Religion Today Summaries - October 7, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - October 7, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • Journalism Program Helping Islam 'Look Less Radical'
  • Judge Upholds Firing of Christian Teacher
  • Increasing Violence, Persecution Against Egyptian Christians
  • Pregnancy Help Centers to Expand in Latin America

 

Journalism Program Helping Islam 'Look Less Radical'

Left-wing billionaire George Soros is funding a course that teaches journalists how to downplay the negative aspects of Islam, OneNewsNow.com reports. The three-hour online course, "Covering Islam in America," is a project of the Poynter Institute, which claims the program is designed to "give a broad explanation of the religious, social, political and geographic facts about Islam today." However, Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center says it's little more than a guide on how to spin Islam in a positive light: Among other things, it teaches journalists to downplay jihad and to put the 9/11 deaths in context with the number of AIDS and homicide deaths in America.

Judge Upholds Firing of Christian Teacher

An Ohio county court upheld a school board's decision to fire a middle-school science teacher for teaching creationism and other Christian beliefs, the Religion News Service reports. Knox County judge Otho Eyster said he found clear and convincing evidence that the Mount Vernon school board was right in dismissing John Freshwater, a veteran teacher of 24 years who kept a Bible on his desk and religious materials in his classroom. Freshwater was also accused of marking students' arms with the image of a cross during science experiments, though he denies that allegation and the school said it was not a factor in his firing. He said Thursday he was reviewing his legal options.

Increasing Violence, Persecution Against Egyptian Christians

The Christian Newswire reports an escalation in hate speech and barbaric violence targeting the Coptic Christians of Egypt -- who make up less than 15 percent of the majority-Muslim population -- amidst government indifference. Egyptian leaders have issued proclamations pressuring Christians to convert, accept second-class status, face death or leave the country, and Muslim mobs have burned Coptic churches, homes and businesses and kidnapped young girls. Coptic Solidarity warns that the situation could eventually lead to ethnic cleansing against the Copts, and is urging the U.N. Human Rights Council and the international community to come to their aid.

Pregnancy Help Centers to Expand in Latin America

Heartbeat International, a pro-life pregnancy help center chain, is expanding in Latin America in response to a growing need, according to OneNewsNow.com. Latin America has been one of the major targets of Planned Parenthood and the U.N. Population Fund in spreading the use of contraception and abortion on demand, and Heartbeat spokeswoman Peggy Hartshorn said the need for more pregnancy care centers was obvious. The city of Medellin, Colombia, for example, has three legal abortion clinics, 67 illegal abortion facilities and only one pregnancy help center. Hartshorn said: "We are helping these startup pregnancy health centers to really have the best materials they can ... and know how to market to abortion-minded and abortion-vulnerable women who are in their midst."

Publication date: October 7, 2011

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