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Religion Today Summaries - December 6, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - December 6, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • Federal Bill Banning Sex- or Race-Based Abortions Introduced
  • China: Religious Freedom at Lowest Point Since Tiananmen Square Crackdown
  • Palestinians Trying to 'Wipe Out Jewish History'
  • Study: Atheists More Distrusted Than Rapists?


Federal Bill Banning Sex- or Race-Based Abortions Introduced

On Nov. 29, U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) introduced the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, a bill that would hold abortionists accountable for the deaths of preborn babies targeted for their race or gender, WORLD News Service reports. "We see a clear anomaly in the birth statistics [among some populations]," Franks said. "It it's a first child, the boy-girl ratio is about what it should be, about 50-50. If it's a second child, then the boy statistics go way up. If both the first two children are girls, it goes way, way up. There is no question sex-selective abortion is a horrifying reality in the land of the free and the home of the brave." The bill, which Franks introduced for the first time in 2009, has 49 cosponsors.

China: Religious Freedom at Lowest Point Since Tiananmen Square Crackdown

Human rights and religious freedom in China have deteriorated to the lowest point since the period after the crackdown on the 1989 Tiananmen Square student-led pro-democracy demonstration, ChinaAid reports. Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid, has been invited by the European Parliament to testify on the serious decline of religious freedom, the rule of law and human rights in general. "The grave human rights violations by the Chinese government is a global issue," Fu said. "We urge [international] leaders to take more concrete steps to encourage the Chinese government to improve its record by building an international coalition founded on an unwavering solidarity with the Chinese rights defenders community."

Palestinians Trying to 'Wipe Out Jewish History'

An Israeli official says the admission of Palestinians as a member state of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has emboldened them to claim Judeo-Christian biblical sites as their own, CBN News reports. One such site is the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, which the Bible says Abraham bought to bury his wife Sarah: Palestinians want UNESCO to recognize the cave and other sites as Muslim holy places. "Their demand is a political demand to wipe off all the traces of the Jewish history and Jewish connection to the region," Israeli government minister Yuli Edelstein said. The cave is currently divided between a synagogue and a mosque, but Haj Zeid al Ja'bari, the head of the Islamic authorities in Hebron, said the site was only holy to Muslims and that "there is no right for non-Muslims to be here or to pray here." David Bedein, bureau chief of the Israel Resource News Agency, said: "The concept of a Jewish holy place is exactly the opposite. When there's a Jewish holy place, everyone can visit." The Palestinian Authority also wants the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem to be deemed a Palestinian site, and Israelis say Jews and Christians alike should be concerned.

Study: Atheists More Distrusted Than Rapists?

A recent study from the University of British Columbia shows that atheists are the most distrusted group in North America and suggests that in certain situations, atheists are less trusted than rapists, the Christian Post reports. "Where there are religions minorities -- that is, in most of the world -- atheists are among the least trusted people," said Will Gervais, lead author of the study. Participants of one study said atheists more closely matched the description of an "untrustworthy person" than Muslims, Jews, Christians, feminists or homosexual men. The only people that were counted nearly as untrustworthy as atheists were rapists, who the study described as an "ambiguously distrusted group." Respondents also said atheists were the group who least identified with their vision for America, and only 45 percent would vote for an atheist presidential candidate. Interestingly, the Secular Coalition for America claims there are 28 atheists in Congress, but only Calif. Rep. Pete Stark has gone public with his nonbelief.

Publication date: December 6, 2011