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.



Pope Francis blasts abortion after decrying focus on the rules

Nicole Winfield - The Age

Vatican City: Pope Francis offered an olive branch of sorts to the doctrine-minded, conservative wing of the Catholic Church on Friday as he denounced abortions as a symptom of today's "throw-away culture" and encouraged Catholic doctors to refuse to perform them. Francis issued a strong anti-abortion message and cited Vatican teaching on the need to defend the unborn during an audience with Catholic gynecologists.

Abortion clinics closing at record rate

Tom Strode - Baptist Press

For Abby Johnson, the closing of a single Planned Parenthood center demonstrated her dramatic reversal from abortion clinic director to leading pro-life advocate. But for pro-lifers throughout the United States, it marked another exhibit in a hopeful trend -- abortion centers are shutting down at an unprecedented rate. The total so far this year is 44, according to a pro-life organization that tracks clinic operations.


SA Attorney-General says laws governing violent, sexualised video games are too weak

Eliza Harvey - ABC

South Australia's Attorney-General wants the Federal Government to tighten new classification rules for video games, because of concerns that children are still being exposed to too much violence. John Rau is also concerned that the new R18+ regulations aren't being properly policed.

Drugs & Alcohol

Mother's little helper

Ann Dowsett Johnston - SMH

Is alcohol the modern woman's steroid, enabling her to do the heavy lifting involved in a complex, demanding world? Is it the escape valve women need, amid a major social revolution still unfolding? For many women, the answer is a resounding yes. Racing in from a long day at the office, an evening of cooking and homework ahead: the first instinct is to go to the fridge or the cupboard and pop a cork, soothing the transition from day to night with a glass of white or red.

Daily drinking a hidden time bomb for women

Brisbane Times

The few glasses of wine women drink each night to take the edge off a stressful day wrangling children or rushing to meet work deadlines pose hidden health risks that may not surface until decades later, experts warn. There has been a dramatic rise in the number of young women binge drinking. But experts are also worried about daily drinking: the insidious alcohol affliction of middle-aged women, which rises in prevalence the older women get.

Distraught mum's speech moves crowd to tears

Nick Ralston - SMH

The mother of Kings Cross assault victim Thomas Kelly has recounted in detail the final 48 hours of her son's life, in a speech that left much of her audience in tears. ''The one thing they don't tell you about when they finally do remove life support is how a person dies,'' Kathy Kelly said at the launch of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation.


Children from Black Saturday bushfire areas are doing it tough

Brigid O'Connell - Herald Sun

Schools in Victoria's bushfire-affected areas are treating some students as if they have autism or ADHD as children struggle to cope with the devastating psychological impact of Black Saturday.

School out of bounds for siblings

Kirsty Needham - Barossa Herald

Siblings are being prevented from enrolling in the same school as their older brothers or sisters as the number of children in Sydney's inner city swells, squeezing classroom space and forcing public school boundaries to tighten.


Wheelchair advice

Peter Saunders - MercatorNet

Stephen Hawking's genius and brave struggle with motor neurone disease do not mean he is right on assisted suicide.


Christian hotel owners get death threats will close after battle over denying room to a gay couple

Billy Hallowell - The Blaze

Christian bed and breakfast owners who once famously refused service to a gay couple in the U.K. now claim that they’ve been forced to sell their hotel following a contentious legal battle and ongoing harassment.

Overseas Aid

Rational approach to aid long overdue

Greg Sheridan - The Australian

It is a fair bet that many of us have no idea of some of the weird and wonderful things that Australian taxpayers pay for through our foreign aid budget.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Campaigners protest against United Nations stance on prostitution

Joanna Walters - The Guardian

Former prostitutes and anti-sex trafficking groups criticise UN call to decriminalise pimping, brothel-keeping and buying sex

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Egypt: Curfew in Delga, a Islamist-held town where Christians cannot live

Asia News

This morning, the army entered some of the town's districts only thanks to air cover. The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists had taken it over on 14 August. Because Islamists are heavily armed, the army and police waited for reinforcements before moving in. half of the town's 20,000 Christians have fled after churches and homes were torched or demolished. Those left have to pay jizya, a tax for unbelievers last levied under Ottoman rule.

Non-Muslims targeted in deadly Kenya mall attack, witnesses say

Kristin Wright - Religion Today

Gunmen carrying grenades and automatic weapons attacked a shopping mall in Nairobi on Saturday, leaving at least 30 people dead. Westgate Mall is an upscale shopping destination, popular with expatriates in Kenya’s capital city.

More than 60 killed at Pakistan church


A double suicide bombing has killed more than 60 people at a church service in northwest Pakistan, officials said, believed to be the deadliest attack on Christians in the troubled country.

Sexualisation of Society

We must protect our kids from the catwalk of shame

Melinda Tankard Reist - SMH

While our country held the world's first parliamentary inquiry into the sexualisation of children - and has done nothing since - the French parliament has begun taking action on its inquiry, with a move to ban child beauty pageants. The 2008 Senate inquiry into the sexualisation of children in the contemporary media environment continues to gather dust. But the French have taken their 2012 report, Against Hyper-Sexualisation: A New Fight for Equality, more seriously.


Christianity grows in China

Steve Kelman - FCW

There was a fascinating article – in of all places China Daily, the closest one comes to an "official" English-language newspaper in China – about the leader of the officially sanctioned Protestant churches in China calling for tailoring sermons for Chinese Christians based on their various personal backgrounds.

Politics in the pulpit

Noel Debien - ABC

We have Father Frank Brennan; managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Lyle Shelton; freelance writer and atheist, Chrys Stevenson; and Reverend Dr Brian Brown, moderator of the Uniting Church's NSW and ACT synod.