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Religion Today Summaries - October 18, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - October 18, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • Chinese Woman Dies During Forced Abortion
  • India: Christian Mission Rescues Two Young Girls from Brothel
  • House OKs Ban on Healthcare Law Abortions
  • Having and Holding Better than Getting and Spending


Chinese Woman Dies During Forced Abortion

Jihong Ma, a Chinese woman who was seized by authorities for violating the country's one-child policy, died during a forced abortion in her sixth month of pregnancy, the Christian Newswire reports. Family members reported that officials from the Chinese Family Planning Bureau forced her to induce labor, then left her to die in the operating room. Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, said: "China's cruel and barbaric forced abortion policy causes more violence toward women and girls than any other official policy on earth. ... Women are forcibly aborted up to the ninth month of pregnancy. Forced abortion is not a choice. It is official government rape."

India: Christian Mission Rescues Two Young Girls from Brothel

Two teenage girls trapped in a prostitution ring in Pune, India, were rescued last week by the Indian Rescue Mission, a Christian organization that has freed hundreds of sex-trafficked girls, ASSIST News Service reports. Activists of the Indian Rescue Mission received a tip about the presence of the two minor girls in a brothel, which they raided with the help of local police. The manager of the brothel was also arrested in the operation. In a statement given by the girls after their rescue, 17-year-old Gowri said she had been brought to India from Bangladesh by the "false promise" of a job, sold to the brothel and then kept there forcefully -- being beaten if she denied customers. Sixteen-year-old Roopa was trafficked from another city and also forced into prostitution. After a medical examination, the girls will be sent to a shelter home for rehabilitation and self-employment training.

House OKs Ban on Healthcare Law Abortions

In a 251-172 vote on Oct. 13, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation to prohibit funding of abortion and abortion coverage in the 2010 healthcare reform law, Baptist Press reports. The Protect Life Act would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare") to ban federal funds from being used for any portion of the costs of a health insurance plan that covers abortion and to protect the pro-life conscience rights of healthcare workers and institutions. "The House is demonstrating that it's the most pro-life House since the Roe v. Wade decision by the passing of this legislation," said Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religions Liberty Commission. However, the bill appears to have a gloomy future -- it is headed to the Democrat-majority Senate, where it is expected to be voted down.

Having and Holding Better than Getting and Spending

A recent study in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy shows a distinct relationship between materialism and marital health, WORLD News Service reports. According to the study, married couples that strongly value material things tend to have less marital stability, satisfaction and communication skills than those who don't, regardless of how much money they actually make. Researchers measured materialism by asking subjects how strongly they agreed with statements like "I like to own things to impress people" and "Money can buy happiness," then discussed aspects associated with healthy relationships. Twenty percent of couples admitted both partners tended to be materialistic; these couples had the worst relationships. On the other hand, 14 percent of couples said both partners had low levels of materialism, and these couples scored 10 to 15 percent higher on all measures of marital satisfaction and quality.

Publication date: October 18, 2011