12 Days of Giveaways - Spin & Win! Sign up before Dec. 25th to win daily prizes and a $250 Amazon.com Gift Card. Find out details.

Religion Today Daily Headlines - November 20, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - November 20, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • 121 Rockets Fired at Israel Monday as Operation Pillar of Defense Continues
  • Turkish Prime Minister: 'Israel is a Terrorist State'
  • International Fellowship of Christians and Jews Rushes Aid to Communities in Southern Israel
  • Court Halts Abortion Pill Mandate for Tyndale House Publishers


121 Rockets Fired at Israel Monday as Operation Pillar of Defense Continues

Israel continues its Operation Pillar of Defense in retaliation for rocket attacks from the U.S.-designated terror group Hamas. Since the Israel Defense Forces launched the operation last Wednesday with the assassination of Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari, a total of 1,113 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza, Ynetnews.com reports. A total of 324 have been intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system, and 37 landed in urban areas. On Monday, 121 rockets were fired at Israel, with 19 being intercepted and two landing in urban areas. Palestinian terrorists have fired more than 12,000 missiles at Israel in the past 12 years, and the IDF says it will do whatever is necessary to protect Israeli citizens and "cripple the terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week he would continue to speak to world leaders and emphasize "the effort Israel is making to avoid hitting civilians, and this at a time when Hamas and the [other] terrorist organizations are making every effort to hit civilian targets in Israel."

Turkish Prime Minister: 'Israel is a Terrorist State'

A top Turkish official has claimed that Israel is committing acts of terrorism by bombing Hamas targets in Gaza, CBS DC reports. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told the Eurasian Islamic Council conference in Istanbul: "Those who associate Islam with terrorism close their eyes in the face of mass killing of Muslims, turn their heads from the massacre of children in Gaza. For this reason, I say that Israel is a terrorist state, and its acts are terrorist acts." Meanwhile, a popular Egyptian Islamic cleric called on the people of Gaza to conduct suicide attacks against Israel in response to Operation Pillar of Defense. In a statement that appeared on Al Nas TV on November 15, Sheik Khalid Abdullah told Gazans to "go back to suicide attacks, with the will of God, against the Zionist entity. ... You only die once, so make it for the sake of God. Anything but force is useless with those Jews."

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews Rushes Aid to Communities in Southern Israel

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) has announced increased funding of emergency aid for families in southern Israel and new security projects to assist communities in the line of fire, ASSIST News Service reports. Rocket attacks on cities in southern Israel continue as the Israel Defense Forces launch a wide assault on Hamas terrorists and military infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, and a $2.7 million emergency and security aid package includes supplies for people in communities under fire, including Netivot, Sderot, Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Gat, Sdot Negev and Eshkol. The assistance includes basic supplies for children, families and the elderly in shelters, such as food, medicine, diapers, blankets, mattresses and generators. Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and CEO of The Fellowship, said in a news release: "With 20 percent of the nation's people in bomb shelters today, improving the security of the residents of the south is a vital priority for The Fellowship. The untenable situation of more than 1 million residents living under constant threat of rocket fire must top the list of concerns for every friend of Israel. We are working hand-in-hand with the Israel Ministry for Home Front Defense and the IDF, and we will continue to cooperate to ensure the security of Israel's people."

Court Halts Abortion Pill Mandate for Tyndale House Publishers

A federal court Friday stopped enforcement of the Obama administration's abortion pill mandate against Tyndale House Publishers, a Bible publisher represented by attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom, the ADF reports. The administration opposed the order, arguing that Tyndale wasn't "religious enough" for an exemption from the mandate -- a component of Obamacare that forces employers to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception. Obama administration rules say for-profit corporations are categorically non-religious, even though Tyndale is strictly a publisher or Bibles and Christian materials and is primarily owned by the non-profit Tyndale House Foundation. The court, however, wrote in its opinion accompanying a preliminary injunction order in Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius that "the beliefs of Tyndale and its owners are indistinguishable." ADF senior legal counsel Matt Bowman said: "Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish. The court has done the right thing in halting the mandate while our lawsuit moves forward. For the government to say that a Bible publisher is not religious is startling. It demonstrates how clearly the Obama administration is willing to disregard the Constitution's protection of religious freedom to achieve certain political purposes." The court's order is the third nationwide against the mandate and the second obtained by ADF attorneys.

Publication date: November 20, 2012