News Update-January 2014


House Committee Passes Bill to Completely Ban Taxpayer Funding of Abortions
The House Judiciary Committee today approved legislation that will put in place a complete ban on taxpayer funding of abortions that ensures abortions are not directly funded in any federal governmental program or department.

The legislation combines several policies that must be enacted every year in Congressional battles and puts them into law where they will not be in jeopardy of being overturned every time Congress changes hands from pro-life lawmakers to those who support abortions.

The bill has been around a few years but has only been approved in the House thanks to a majority pro-abortion Senate. On May 4, 2011, the House passed HR 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, on a 251-175 vote with Republicans voting 235-0 for the bill and Democrats voting 175-16 against it.

The House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice will hold a hearing on H.R. 7, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" this week.

Congressman Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican who is the lead sponsor of the bill, informed the House that a study by the Guttmacher Institute, the pro-abortion former research apparatus of Planned Parenthood, released a study noting that one-quarter of women who otherwise would have had abortions chose to give birth when taxpayer dollars were not available to pay for abortions of their children.

LifeSiteNews

Illegal Sex-Selection Abortions Are Widespread in Britain
The illegal practice of sex-selection abortions is so widespread in England that it is responsible for killing thousands of girls and as many as 5,000 girls are missing from the census, official reports say.

Official figures suggest as many as 4,700 females who should have been included in census numbers have disappeared from the latest national census records of England and Wales, raising fears that the bias in favor of boys that results in sex-selection abortions in Asian nations like China and India has made its way to the U.K.

Anthony Ozimic, communications manager of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), told the Daily Mail the statistics could "provide more evidence of the reality of eugenics in modern British medicine."

He said: "Britain could start to experience some of the ill-effects of gender imbalance seen in those immigrants' native countries. Lethal discrimination on the grounds of sex will result inevitably in damaging the common good of society."

TheIndependent has more on this grim situation: "The practice of sex-selective abortion is now so commonplace that it has affected the natural 50:50 balance of boys to girls within some immigrant groups and has led to the "disappearance" of between 1,400 and 4,700 females from the national census records of England and Wales, we can reveal."

LifeSiteNews

Egypt's Christian Minority Rally behind Charter
Hymns echoing from the new church in this village in Egypt's southern heartland could be heard well after sundown Wednesday, a reminder of the jubilant mood as Aziyah's Christian residents vote on a new constitution.

Outside in the dusty streets, volunteers hurriedly arranged for buses to transport voters to polling stations before they closed. In past elections, Islamists used fear or intimidation to stop Christians from voting against them.

This time around, Aziyah's Christians faced no obstacles on their way to the ballot box. "I cast my ballot as I pleased. I am not afraid of anybody," said Heba Girgis, a Christian resident of the nearby village of Sanabu, who said she was harassed and prevented from casting a vote against the 2012 Islamist-backed constitution. "Last time I wanted to say no. I waited in line for two hours before the judge closed the station."

"This time we said yes and our opinion matters," Girgis added as she walked home with a friend after casting her vote. "This is for our children, for all those who died and suffered. Our word now carries weight."

The busy winding alleys of Aziyah and other villages with large Christian populations in the southern province of Assiut were in sharp contrast to the dimmed streets and deserted polling stations of neighboring hamlets, mostly populated by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi-a testimony to a boycott organized by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups against the military-supported constitution.

The new document would ban political parties based on religion, give women equal rights and protect the status of minority Christians. It also gives the military special powers to name its own candidate as defense minister for the next eight years and bring civilians before military tribunals.

SRN News

Iranian Christians Hit with a Wave of Arrests during Christmas
As Open Doors International released its annual World Watch List for 2013, the arrest of Iranian Christian converts during the Christmas period increased. In the 2013 World Watch List published by Open Doors, Iran is placed among the first 10 countries where Christians are persecuted the most.

According to Mohabat News, on December 31, 2013, Iranian security authorities arrested four Christian converts by the names of "Sara Rahimi-Nejad, Mostafa Nadri, Majid Sheidaei, and George Isaian" in Karaj.

According to a report by the Human Right Activists in Iran, these Christians had gathered in Isaian's residence to celebrate the New Year when plain-clothes security authorities raided the home, beat and arrested them. The authorities immediately transferred them to an unknown location.

The report added, the authorities searched Mr. Isaian's house and all the guests. They seized some of their belongings including books, personal notes, computers, CDs and DVDs, Satellite TV receiver, and even their family photo albums. The families of these Christian detainees were turned away when they went to Evin prison and to the Intelligence police to inquire about them.

One occasion when pressure on the Iranian Christian community intensifies is during Christmas and New Year. Every year near Christmas, Iranian authorities raid Christmas and New Year house church services/gatherings and arrest those worshiping and celebrating the birth of Jesus.

The Christian Telegraph

Christians in Libya Cast Anxious Eye at Religious Freedom
Church leaders in Libya remain hopeful that Christians in the mostly Muslim country will be allowed to practice their faith, even as the country appears to be moving towards Shariah law.

In December, Libya's General National Congress voted to make Shariah the source of all legislation and institutions. The vote came amid international concerns over the diminishing Christian populations in North Africa and the Middle East, and increased Islamist influence in countries engulfed by the Arab Spring revolution.

Libya has undergone a two-year transition since 2011 when demonstrations toppled Moammar Gadhafi. Before the revolution, Christians were granted religious freedom, but with the change of power, they have been arbitrarily arrested, attacked, killed and forced by the Islamist groups to convert to Islam.

In September, two Christians were killed in the Derna District of northeastern Libya after they refused forced conversion. St. Mark's Coptic Church in Benghazi was attacked twice in 2013, according to the Barnabas Fund, a British charity supporting Christians in Muslim-majority countries.

Libya's Christian population is composed mainly of foreigners working in the country. It has a small indigenous Christian community as well. There were about 300,000 Coptic Christians and 80,000 Roman Catholics before the fall of Gadhafi. There are also an unknown number of Anglicans and Pentecostals. Christian groups run hospitals and education centers open to all faiths.

The Christian Examiner

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