Key Quotes for 2011

Key Quotes for 2011

A world perspective in bite-size chunks
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Last update: Sunday 21st July
 
A security firm is offering its services free of charge to guard a $1.6 million mosque which has been targeted by vandals and arsonists. Tunstall-based Midland Security Solutions has waived its standard Ł80 fee for monitoring a premises overnight to help look after the new mosque on Regent Road in Hanley. Jason said: “I have a lot of friends in the Asian community and I wanted to do something to help them.”
Social IssuesThe Sentinel August 9, 2011
 
46% of the polled members of dating website Christian Connection said that their church leader’s advice on relationships and singleness is ‘quite unhelpful – unrealistic or impersonal or simply lacking’ and a further 20% said the guidance is not relevant or helpful to their situation. More than 80% of Christian Connection members said that their church did not put on anything for single people, or did not recognise or affirm them at all. Only 2% said that there was plenty of encouragement, support, and special programmes.
ChurchChristianity September 2011
 
The English baccalaureate will not contain Religious Education, the government has announced, in a move that Christians say threatens the future of the subject. Brian Gates, chair of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales, said that not including RE in the 2010 English baccalaureate has meant that many schools are no longer offering it as a GCSE choice.
EducationChristianity September 2011
 
The complete Methodists’ Handwritten Bible, created by tens of thousands of people across Britain and Northern Ireland, is now online. The Handwritten Bible contains 7,000 pages of text and illustrations transcribed by people from every part of Britain and further afield. Verses in the Handwritten Bible have been written in English, Chinese, Welsh and Braille. The Methodists’ Handwritten Bible will be available for display.
MediaSalvationist 20 August 2011
 
Cinema and TV actor David Oyelowo – a star of the new Rise of the Planet of the Apes film – told The Times about his Christian faith. He said: ‘When I was 16 I struck a deal with God..”If you’re true, if you’re real, turn up within three months or I’m out!” Well, much to my chagrin at the time, he did.’ The actor also revealed that he had felt directed by God to play Martin Luther King in the forthcoming film Selma.
MediaThe War Cry 20 August 2011
 
A Barna Group survey published in July showed that most Americans still think that churches are assets to the communities around them. The nationwide study shows that three-quarters of US adults believe that the presence of a church is ‘very’ (53%) or ‘somewhat’ (25%) positive for its community. In contrast, just 5% believe that churches are a somewhat or very negative presence. About one out of six adults (17%) are indifferent towards the role of churches.
ChurchEvangelicals Now September 2011
 
An atheist group filed a lawsuit on July 25 to prevent the World Trade Center cross from being displayed at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. American Atheists claims that the government installation of the religious symbol is an unconstitutional ‘mingling of church and state’ and insists that no religious symbols should be included.
Religious PersecutionEvangelicals Now September 2011
 
Jerry Brown, Governer of California, in July signed into law a Bill that will force state schools to promote the historic impact of homosexual, bisexual and transgender activists.
It will also prohibit teachers and textbooks from telling pupils of the risks associated with same-sex conduct.
EducationEvangelicals Now September 2011
 
On July 1, members of Russia’s lower house voted through a bill requiring abortion advertisements to carry health warnings. The warning will have to cover at least 10% of the total space of adverts for abortion clinics and services and will have to list the possible negative effects of an abortion to the mother. The upper house is expected to pass the measure and the President to sign it into law. Over a million abortions were carried out in Russia in 2008.
HealthEvangelicals Now September 2011
 
In July, legal academics from the University of New South Wales reported that shari’a law has become a shadow legal system with in Australia, endorsing polygamous and underage marriages.
World IssuesEvangelicals Now September 2011
 
On July 1, Polish MPs voted by 254-151 to outlaw abortion in all circumstances. Over 40 speakers spoke passionately in favour of the ban, labelling abortions the ‘modern day slaughter of the innocents’. The bill arose after a petition garnered 600,000 signatures in a fortnight. If the legislation goes through, abortion will no longer be allowed for serious disabilities or diseases, when the mother’s health is at risk or if she was raped. Meanwhile, Britain’s government has finally released the full details of abortion statistics after being forced to do so by the High Court. They reveal that last year seven babies were aborted merely for cleft lip and palate. Also, the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists is backing a proposal that women are offered independent pre-abortion counselling.
HealthEvangelicals Now September 2011
 
According to church leaders in Athens in July, minority Christian churches in Greece are closing down their charity work and struggling to pay clergy salaries in the economic crisis. The Orthodox Church of Greece, which covers 97% of the population and has state recognition, is also cutting back its social and charitable work. Greek Orthodox clergy must accept a 50% reduction in their state-paid salaries.
World IssuesEvangelicals Now September 2011
 
The Department of Health is concerned that the growing number of doctors with pro-life views could restrict women’s access to abortion, it was reported in mid July. Research in the Journal of Medical Ethics found that over 45% of trainee doctors believe that they should have the right to opt out of any treatments which they disagree with for moral, cultural or religious reasons. Examples include prescribing contraception and treating alcoholics or drug addicts, but abortion tops the list. The study found that almost a third of students would not perform an abortion for a ‘congenitally malformed’ baby after 24 weeks and a quarter would not perform an abortion for failed contraception before 24 weeks. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists worries about the ‘slow but growing problem of trainees opting out of training in the termination of pregnancys. Current guidance by the General medical Council, which regulates doctors, advises doctors to refer a patient to a colleague if they object to a certain procedure or treatment.
HealthEvangelicals Now September 2011
 
GPs are free to pray with their patients as long as they are receptive to the offer, it was reported in July. The Medical Defence Union’s new guidance quotes a senior figure at the General Medical Council (GMC) saying that a ‘tactful’ offer to pray could be appropriate. The GP magazine Pulse reports that the GMC is standing by the comments from Jane O’Brien, Assistant Director at the GMC. In a letter, she said: ‘Nothing in the GMC’s guidance, Personal Beliefs and Medical Practise, precludes doctors from praying with their patients.
HealthEvangelicals Now September 2011
 
Following the Anglican Synod’s gloomy forecast in July, of its demise in the next 20 years, other records may indicate a less ominous future. The Archbishop’s Council’s Research and Statistics Unit show that more than 26% of those who worship within the Church of England has steadily grown by a total of 37%, which is about 4% on average each year.
ChurchEvangelicals Now September 2011
 
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