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Religion Today Summaries - April 16, 2012

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - April 16, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Terror Group Aims to Rid Somalia of Christians
  • New Netherlands Clinic Makes House Calls for Euthanasia
  • 12 Iranian Christians Await Verdict in Recent Trial
  • European Commission Funds Abortions, Report Shows


Terror Group Aims to Rid Somalia of Christians

The Somali Muslim terror group al Shabaab, which recently joined with al Qaeda in an attempt to implement sharia law, wants to rid the country of all Christians and is specifically targeting Christian converts from Islam, CBN News reports. Al Shabaab soldiers subject Christians to torture, punishment, humiliation and even brutal murders for refusing to conform to Islamic law. Somali Christian leaders estimate fewer than 200 Christians are left in the country of 10 million. One secret believer named Fozia said it was too risky to own a Bible, so she listened to nightly Christian radio broadcasts from neighboring Kenya. Some Somali Christians are receiving help from Voice of the Martyrs, who sponsors a safe house in a secret location in the Horn of Africa. At the safe house, Somali Christians and former Muslims seeking refuge have a place to eat, sleep and gather for worship, Bible study, discipleship and fellowship. "Pray that we Somali believers will live our lives closer to the kingdom of God," Fozia said. "Pray that we will endure the weight of life in this Islamic nation."

New Netherlands Clinic Makes House Calls for Euthanasia

"If the patients can't find death, just take death to the patients" -- that's the thinking behind the new End of Life Clinic that opened in the Netherlands in March. The clinic will sent out mobile "Life End" teams at the request of patients who wish to die under the country's decades-old euthanasia law, WORLD News Service reports. The teams will cater to terminally ill patients whose primary care doctors have refused to provide euthanasia for religious, moral or other reasons. Each Life End unit consists of a doctor, nurse and equipment, and patients can choose a two-dose lethal injection or a drinkable drug mixture. Within its first month of operation, at least 70 patients contacted the clinic; its services are free for now but it hopes insurance companies will eventually pay. Each year in the Netherlands, there are 2,500 to 3,000 cases of euthanasia, representing 2 percent of all deaths in the country.

12 Iranian Christians Await Verdict in Recent Trial

A dozen Christians in Iran who were prosecuted on Easter Sunday are awaiting the verdict in their recent trial, OneNewsNow.com reports. The 12 Christians were put on trial for crimes "against the order," which typically means conversion to Christianity from Islam. According to Jason DeMars of Present Truth Ministries, two of the accused are a pastor and his wife. "This is the second time they were tried for the same crime," DeMars said. "The first time was in Bandar Anzali; this time was in Rasht. Previously, they were acquitted for the crimes, so they were tried again in a different court. [It] seems to me to be an attempt to find an agreeable court to convict them on the charges." Although the pastor and his wife were not charged with apostasy, they were allowed to testify -- which is usually not allowed unless someone is accused of converting from Islam. The verdict is due within two weeks, although it could take longer.

European Commission Funds Abortions, Report Shows

A report from European Dignity Watch reveals the European Commission is using economic development funds to pay for abortion, WORLD News Service reports. According to the report, "The Funding of Abortion Through EU Development Aid," Marie Stopes International, one of the world's largest abortion providers, received more than $30 million from the European Union. The Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, a partnership that includes the United Nations Population Fund, provides abortion kits to developing countries and was given close to $32 million over a 30-month period ending in June 2011.

Publication date: April 16, 2012