Chirac, Canada, Mother's Day & Food for the Poor

Chirac, Canada, Mother's Day & Food for the Poor


In Today's Edition:

  • Institute Calls on Chirac to Advance Religious Freedom
  • Muslim Convert Rejected by Canada
  • Mother's Day e-card Another Example of Planned Parenthood's Hypocrisy
  • Nicaraguan President Recognizes Food For The Poor Housing Project
  • Other Headlines at a Glance

Institute Calls on Chirac to Advance Religious Freedom ... The Institute on Religion and Public Policy in Washington, D.C., has challenged President Jacques Chirac of France to "stand firmly for freedom of religion, belief and conscience" after his overwhelming victory over Jean-Marie Le Pen. According to a press release distributed by Christian Wire Services, Institute President Joseph K. Grieboski said: "President Chirac, demonstrate your commitment to these liberties ... by calling for the resignation of Alain Vivien, President of the Inter-ministerial Commission to Battle Sects and Cults in France (MILS)."

Vivien and his staff from MILS reportedly have exported religious intolerance throughout Europe and around the globe, even to the point of meeting with government officials in Beijing to discuss means of dealing with "undesirable" religious groups. As head of an inter-ministerial commission, Vivien is a member of the government and reports directly to the Prime Minister.

"President Chirac has established an interim cabinet of great quality and high standards," Grieboski continued. "This new cabinet can begin to repair the face of human rights and religious freedom in France by replacing Vivien and working to oversee an appropriate, face, objective, and balanced implementation of the About/Picard Law to reinforce the prevention and repression of groups of a sectarian nature."

Muslim Convert Rejected by Canada ... The Voice of the Martyrs, Canada, has issued the following alert: On May 2, the Canadian embassy in Ankara, Turkey turned down an Iranian Christian family who were seeking asylum in Canada. VOM learned from Compass Direct News Service that Mahmoud and Atefeh Erfani, along with their three daughters, fled Iran in 1999 after facing increasing hostility and harassment from authorities. They have been in central Turkey since, seeking refugee status. Erfani and his wife converted to Christianity from Islam 21 years ago and are facing with the threat of execution for apostasy if they are returned to Iran.

According to Compass, after a one-hour hearing with Erfani, the Canadian Embassy issued a letter stating that he did not meet the definition of a refugee. The letter gave no specific reason for the refusal, but church sources in Canada believe Mrs. Erfani's health problems were most likely the determining factor. She is in a wheelchair with multiple sclerosis. According to the Canadian church that had pledged full sponsorship for the family, the case with the Canadian government has been closed and there is no further appeal.

After being refused UNHCR refugee status in February, the Turkish Interior Ministry issued a deportation order. This order was delayed while the Canadian embassy considered their case. They now face imminent deportation. "I have nothing in my hands now," Erfani said. "I am afraid that we could be sent back to Iran," he admitted.

Mother's Day e-card Another Example of Planned Parenthood's Hypocrisy ... "Over 3 million children will not be able to send their mothers a card this Mother's Day because they were aborted at Planned Parenthood clinics over the past 25 years," said Ed Szymkowiak, national director of STOPP International, a division of American Life League. "Yet Planned Parenthood is running a hypocritical Mother's Day e-card campaign that includes the option of making a donation to Planned Parenthood in someone's honor. Planned Parenthood will exploit anything for a buck."

The Planned Parenthood web page for the Mother's Day e-card says, in part, that every child should be wanted and loved. "In 2000, Planned Parenthood killed 197,070 children whose mothers obviously neither wanted nor loved them," said Szymkowiak. "At an average cost of $350 that is almost $69 million of income from abortion alone in one year. That an organization such as this would try to exploit Mother's Day for donations is revolting."

In addition to performing post-implantation abortion procedures, Planned Parenthood also distributes so-called contraceptive drugs and devices that often kill children by preventing them from implanting in their mothers' wombs. "Planned Parenthood has done more to deprive children of their mothers than perhaps an other organization on earth, thus making its very existence an affront to what Mother's Day represents," Szymkowiak said.

Nicaraguan President Recognizes Food For The Poor Housing Project ... The President of the Republic of Nicaragua, Enrique Bolanos, recently honored Food For The Poor at the dedication of the Santa Matilde housing project in Chinandega. According to ASSIST News Service (ANS), President Bolanos thanked Food For The Poor for its efforts in working together with other organizations to make housing a reality for the people of Chinandega.

The 330 families from El Limonal who are receiving homes are survivors of the Casitas volcano mudslide, which killed hundreds of people following Hurricane Mitch in 1998. El Limonal is a community of ramshackle hovels, situated between the city dump, a cemetery and the city septic tank, reports ANS. The new housing and new location of the Santa Matilde community, nestled against the backdrop of two magnificent mountains, with schools, water systems, and community oversight committees, provides a clean, secure environment for over 2,000 people.

The Santa Matilde Project was initiated and primarily funded by the U.S. based Food For The Poor, and was managed and directed in Nicaragua by Fr. Marco Dessy, through the American-Nicaraguan Foundation. The Rotary Club of Houston, Texas provided a portion of the funds necessary for the completion of each home, and the Atlanta based Amigos por Cristo provided the funds for the purchase of the land.

Other Headlines at a Glance: