinics open. Today there are only 713.
OBI Restores Clean Water to Haiti's Largest Hospital
ASSIST News Service reports that Operation Blessing International (OBI) has set up a water purification plant in Haiti's largest hospital, General Hospital, restoring the facility's clean water. The 700-bed hospital has a staff of 2,000, yet did not have running high quality drinking water even before the Jan. 20 earthquake. The hospital had been purchasing truckloads of drinking water, and pumping it into holding tanks. Since the quake, the trucks have not been operating and the hospital had been without clean water. The new purification plant from OBI will produce up to 10,000 gallons of filtered water every day through the hospital's three wells. OBI has been working to help Haitians since May 2009, and had staff on the ground when the earthquake hit.