Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- High Court Won't Hear Case against Religious Songs Ban
- Vatican Official Objects to IVF Pioneer's Nobel Prize Win
- Critic Looks Back on 30 Years of China's One-Child Policy
- India: 1 Million Lack Access to HIV/AIDS Treatment
High Court Won't Hear Case against Religious Songs Ban
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a religious expression case appealed by a father who sued his children's school district for its ban on religious music. The case against South Orange-Maplewood school district in New Jersey was one of hundreds the high court turned down as it opened its new term on the traditional first Monday in October. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld the ban in November. "[T]he governing principles have been examined and defined with more particularity," the judges wrote in their ruling, according to The Christian Post. And now, school authorities should be the ones who decide "how to best create an inclusive environment in public schools," they suggested. They say the controversial music policy conveys a message of government-sponsored disapproval of and hostility toward religion, which is "impermissible."
Vatican Official Objects to IVF Pioneer's Nobel Prize Win
A Vatican official at the Pontifical Academy for Life chastised members of the Nobel Prize committee for their choice of recipient. Professor Robert Edwards, who produced the first "test tube baby" in 1978, was awarded the prize in medicine last week. Bishop Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, called the decision "out of order," according to Christian Today. "Without Edwards, there would be no market for human eggs; without Edwards there would not be freezers full of embryos waiting to be transferred to a uterus, or, more likely, used for research or left to die, abandoned and forgotten about by all," he said. The Catholic Church has opposed the use of in vitro fertilization.
Critic Looks Back on 30 Years of China's One-Child Policy
Stephen Mosher was in China in 1980 when the government handed down the original one-child policy. Thirty years later, as the Chinese government praises the policy, Mosher told Christian Newsire the experiment is an "unmitigated social disaster" by a "police state." Mosher, now the president of the Population Research Institute, highlighted the policy's human rights violations, including forced sterilizations and abortions. "Economic controls have been loosened over the past 30 years, so control over other aspects of life must be tightened," he said. "The brutal one-child policy is one consequence of such a system's relentless drive for control over people's lives."
India: 1 Million Lack Access to HIV/AIDS Treatment
ASSIST News Service reports that more than 1 million people in India living with HIV/AIDS are without access to critical anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment. According to a new report from the World Health Organization, UNAIDS and UNICEF noted that India has made progress in scaling up access over the years, but that -- given its robust generic drug industry -- it could have done better. The universal gap between those needing urgent ARV treatment for HIV/AIDS the world over and those unable to have any access to it has climbed to over 15 million people. Easing access would cost $10 billion, says Rifat Atun, a senior official of the Global Fund. About 3.2 million people in India received ARV therapy at the end of last year, compared with just 2 million in 2008.