Religion Today Summaries - October 24, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - October 24, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • Opposition to Obama's Religious Voter Outreach Efforts
  • Maldives Arrests, Deports Indian Teacher for Owning Bible
  • Starvation, Intervention, Then Restoration
  • House Committee Seeks to Defund International Abortion Group


Opposition to Obama's Religious Voter Outreach Efforts

Following a Democratic National Committee announcement last week of new efforts to conduct religious voter outreach in support of President Obama in the 2012 election, Family Research Council Action president Tony Perkins disputed the efforts, responding that Obama would likely find little support among Christian voters, the Christian Newswire reports. A Barna Research survey shows that Obama only has a 6-percent favorability rating among evangelicals, and Perkins said: "Real outreach would be defending life and marriage. It means encouraging the freedom of religion over the freedom of worship. And most importantly, real outreach is not only mastering the language of faith but giving it voice in public policy." Perkins said the FRC was embarking on a mission to inform Christian voters that "what America needs is a president that will help make America militarily strong and secure, economically prosperous and free, and socially healthy and virtuous."

Maldives Arrests, Deports Indian Teacher for Owning Bible

Police in the island nation of Maldives held a teacher from India for 15 days before deporting him for having a Bible in his house, Compass Direct News reports. Shijo Kokkattu, 30, was arrested in late September after police found a Bible and a rosary in his house during a raid. The country's Ministry of Islamic Affairs had recently passed a new act outlawing the promotion, propagation and expression of anything representing a religion other than Islam; Kokkattu, charged with preaching his Christian faith, was taken to another island for interrogation and kept in custody for more than two weeks before being banished from the country, the punishment for foreigners found proselytizing.

Starvation, Intervention, Then Restoration

A Maryland man who, at the directive of his wife, was being starved and dehydrated to death at a hospital while unconscious following a heart attack and seizure is now recovering after legal intervention, reports. Before Daniel Sanger, 55, became unconscious, he stated his will to survive but his wife later granted the hospital permission to remove his food, water and nutrients. Sanger's mother and brother objected and obtained a court order to keep him alive, and after six days of going without food or water, they were restored and he became responsive. "Everyone deserves a chance to recover," said Alliance Defense Fund attorney Matt Bowman. "His wishes should have been followed. ... [There are] far too many situations involving hasty decisions to pull the plug on life."

House Committee Seeks to Defund International Abortion Group

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs committee voted to strip $50 million from a United Nations organization that provides women's heath care overseas, WORLD News Service reports. The U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) is a 40-year-old group the U.S. helped create to deal with population issues in developing countries, such as poverty, sexually transmitted diseases, safe pregnancies and infant survival rates. But in addition to sex education and contraceptive-distribution programs, the group also helps certain nations enforce restrictive family-size policies through coerced abortions and sterilizations. Legislators said that was the deal-breaker against continuing to fund the group with $50 million of American taxpayers' money every year; the vote broke 23-17 along party lines. The next step for the bill, which currently has 62 cosponsors, is to be heard on the House floor.

Publication date: October 24, 2011