Religion Today Summaries - September 5, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - September 5, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • Pakistan: Police Admit Taliban Murdered Minister Shahbaz Bhatti
  • Gambia Tough on Religious Extremism
  • Study Shows Abortion Tied to Depression, Suicide
  • Christian Consultant Fired for Second Time Over Gay Marriage Book


Pakistan: Police Admit Taliban Murdered Minister Shahbaz Bhatti

Shahbaz Bhatti, 42, the first-ever Christian to serve in the Pakistan cabinet, who had vigorously campaigned for minority religious rights in Pakistan, which is 95 percent Muslim, was killed by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). ASSIST News Service says this news was told to Pakistan’s Senate Standing Committee (Interior) on August 24, 2011, by Islamabad’s most senior police officer, IGP Bani Amin Khan, according to The Express Tribune. “The IGP said that the police had identified two suspects, but they had gone abroad -- to Dubai -- before they could be caught,” said a message sent by Aftab Alexander Mughal, editor with Minorities Concern of Pakistan. According to this group, Bhatti had received numerous death threats from religious extremists before his assassination. Bhatti had criticized the country's blasphemy laws, which makes it a capital crime to insult Islam, and has also campaigned for the release of Asia Bibi, a Christian mother-of-five who has been sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy and is appealing her sentence on death row.

Gambia Tough on Religious Extremism

According to the website AllAfrica, the president of the Republic of Gambia has once again warned that his country is a "no go area" for extremists who use Islam to engage in violent activities done in the name of "so-called jihad" waged on innocent people, denouncing such acts as unIslamic. Dr. Yahya Jammeh was speaking Tuesday afternoon at the State House in Banjul when he warned "so-called Muslims" that a religion based on monetary inducement and violent extremism will not be tolerated in Gambia. He said: "A religion that is violent is unIslamic. So let those who oppose the Islamic religion and want to bring a different religion, put their countries in chaos, and shifted their attention to Africa in view of its poor financial status, be aware that Gambia is a no go area for them." According to President Jammeh, what is even more pathetic is the fact that several who call themselves Islamic militants execute the most ungodly things during the holy days of Ramadan.

Study Shows Abortion Tied to Depression, Suicide

Women who have undergone an abortion have an 81 percent higher risk for mental health problems and are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse alcohol and suffer depression, Baptist Press reports. The study appears in the latest edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry and is getting considerable attention from both sides of the abortion debate. The researchers examined 22 studies from 1995-2009 involving 877,000 women, including 163,000 who had experienced an abortion. The paper's author, Priscilla K. Coleman of Bowling Green State University, said there actually are "hundreds of studies" showing a link between abortion and serious mental health risks, and that three recent studies that reached a very different conclusion had major flaws. "[T]here are in fact some real risks associated with abortion that should be shared with women as they are counselled prior to an abortion decision," Coleman writes, chiding the research community for not conducting unbiased research. The fact that the study was published in one of the world's leading psychiatric journals is important, those who monitor the abortion debate say.

Christian Consultant Fired for Second Time Over Gay Marriage Book

The Christian Post reports that the author of a book titled Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone has recently been fired from Bank of America a mere months after being fired from Cisco Systems. Christian consultant Dr. Frank Turek says, "I get a lot of flak for just actually agreeing with what a majority of Americans agree on and that is that marriage is between one man and one woman." . Turek, a U.S. Navy veteran, has done leadership and team building consulting for about 15 years off and on for Bank of America, as well as Coca Cola, Home Depot and CIGNA. Three days before he was due to give a June presentation on how to adapt to diverse personalities to improve productivity and relationships, however, he was told by an HR manager that "someone Googled you and found out you wrote a book... and so we can't have you teach here anymore." Turek argued, "What does sexual activity, a person's sexual preference have to do with work productivity anyway?" Since Bank of America promotes "inclusion" and "diversity," Turek asked the CEO in a letter to consider what would've happened if he had written a book in favor of gay marriage and a conservative employee complained. "They probably would’ve fired the conservative employee," Turek conjectured.