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Religion Today Summaries - March 6, 2012

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - March 6, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Boko Haram Calls for War to Annihilate Nigerian Christians
  • Ten Commandments May Be Allowed in Georgia Schools
  • Sharia Rises in Tunisia's Constitution-Drafting Process
  • Christians Speak Out Against 'After-Birth Abortion'


Boko Haram Calls for War to Annihilate Nigerian Christians

The African Islamist terror group Boko Haram announced Sunday a "war" on Nigerian Christians and said it would launch a series of coordinated attacks to annihilate all Christians living in the northern parts of the country, the International Business Times reports. An unnamed Boko Haram spokesman reportedly said, "We will create so much effort to end the Christian presence in our push to have a proper Islamic state that the Christians won't be able to stay." Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a series of increasingly frequent and increasingly violent attacks against churches and individual Christians in Nigeria. The Nigerian government has pledged to crack down on the terrorists, but it "cannot be prepared for what is to come," the Boko Haram spokesman asserted.

Ten Commandments May Be Allowed in Georgia Schools

The Georgia legislature is close to allowing Ten Commandments displays back into schools and government buildings, Baptist Press reports. Current Georgia law permits display of the Ten Commandments only in courthouses and judicial buildings when accompanied by eight other same-sized texts -- including the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact, the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the national anthem, the national motto and the Bill of Rights -- but the Georgia House voted 161-0 on Feb. 28 to expand that law to include all government buildings and schools. The bill has seen little opposition and has a high chance of passing the Senate. "If you look at the law of the United States, we have a lot of laws that are based on the Christian and Jewish Ten Commandments so I felt that was a very appropriate item to be put in there," said Rep. Tommy Benton, a Republican who sponsored the bill.

Sharia Rises in Tunisia's Constitution-Drafting Process

As Tunisian lawmakers draft a new constitution, it appears that Islamic sharia law will represent "the principal source of legislation," CNSNews.com reports. Tunisia, the country that launched last year's "Arab Spring" revolutions, is being closely watched by many around the world pondering the future of the Middle East amid the rise of Islamist parties. Tunisia's current constitution declares that its "religion is Islam, its language is Arabic and its type of government is the Republic," but the Islamic Ennahda party, which holds 89 of the Tunisian assembly's 217 seats, wants the new constitution to go even further and explicitly assert the importance of sharia. According to Barnabas Fund, a religious freedom organization working mostly with Christian minorities in Islamic countries, the tenets of sharia are "incompatible" with the concepts of justice, human rights and the dignity of all people, "as evidenced in other countries, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, that are based on Islamic principles." The White House has been largely silent on the question of sharia in Arab Spring countries, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week that she was "encouraged in many regards by what I've seen in Tunisia."

Christians Speak Out Against 'After-Birth Abortion'

Christians have rejected a claim by two medical ethicists that killing newborn babies is no different than abortion, Christian Today reports. In an article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva argued that "after-birth abortion" should be "permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled," and Christians spoke out against the claims. "It stems from the way that many secular humanists draw a fundamental distinction between a 'human being' and a 'human person' -- they argue that some human beings are not proper people and therefore it is not morally wrong to kill them," said Nick Pollard, co-founder of The Damaris Trust. Christian ethicist Dr. Peter May said childbirth did not mark a change in the intrinsic worth of a child: "The same child now exists in a new environment. Secular humanists may want to embrace infanticide. Jesus, however, taught that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."

Publication date: March 6, 2012