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Religion Today Daily Headlines - May 24, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - May 24, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Atheist Richard Dawkins Supports Bibles in Schools
  • Discovery of Terrorist Base in Nigeria Refutes Islamist Claims
  • Gallup: Percentage of Pro-Abortion Americans Drops to Record Low
  • Pakistani Christian Accused of 'Blasphemy' After Billiards Dispute


Atheist Richard Dawkins Supports Bibles in Schools

Atheist Richard Dawkins says he supports the mission of England's Department of Education to make sure every public school has a copy of the 1611 translation of the King James Bible -- and even went as far to say he would have donated to the cause if he'd had the opportunity, the Christian Post reports. "A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian," Dawkins write in a column in The Guardian. Though some have criticized the Department of Education's statement that the Bible's impact on history and culture makes it a worthwhile addition to any school library, Dawkins is backing the distribution plan -- albeit with an ulterior motive. "I have an ulterior motive for wishing to contribute to [education secretary Michael] Gove's scheme," he wrote. "People who do not know the Bible well have been gulled into thinking it is a good guide to morality. ... I have even heard the cynically misanthropic opinion that, without the Bible as a moral compass, people would have no restraint against murder, theft and mayhem. The surest way to disabuse yourself of this pernicious falsehood is to read the Bible itself." The project -- in celebration of the translation's 400th anniversary -- was funded by charitable donations; all 24,000 Bibles should be distributed to the nation's state-funded schools by the end of May.

Discovery of Terrorist Base in Nigeria Refutes Islamist Claims

The Nigerian military's discovery on May 19 of a Muslim terrorist base in Jos full of ammunition and explosives refutes Islamist claims that Christians have been bombing their own churches, Compass Direct News reports. Following an intensive three-day search by Nigeria's Special Military Task Force that found four improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and 19 other bombs, a local pastor said: "It's a vindication, as in the past Muslims, after attacking Christian churches, have claimed that Christians have been responsible for these bombings. But now, everyone knows that Boko Haram has carried out the attacks and bombings on Christians and our churches in collaboration with other local Muslims in Jos." Another pastor, the Rev. Emefiena Ezeani, said too many people were refusing to acknowledge that churches were as much primary targets of Boko Haram as police, government and media facilities. "Has Boko Haram, thanks to their being truthful, not made it unequivocally clear that their ultimate intention is to Islamize the whole of Nigeria?" he said. "I am worried by the disturbing and deafening silence."

Gallup: Percentage of Pro-Abortion Americans Drops to Record Low

A new Gallup survey finds the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as supporting legalized abortion has dropped to a record low, LifeNews.com reports. "The 41 percent of Americans who now identify themselves as 'pro-choice' is down from 47 percent last July and is one percentage point below the previous record low in Gallup trends, recorded in May 2009," the polling company said. On the other hand, 51 percent of Americans call themselves pro-life, one percentage point away from the record high. The percentage of pro-life Americans has trended higher since 1995, when the partial-birth abortion debate began in earnest and ultrasound technology made images of unborn children the first baby pictures most parents saw.

Pakistani Christian Accused of 'Blasphemy' After Billiards Dispute

Police in Pakistan have charged a young Christian man with "blasphemy" after he had an argument with Muslims over a billiards game in Punjab Province's Sheikhupura district, Compass Direct News reports. Farooqabad police arrested Sajid Inayat, 20, on May 18 and charged him with desecrating the Quran under the country's controversial blasphemy laws after area young men accused him of setting on fire "holy pages" placed in a box on an electricity pole. Inayat was charged under Section 295-B, which makes willful desecration of the Quran or use of an extract in a derogatory manner punishable with life imprisonment. Inayat's cousin, Irfan Manzoor, said Inayat had been falsely accused because he had had an argument with some local Muslim boys over a billiards game just two days before the alleged incident. Sheikhupura police officer Haider Ashraf said authorities had sent Inayat to jail on judicial remand; he said the matter was serious and that police were investigating from all angles. There are no witnesses to the charges made against Inayat.

Publication date: May 24, 2012