Religion Today Summaries - January 24, 2012

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - January 24, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Obama: Roe v. Wade Ensures Our Daughters Have Same Chance to 'Fulfill Dreams'
  • Egypt's 75-Percent Islamist Parliament Holds First Session
  • Nigeria: Death Toll Rises in Bomb Attacks, Christians Increasingly Fearful
  • Couple Has Eight Children in One-Child China

 

Obama: Roe v. Wade Ensures Our Daughters Have Same Chance to 'Fulfill Dreams'

In a statement on the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Obama said it was a chance to recognize the "fundamental constitutional right" to abortion and "continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams," CNSNews.com reports. Obama added: "We must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman's health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on family matters." On Friday, the Obama administration finalized regulations that would require every health insurance provider to cover all contraceptive drugs, including those that cause abortions.

Egypt's 75-Percent Islamist Parliament Holds First Session

Egypt's new parliament -- elected in the first vote since the ouster of president Hosni Mubuarak nearly a year ago -- held its inaugural session yesterday, with Islamists making up nearly 75 percent of the 498-seat chamber, Fox News reports. Egypt's minority Coptic Christians, among others, are worried and anxious about what the Islamist domination will mean for the tone of the new legislative body, which will soon be forming a committee to write a new constitution. The lower and more powerful of the parliament's two chambers, the People's Assembly, is also expected to soon elect a speaker and two deputies; the speaker is expected to come from the Muslim Brotherhood, the extremist group that won just under half the seats.

Nigeria: Death Toll Rises in Bomb Attacks, Christians Increasingly Fearful

A series of attacks by militant Islamist group Boko Haram rocked Nigeria's northern states of Bauchi and Kano during the weekend, with the death toll estimated to be more than 185, Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports. The bombings and shooting spree targeted the immigration services, police headquarters and State Security Service building in Kano, and Boko Haram's spokesman, Abul Qaqa, said the only thing preventing the group from unleashing an "endless campaign of violence" on the entire state was the intervention of unnamed Muslim scholars. In Bauchi state, a church and school were partially destroyed by bombs, and 11 were killed in an attack on a hotel and a military checkpoint. Nigeria's Christian community is increasingly worried that they will be directly targeted in the near future as Boko Haram's attacks become more frequent and deadly.

Couple Has Eight Children in One-Child China

Baptist Press reports that a Chinese man and woman are parents to eight babies with the help of two surrogate mothers, shattering the boundaries of the country's coercive population-control mandates that have been in place for more than 30 years. The four boys and four girls were born in September and October 2010, two carried by their biological mother and three each carried by two surrogates. The couple, who has not been identified, spent nearly $160,000 to have the babies, despite steep penalties for violations of China's one-child policy and a law prohibiting surrogacy. Chinese news media are referring to the mother as "octomom," and the story has intrigued China's citizens because of the blatant rebellion against the country's strict policies, said Liang Zhongtang, a demography expert at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. "People are very interested in the policy these days and the need for changes to it," he said.

Publication date: January 24, 2012

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