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Religion Today Daily Headlines - January 23, 2013

Religion Today Daily Headlines - January 23, 2013

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

In today's edition:

  • 70 Percent of Americans Believe Roe v. Wade Should Stand
  • Iranian Media's Claim American Pastor to be Freed on Bail Denounced as 'Lie,' Attorney Says
  • Canada's First Christian Law School Opposed Over Gay Lifestyle Ban
  • Thousands in Ireland Hold Vigil for 'Pro-Life Promise'


70 Percent of Americans Believe Roe v. Wade Should Stand

Seven in 10 Americans believe Roe v. Wade should stand, according to new data from a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, as the landmark Supreme Court abortion-rights ruling turned 40 on Tuesday. It is the highest level of support for the decision since polls began tracking it in 1989, mostly the result of more Democrats backing the decision -- particularly Hispanics and African-Americans -- and a slight increase in support from Republicans. But the poll showed a consistent tension in Americans' attitude toward the ruling. Almost seven in 10 say there are at least some circumstances in which they don't support abortion. Thirty-one percent of respondents said abortion should always be legal, and 9 percent believed it should be illegal with no exceptions. Between those two opinions are the 23 percent who said it should be legal most of the time but with some exceptions, and the 35 percent who said it should be illegal except in circumstances of rape, incest and a threat to the mother's life.

Iranian Media's Claim American Pastor to be Freed on Bail Denounced as 'Lie,' Attorney Says

The wife of an American pastor imprisoned in Iran on charges of evangelizing denounced as "a lie" a report that her husband had been granted bail, Fox News reports. Iran's state news agency reported Monday that Saeed Abedini, who was born in Iran but now lives in Idaho, would soon be free. But the report, which came on the first day of Abedini's trial, was seen by his wife, Naghmeh, as just another cruel manipulation. "This is all a lie by the Iranian media," Naghmeh said. "This has been a repeated promise by the Iranian regime since Saeed was first thrown in prison on Sept. 26, 2012. We have presented bail. After the judge told Saeed's lawyer that bail was back on the table, the family in Tehran ran around in circles today to make sure Saeed was let out on bail. But again the bail officer rejected bail." She said her husband's attorney, Nasser Sarbazi, cautioned her that the report, first carried by the state-controlled ISNA news agency and picked up by the Associated Press, did not mean he was closer to freedom. "This is a game to silence the international media," she said. "The lawyer in Iran was asked to make a statement, but that was before the family's attempts today and before the regime again rejected bail. Dr. Sarbazi told me today that the regime is not dropping the charges against Saeed -- this is the only act that would allow Saeed to leave Iran and return to the U.S."

Canada's First Christian Law School Opposed Over Gay Lifestyle Ban

For more than a year, Trinity Western University (TWU) has been attempting to start Canada's first Christian law school, a proposal that the Canadian Council of Law Deans finds "very troubling," Christianity Today reports. The deans recently issued a letter stating that TWU's "community covenant" -- a lifestyle code signed by all students, staff and faculty -- is discriminatory because it asks that those who sign it abstain from homosexual relationships. The deans argued that the lifestyle code was unfair to gay, lesbian and bisexual students and "fundamentally incompatible" with the core values of Canadian law schools and an equal society. TWU president Jonathan Raymond responded to the law deans in a letter of his own, arguing that the covenant was "consistent with federal and provincial law." The code also asks its signers to refrain from gossip, lying, smoking and consuming alcohol.

Thousands in Ireland Hold Vigil for 'Pro-Life Promise'

As many as 30,000 people attended a pro-life vigil in Dublin's Merrion Square on Saturday evening to oppose any changes to abortion legislation in Ireland, CBN News reports. According to Dr. Eoghan de Faoite of Youth Defence, rally attendees demanded in unison that Prime Minister Enda Kenny and the government keep their "pro-life promise." Abortion is currently illegal in Ireland except to save the life of the mother, but the government said last month it would legislate abortion in "certain cases" after a 31-year-old Indian dentist, Savita Halappanavar, was widely reported to have died in October because she was denied an abortion by Galway University Hospital. But the journalist who first reported the story has since admitted that the facts of Halappanavar's death were "muddled," and Irish pro-life leaders say the autopsy shows Halappanavar died from an infection caused by an antibiotic-resistant form of E. coli following a miscarriage. They insist hospital records show there was no request for an abortion, quoting doctors who say her death had nothing to do with Ireland's ban on abortion.

Publication date: January 23, 2013