Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 20, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 20, 2008

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:

  • China Relents, Woman Not Forced to Have Abortion
  • Conservative Anglicans Push Rival American Body
  • India: Reports of Rewards to Kill Christians
  • Hunger Rose in U.S. in 2007, Feds Say

China Relents, Woman Not Forced to Have Abortion

Baptist Press reports that a woman who is six months pregnant will not undergo a forced abortion, despite being held for nearly a week in a Chinese hospital under threat of the procedure. Arzigul Tursun, a mother of two, was released Nov. 18 from a hospital in Xinjiang, the vast northwest region of the world's most populous country, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA). "I am all right and I am at home now," Tursun told RFA shortly after her release. The head of the local population control committee said Tursun "wasn't in good enough health to have an abortion." As a Uyghur Muslim, Tursun is permitted to have two children under China's coercive "one-child" program. Government officials, however, had decided to enforce the population-control policy on her third child. She is 26 weeks into her pregnancy. Tursun's deliverance from a coercive abortion came after two members of the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as the American ambassador to Beijing, urged Chinese officials to reverse course.

Conservative Anglicans Push Rival American Body

The Christian Post reports that the possibility of a national alternative to the Episcopal Church will take the next step Dec. 3, when proponents will release a draft constitution to the public. First seriously considered at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), a conservative alternative to the once-a-decade Anglican Lambeth Conference, proponents say a new Anglican church in America is needed to reaffirm biblical truth, orthodoxy, and church tradition. Leaders of the Common Cause Partnership, a federation representing more than 100,000 Anglican Christians in North America, expects the proposal to be recognized by the Global South, but believes convincing the Archbishop of Canterbury will take some time.

India: Reports of Rewards to Kill Christians

The UK-based Christian Today reports that radical Hindu militants are inciting the general population to act against Christians with various incentives, offering money, food and even liquor. "People are being offered rewards to kill, and to destroy churches and Christian properties," a spokesman for the All India Christian Council (AICC) told Release International. "Different tasks have different rewards," he added. "They are being offered foreign liquor, chicken, mutton and weapons. They are being given petrol and kerosene." According to Good News India, pastors in refugee camps are prime targets, earning $250 US dollars. According to the AICC, violence in India has spread from Orissa into 13 more states.

Hunger Rose in U.S. in 2007, Feds Say

Religion News Service reports that food insecurity in America continued to rise last year, and participation in the food stamp program is approaching record highs, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday (Nov. 17). In 2007, 11.1 percent of U.S. households reported food insecurity -- what used to be labeled as "hunger" -- up from 10.9 percent in 2006. About 4 percent of households were severely food insecure, meaning one or more adults had to adjust their eating habits because the household lacked resources for food. The food stamp program now has more than 30 million people enrolled, an increase of 9.5 percent from 2006, and half of all babies receive supplemental nutrition from the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, according to the report.