Religion Today Summaries - February 1, 2012

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - February 1, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • 'Tebow Bills' Abound
  • Do New CDC Stats Prove 'Safe Sex' is a Myth?
  • Church Planter and Church Leaders Kidnapped in India
  • Christian Charged With Blasphemy in Pakistan Denied Bail


'Tebow Bills' Abound

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow's faith and success on the football field this year hasn't just captured the attention of sportswriters nationwide or sparked the use of a new verb ("Tebowing") this year. If some legislators have their way, it could pave a whole new avenue for homeschooled students to be able to play on organized sports teams at their local public schools, WORLD News Service reports. Tebow, now 24, grew up in Florida, one of 24 states with "equal access" laws that allow homeschoolers to participate in extracurricular activities at public schools. But in recent years, at least three other states -- Alabama, Arkansas and Kentucky -- have introduced bills specifically named after Tebow to have the same privilege, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said he would support similar legislation introduced there this year. "Homeschool parents pay taxes just like everybody else," McDonnell said. "It's just fair."

Do New CDC Stats Prove 'Safe Sex' is a Myth?

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control found that 45.3 percent of teens who gave birth as a result of an "unintended" pregnancy had conceived while they were either using "highly effective" or "moderately effective" contraceptive methods, Baptist Press reports. Twenty-one percent of the unintended pregnancies occurred while the girls were using "highly effective" contraception, such as the birth control pill (which, according to the CDC, should be effective at least 92 percent of the time), and 24.3 percent of the girls became pregnant while using "moderately effective" methods, such as male condoms (which, according to the CDC, are 85-98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy). "While not all unintended pregnancies are a result of failed contraception, the recent CDC study seems to suggest that any are caused by failure," said Kelly Boggs of Baptist Press. No information was gathered on teens that experienced unintended pregnancies and then opted for abortion.

Church Planter and Church Leaders Kidnapped in India

A staff member and two church leaders from a California-based church planting ministry have been captured in western India, ASSIST News Service reports. The three members of Empart -- which trains local people to start churches in their own communities -- were taken by force on their way to an evangelistic outreach event in an area dominated by militant Naxalites, a Maoist party considered to be the most dangerous terrorist organization in India. "At this stage, we do not know who took them or what their demands are," said Jeff Cannon, U.S. director of Empart USA. "Local witnesses were unable to identify the perpetrators as their faces were covered. While this is a serious situation, we serve a mighty God who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. Please ... pray for God's divine wisdom and direction."

Christian Charged With Blasphemy in Pakistan Denied Bail

A judge has denied bail to a young Christian man charged with desecrating the Quran under Pakistan's blasphemy laws despite the lack of evidence against him, Compass Direct News reports. Police in Shahdara, near Lahore, arrested 23-year-old Khuram Masih on Dec. 5 after his Muslim landlord alleged that he burned pages of the book to prepare tea. Masih said he was falsely accused because he and his landlord had had an argument, and police could not found any incriminating evidence, but a judge refused to grant him bail on grounds that the case was "very sensitive, and bail to the accused would fan religious sentiments and cause a great mishap." Pakistan's blasphemy law makes willful desecration of the Quran or use of an extract in a derogatory manner punishable with life imprisonment.

Publication date: February 1, 2012