ACL compiles a daily media monitoring service of stories of interest to the Christian constituency relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. Visit the ACL’s website each day to see what’s of interest in the news. Please note that selection of the articles does not represent ACL endorsement of the content.



 





Abortion

Christian painter was saved from abortion minutes before death


Kristi Burton Brown - LifeNews





Nationally known artist Ron DiCianni was saved from abortion minutes before he was scheduled to die. Sixty years ago, his mother walked out of an abortion clinic after a last-minute change of heart. As the U-T San Diego reports: The renown Christian painter, who lives in Temecula, said his mother was inside an abortion clinic and about to terminate her pregnancy when divine intervention stopped her. ‘She said she heard — verbally and audibly — a voice say, “Don’t do this, I have a plan for this baby,”‘ DiCianni said. ‘She pushed the needle away, and gave me a chance to live.’




















Children & Family

Young adults put off saying ‘I do': report


AAP





They're single, smarter and still at home. Today's young adults are a far different breed to those who grew up in the 1970s, new research shows. The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report compared census data in the 18 to 34 age group from 1976 and 2011 and found a large decrease in the number of young adults getting married. In 1976, 67 per cent of 24-year-olds had been married, however just 14 per cent were hitched in 2011.
















Drugs & Alcohol

Hold grog industry to account for youth crime, charities say


Barney Zwartz - Border Mail





The alcohol industry gets a "free ride" for its malign influence on youth crime, the chief executive of leading welfare agency Anglicare has said. "We are hard on young people, but I don't see too much assertiveness towards the grog industry," Paul McDonald said in a forum about the causes of youth crime. "There's too much community apology for the alcohol industry. They say 'we are not interested in getting under-age drinkers', but they are after 18 to 24-year-olds, and that's where most of the accidents and crimes happen."
















$200m of drugs found in cleaner bottles

AAP





More than $200 million worth of liquid methamphetamine has been uncovered by police in bottles of carpet stain cleaner. Two people have been arrested and 365 litres of liquid methamphetamine seized in the drug bust that follows a joint operation by federal and Victorian police and Customs.






Education

Public schools serve growing numbers of disadvantaged


Daniel Hurst, Josephine Tovey - SMH





Twice as many students at public schools come from low-income families as from high-income ones, a dramatic shift from 25 years ago when the make-up was more equal. The analysis - prepared for the Australian Education Union and due for release on Thursday - is being used to highlight the need to invest more money in public schools given they educate the lion's share of disadvantaged students.














Homelessness & Poverty

Vinnies election plea on homeless


Linda Mottram - ABC





The St Vincent de Paul Society is calling for a bipartisan commitment in Canberra to the goal of cutting homeless numbers in half by the end of the decade, made originally by in 2008 by Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister. The call came as "Vinnies" launched their annual CEO Sleepout, now in its eighth year, to be held in June. The aim is to raise $2 million in NSW and $7 million nationally to fund homeless programs while raising awareness of how to help tackle homelessness.
















Marriage

Church of England rejects blessings for same-sex couples


Sam Jones - The Guardian





The Church of England has ruled out offering blessings to same-sex couples, insisting that such public gestures belong only to heterosexual marriage. The announcement – made in a report from the church's faith and order commission entitled Men and Women in Marriage – comes weeks after the outgoing bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones, suggested the church consider blessing gay couples as it should "bless true love wherever such love is found".
















Christian marriage and family is a vocation and call to holiness

Keith Fournier - Catholic Online





The Christian family is a church, the smallest and most vital cell of that Body. The extended church community is a family of families. This understanding is more than piety-it is sound ecclesiology, solid anthropology and is meant to become reality for those who are baptized into Christ Jesus


















Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Save the Children highlights war-zone child sex crimes


BBC





The charity Save the Children says the majority of victims of rape and other sexual violence in many of the world's conflict zones are children. Its report is based on data and testimonies from several countries including Colombia, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Save the Children says programmes to stop such violence and help children recover are chronically underfunded. The issue will be discussed by foreign ministers of the G8 group this week. The UK has said it will give priority to the issue of sexual violence in conflict during its presidency of the G8 this year. Save the Children's report - Unspeakable Crimes Against Children - says figures from a range of countries affected by conflict over the past decade show that children are often the majority of sexual abuse victims in war and its aftermath.
















Refugees

These long-range 'refugees' headed for a round trip


Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph





Sri Lanka's High Commissioner has called on the Australian government to immediately send back the asylum seekers who reached Geraldton, as the Australian Navy rescued another group north of Christmas Island yesterday. Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare has ordered Customs and Border Protection to review how the vessel, with 66 Sri Lankans on board, sailed into Geraldton harbour without being detected.










Detention centre warns of violence

The Age





Services company Serco have warned of the threat of violence at the Christmas Island detention centre. The company running the detention centre on Christmas Island has warned the government several times of a high threat of violence. Channel Seven reported on Wednesday that documents they obtained under freedom of information revealed services company Serco sent security intelligence summaries to the immigration department warning the threat of violence at the island's centre.
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

In pictures: Savage Islamic attack on St. Mark Cathedral allowed by Egyptian forces


Raymond Ibrahim - FPM





Egypt’s Coptic Christians frequently accuse State Security and police of overlooking Muslim attacks on Christians and their places of worship, especially monasteries and churches. The Western mainstream media often ignores these accusations, or mentions them in passing as “unsubstantiated reports.” Last weekend’s assault on the St. Mark Cathedral — unprecedented in significance — was no different, except for the fact that there are many pictures demonstrating State complicity.














Egypt's Coptic Pope lashes out at president after Christian killings

Matt Brown - ABC





Egypt's Coptic Pope has lashed out at Islamist president Mohammed Mursi accusing him of negligence over the deaths of five Christians and two Muslims who were killed by a mob in a weekend of violence.
















Other

No surprise that 32% of Americans want a Christian constitutional amendment


John Fea - First Things First





According to this Huffington Post/YouGov poll, 32 percent of Americans would favor a Constitutional amendment that would make Christianity the official religion of the United States. 42 percent oppose such an amendment, with 32 percent “strongly” opposing the idea. It may appear shocking to some that so many people are in favor of such an amendment to the Constitution, but from a historical perspective this is not shocking at all. As I argued in the first four chapters of Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?, Americans have always understood themselves to be living in a Christian nation.












Lowly and also chosen: The evangelical humility of Pope Francis

George Weige - ABC Religion and Ethics





Twenty-first-century ecclesiastical heraldry may strike some as an arcane hangover from a long-gone past, when bishops were lords temporal as well as lords spiritual. Still, the rich vocabulary of heraldic symbolism adds a little class to a world of Twitter hashtags, and the mottoes that Catholic bishops - and popes - choose for their coats of arms can provide important clues about their character and formation.