Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Christians in Nepal Attacked as Constitutional Deadline Nears
- Christian Colleges Hurting for Students
- Incoming Spanish Prime Minister Promised to Repeal Anti-Family Policies
- Jesus Second Most Popular Person in America, Poll Finds
Christians in Nepal Attacked as Constitutional Deadline Nears
Two years after an explosion shook one of the biggest Catholic churches in Nepal and killed three people, the underground group that orchestrated the attack claimed responsibility for another bomb blast in front of the office of the United Mission to Nepal, a leading Christian charity in Kathmandu, Compass Direct News reports. There were no casualties, but police found leaflets at the site asserting that Nepal should be a Hindu state. On the same day in a nearby predominantly Buddhist village, local residents assaulted two brothers for leading worship services at their home. Meanwhile, the government is due to put forth a new draft of its constitution Wednesday, which says that although people would have the freedom to follow any religion, conversions would be prohibited. "With conversions still deemed a crime ... we feel that the draft retains the bias towards Christians," said evangelical pastor Chandra Shrestha. "This is a direct violation of our fundamental right to practice whatever religion we want."
Christian Colleges Hurting for Students
According to CNNMoney, economic troubles and a decline in the number of Christian youth have led some Christian colleges to close and others to drop "Bible" from their Bible College name or lower tuition rates to try to broaden their appeal. There are around a thousand small, private faith-based institutions in the U.S., which have an average enrollment of 1,900 students, and while the economy is affecting most schools of this size, religious schools are finding themselves in the toughest spot. By keeping tuition as low as possible, often by reducing financial aid, these schools are taking potential hits to profit as they try to keep enrollment up, said John Nelson of credit rating agency Moody's. The most pressing issue, though, seems to be the fact that religious membership has been on the decline in recent years, especially among young people. The percentage of Americans who identified as Christians fell from 86 percent in 1990 to 76 percent in 2008.
Incoming Spanish Prime Minister Promised to Repeal Anti-Family Policies
Spain's Popular Party won a historic conservative victory in November's election, and while the dismal state of the economy was a factor, family issues also played a significant role, WORLD News Service reports. Policies instituted during the past eight years by Socialist rulers -- easy access to abortion, the elimination of parents' rights, pro-gay education and same-sex marriage -- led to massive demonstrations, including a march of more than 150,000 people though Madrid's streets in March to protest new abortion-on-demand laws. In a February interview with the newspaper El Mundo, Spain's incoming prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, had promised that if his Popular Party constituted the next government, it would repeal those abortion laws as well as some controversial pro-gay curriculum. "We hope the revolution ... will spread to other Western European nations," said Larry Jacobs, managing director of World Congress of Families. "Their economic woes are rooted in anti-family policies, resulting in some of the lowest birth rates in history."
Jesus Second Most Popular Person in America, Poll Finds
A recent Public Policy Polling survey found Jesus is the second most popular person in America, just behind Abraham Lincoln, the Christian Post reports. The survey, which was taken to see if anyone in history could beat the level of favorability of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (89 percent), showed that 91 percent of Americans view Lincoln favorably, with Jesus coming in at 90 percent. Respondents were also asked to rate themselves, and 93 percent said they viewed themselves positively. Other high-ranking figures were George Washington (86 percent), Mother Teresa (83 percent) and Martin Luther King Jr. (74 percent). Also, notably, all Republicans polled had a favorable view of Jesus.
Publication date: November 30, 2011