Religion Today Summaries - November 25, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - November 25, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • Poll Reveals Reasons Behind Mississippi Personhood Loss
  • 'Arab Spring' Means 'Christian Winter' For Millions of Persecuted Christians
  • Saudi Journalist Warns: It's 'The Muslim Brotherhood Spring'
  • U.S. Birth Rates Hit New Low


Poll Reveals Reasons Behind Mississippi Personhood Loss

A post-election poll following the defeat of Mississippi's personhood amendment to determine what factors influenced voters shows that, surprisingly, only 8 percent of those who voted "no" did so because they were pro-choice, the Christian Newswire reports. Les Riley, founder of Personhood Mississippi and sponsor of the initiative, said the poll results revealed that "Planned Parenthood ... pulled the wool over the eyes of Mississippians, and I believe voters will be shocked to learn the truth." Thirty-one percent voted "no" because they thought the measure would ban in vitro fertilization and 28 percent  because they believed it would deny treatment for ectopic pregnancy -- both direct lies from Planned Parenthood, Riley said -- and 12 percent voted "no" after Planned Parenthood ran TV ads and placed telephone calls misleading voters to believe governor Haley Barbour had voted against the amendment. Riley added, "Beyond the lies, it's terrible to know [Planned Parenthood] likely used my own tax dollars to lie to the people of my state."

'Arab Spring' Means 'Christian Winter' For Millions of Persecuted Christians

Millions of Christians in the Middle East and Africa are enduring what some are calling a "Christian Winter" in the midst of the "Arab Spring," a movement of political unrest that has given way to Muslim domination and rising hostility against Christians, according to Christian Freedom International (CFI). Secular regimes are being replaced with Islamic states that have instituted sharia (Islamic) law, which is enforced on citizens of all religions. For the small Christian minorities, it has resulted in increased persecution, discrimination, violence and even death. "The Arab Spring is truly a Christian winter for these persecuted people," said Robert Sweet of CFI, adding that there was a concerning lack of action on the part of Western Christians to assist and speak out for their Middle Eastern counterparts.

Saudi Journalist Warns: It's 'The Muslim Brotherhood Spring'

Saudi journalist Mshari al-Zaydi, an expert on Islamic fundamentalism, recently warned in a leading English-language Saudi newspaper of the rise of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab Spring. al-Zaydi wrote: "Indeed what we are seeing is a political Islamist tsunami occupying the scene and displacing the 'civil' youth. I recall how many Arab writers at the beginning of this year -- the year of the Arab Spring -- prophesied that what we were witnessing were uprisings staged by non-political civilians and youth, and claimed that not a single radical or ideological slogan was chanted in Cairo's Tahrir Square, or any other Arab public square. They said this proved the Arab regimes were lying to the world ... when they said that should their regimes be toppled, this would result in Islamists and religious fundamentalists coming to power. ... Now, these same well-intentioned writers ... have returned to warn against the Arab Spring being hijacked and despoiled. They have expressed their confusion about the presence and popularity of these radical Islamists who are overwhelming the political scene. ... Rather than expressing shock and surprise, the question that should be asked is: How should we deal with this critical period which should be called the Muslim Brotherhood Spring, not the Arab Spring?"

U.S. Birth Rates Hit New Low

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a drop in national birth rates for the third straight year, reports. The declines were seen in most age groups and for all races, and rates for teens and women in their early 20s were the lowest since record-keeping began in the 1940s. The report stated that experts believe the downward trend is tied to the economy -- women with financial worries might feel they can't afford to start a family or add to it. There were 4 million births last year; rates have been dropping since an all-time high in 2007.

Publication date: November 25, 2011