Religion Today Daily Headlines - September 24, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - September 24, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Chick-fil-A's Dan Cathy: We Have Made No Concessions
  • Rescue Mission Underway for 2,000 Christians Trapped in Sudan
  • Another Christian College Files Suit Against Contraceptive Mandate
  • Alabama Woman Sues Planned Parenthood


Chick-fil-A's Dan Cathy: We Have Made No Concessions

Following reports that Chick-fil-A had agreed to stop funding certain traditional family groups in order to get approval for a new Chicago restaurant, company president Dan Cathy said Friday the restaurant had made no concessions and that it remained "true to who we are," Baptist Press reports. Cathy's statement, posted on Mike Huckabee's website, came one day after the company released its own statement saying its corporate giving had been "mischaracterized" for many months and that it would continue to fund programs that "strengthen and enrich marriages." Cathy said: "There continues to be erroneous implications in the media that Chick-fil-A changed our practices and priorities in order to obtain permission for a new restaurant in Chicago. That is incorrect. Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been." Focus on the Family president Jim Daly -- whose organization supposedly had been de-funded by Chick-fil-A -- has also spoken up for the company. 

Rescue Mission Underway for 2,000 Christians Trapped in Sudan

A major operation by Barnabas Aid to rescue 2,000 Christian women and children trapped in Sudan got underway Sept. 19, with the first successful airlift to South Sudan, ASSIST News Service reports. After a number of practical and bureaucratic obstacles initially delayed the start of the rescue mission, the first of 12 chartered flights departed from Khartoum for Juba, with the rest scheduled for the days and weeks ahead. Church and community leaders have identified the most needy and vulnerable Christians among the hundreds of thousands of southerners trapped in Khartoum. "They will be welcomed at temporary reception facilities set up by the South Sudanese government before moving on to extended family connections around the country," a Barnabas Aid spokesperson said. "The church in South Sudan is ready to help with their practical needs." Christians of southern origin remaining in Sudan were stripped of their citizenship after South Sudan seceded, and were given a deadline to leave. President Omar al-Bashir has made it clear they are no longer welcome, repeatedly declaring his intention to make the country's next constitution 100 percent Islamic and strengthen sharia law. Many have made their own way to South Sudan, but the Sudanese government has closed the border to prevent any more traveling to South Sudan by the river Nile. The vulnerability of those still trapped has intensified over the last week as violent Islamic protests rocked Sudan, the spokesperson said. "As well as facing danger, the impoverished southern Christians have been living in dire conditions in makeshift shelters on the outskirts of the capital for many months."

Another Christian College Files Suit Against Contraceptive Mandate

The College of the Ozarks, a small Christian college in Point Lookout, Mo., has filed suit against the federal government over the mandate requiring employers to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptive and abortifacient drugs, WORLD News Serivce reports. The College of the Ozarks is the 14th school to challenge the mandate in court. "The so-called Affordable Care Act is government at its worst," said school president Jerry C. Davis in a statement. "This is not a partisan issue. It is a constitutional issue, and the College wants its rights respected and enforced, instead of being trampled upon. The Constitution still matters." Although the College of the Ozarks qualifies for a one-year exemption to the mandate, which went into effect Aug. 1, the delay only postpones the inevitable, Davis said. Like other small schools, College of the Ozarks has seen insurance costs skyrocket under the health care reforms. Rising premiums might force the school to make a substantive change to its insurance plan, which would end its eligibility for the exemption, he said. According to The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a legal group representing several schools, institutions and companies fighting the mandate, 29 challenges are pending in courts around the country.

Alabama Woman Sues Planned Parenthood

A woman is suing Birmingham’s only abortion center for negligent care, misdiagnosis and for failing to hire trained and licensed employees, WORLD News Service reports. Roberta Clark went to the Planned Parenthood of Birmingham on Aug. 20, and after an ultrasound and pelvic exam, was told she was eight weeks and four days along in her pregnancy. Abortion doctor Aqua Don Emmanuel Umoren then performed an abortion. But after 25 days, Clark was still nauseous, bleeding and vomiting. She went to the Princeton Medical Center Emergency Room on Sept. 14, where she was told she had an ectopic pregnancy that was 13 weeks along -- putting her life in danger. Dana Cody, executive director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF), told CitizenLink that Planned Parenthood records showed an abortion was completed at the clinic -- despite the fact that Clark’s uterus was empty before she went to the clinic, and no fetal remains were found in the aborted tissue. LLDF is taking action to ensure the safety of women in the state. "We have submitted a request to the Alabama Department of Public Health, asking them to investigate the clinic," Cody said.

Publication date: September 24, 2012