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.




Go see 'October Baby'

Thom S. Rainer - Baptist Press

I have remained active in the cause to save unborn children through different ways over the years. But I confess, since I came to lead LifeWay over six years ago, I have not done much toward this critical cause. I have even wondered how God might lead me to provide leadership where I have been recently silent. Then I previewed the movie October Baby. I admit that I shed tears during and after the movie. I was moved. The movie and its message were powerful. The story focuses on Hannah, a college freshman who learns from her adoptive parents that she is the survivor of a failed abortion. The movie is powerful and compelling without being preachy and judgmental. Indeed, I would rank it among the most powerful movies I've ever seen.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Govt to revise surrogacy laws


The Tasmanian Government is optimistic the Upper House will pass laws allowing all couples to use a surrogate to conceive a child. The Government has agreed to revise its surrogacy laws after an Upper House committee found the bill fails to adequately protect children. The bill allows all couples, including gay and de facto, to conceive through a surrogate. But the legislation has been in limbo since last year when the Legislative Council blocked debate to allow a review.

Drugs & Alcohol

Qantas steward charged with smuggling $260,000 worth of drugs from LA

An Australian flight steward has been arrested and accused of importing more than $260,000 of drugs from the US. Samuel Berl Kaufman, 49, an experienced steward with Qantas, appeared in court in Melbourne yesterday charged with importing drugs and trafficking a commercial quantity of methamphetamine, the Age reported. Kaufman was arrested in the car park of his South Yarra home when he returned from a work trip to the US, after police received an anonymous tip. It's alleged he used his job to smuggle drugs.


Sports betting ‘fastest growing' gambling

Herald Sun

The Aussie tradition of taking a punt is reaching new heights with online gambling leading to an explosion in sports betting. Although still dwarfed by other forms of gambling, sports betting is gaining popularity, according to industry research group IBISWorld. Sports betting was the fastest growing market segment, with annual growth of 14.7 per cent for the last five years.

Human Rights

Syrian rebels accused of human rights abuses


A rights group has accused elements of Syria's opposition of carrying out serious human rights abuses, including kidnapping, torture and execution. The claims came as rebel fighters fled the eastern city of Deir al-Zor in the face of a fierce army assault. Allegations of torture and abuse have previously been levelled primarily at president Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Burmese army guilty of abuses, says rights watchdog


Burma's military is still committing atrocities in conflict zones according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. The accusations of ongoing abuses come despite the government's pronounced intention of securing ceasefires with the different ethnic rebel groups. The report is titled 'Untold Miseries: Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement' and it documents human rights violations committed by both the Burmese army and rebels in Kachin state over an eight-month period.


Why working class young adults are missing out on marriage

Carolyn Moynihan - Mercator Net

What is the future of marriage? The question arises not only because of the revolutionary concept of same-sex marriage, but because of the evolutionary path marriage has followed in mainstream society since at least the mid-twentieth century. This subject was explored in depth by Bryce J Christensen in a recent article, “Only ourselves to blame”.

Cameron surprised people were surprised by remarks on gays

Kimberly Potts - Reuters

"Growing Pains" star Kirk Cameron, criticized earlier this month for saying gay marriage was "unnatural" and "destructive," said on "Today" Tuesday that he was surprised people would expect him to believe differently, given his Christian beliefs. "I was surprised, frankly, that people were surprised by the things that I've said," the 41-year-old told Ann Curry. "I have been consistent for 15 years as a Christian. I'm a Bible-believing Christian. What I would have thought was more newsworthy is if I had said something that contradicted the word of God, if I had contradicted my faith."


L-NP (54%) increases lead over ALP (46%). Despite Bob Katter's move to Canberra

Ray Morgan Research

In mid March L-NP support is up 2% to 54% to the ALP’s 46% (down 2%) on a Two-Party preferred basis according to the face-to-face Morgan Poll conducted over the last two last weekends, March 10/11 & 17/18, 2012. Today’s face-to-face Morgan Poll shows the L-NP primary vote is 45.5% (up 2%) — ahead of the ALP 37% (down 2%). Support for the minor parties shows the Greens 10.5% (up 0.5%) and Others/ Independents 7% (down 0.5%).

Bob Katter concedes start-up party may not win any seats

Sarah Elks - The Australian

Maverick federal MP Bob Katter has conceded his start-up political party may fail to win a single seat at Saturday's Queensland election. As he prepared to make what he styled as his final pitch to voters last night in Kingaroy, in the state's conservative heartland, he vowed that Katter's Australian Party would be around to contest the next federal election regardless of its debut in his home state.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Estonia may crack down on human trafficking

Jari Tanner - The Associated Press

Estonia is the only European Union country without a law about human trafficking, but legislators are expected to change that Wednesday in a vote largely prompted by concerns expressed by the United States. Prostitution is legal in Estonia, but forced prostitution is not. Distinctions between the two are opaque in Estonian laws, according to activists, and the current penal code does not recognize sexual exploitation of a minor or forced labor as crimes.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Bob Carr shines a light on tolerant times in maiden speech to federal parliament

Brendan Nicholson - The Australian

Dismayed by Koran burnings and religious violence, Bob Carr has cast back 1100 years to the culturally rich, diverse and tolerant Muslim-ruled nation of Andalusia in Spain for a foreign-policy model Australia can promote. The new Foreign Minister used his maiden speech in the Senate yesterday to note that recent developments in Afghanistan and elsewhere could well convince Australians that they were being tugged towards The Clash of Civilisations predicted by political scientist Samuel P. Huntington, with cultural and religious identities the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. Instead, said Senator Carr, Australia could use its position as an influential middle power to encourage a world of overlapping cultures where diversity was seen as a source of strength.

Muslim persecution of Christians: February 2012

Raymond Ibrahim - Stonegate

Half of Iraq's indigenous Christians are gone, due to the unleashed forces of jihad [holy war]. Many Christians fled to nearby Syria; yet, as the Assad regime comes under attack from al-Qaeda and others, the jihad now seeps into Syria, where Christians are experiencing a level of persecution unprecedented in the nation's modern history. Similarly, some 100,000 Christian Copts have fled their native Egypt since the overthrow of the Mubarak regime; and in northern regions of Nigeria, where the jihadi group, Boko Haram, has been slaughtering Christians, up to 95% of the Christian population has fled.

Muslim chief demands destruction of churches

Bob Unruhe - WDN

A Muslim leader in Saudi Arabia is calling for the destruction of all Christian churches in Kuwait because he believes that is what Islam demands, according to a report. In an article published by the Middle East Forum, Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum, cites several Arabic language web publications that quoted Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, declaring it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.”


Harmony Day reminder on welcoming refugees


A woman who works with refugees in the Hunter says local settlement services have been overhauled since damning allegations were raised 12 months ago. Local provider, Navitas came under fire in April last year, accused of housing African refugees in sub-standard accommodation while asking for exorbitant rents. Refugee support group, "Welcome to Australia Newcastle" is using "Harmony Day" today to launch a new campaign, calling on local people to make the region a more welcoming place.

Sexualisation of Society

'Pretty' video sparks concern about teen self-esteem

A YouTube trend is raising concerns about young girls and self-esteem. Hundreds of teenage girls have posted videos of themselves to YouTube asking people to respond to the question: "Am I pretty?" The videos are getting big responses and not all of them are positive. Concerns include protecting kids from online abuse, or worse, sexual predators.


The New Evangelisation offers a future for the Church

Daniel Ang - Catholic News

The meaning and implication of a “new evangelisation” was the focus of conversation at a recent conference of Marist principals. As a presenter at the gathering, I reflected on the prospects of the Church in future years and sought to engage an ecclesiology that took into account the particular cultural milieu in which we find ourselves and so address what might be “new” in the Church’s response.

Growth of religious apps reaches biblical proportions

Amy McNeilage - SMH

Hundreds of editions of the Bible are now available in e-Book format and innovative religious apps are emerging almost daily. With more than a third of the world's population adhering to the Christian faith, it's little surprise there's a thriving digital market for the holy text. The 'Bible' app has been purchased by more than 35 million people. It is number 74 on the iTunes free app chart, which places it above popular apps such as eBay, Google Earth and IMDB.

Clive Palmer's CIA-Greens conspiracy claim could end up in court

Patrick Lion - The Daily Telegraph

He once listed suing people as a hobby but billionaire Clive Palmer could end up being the one sued for defamation. Greens co-founder Drew Hutton yesterday claimed he'd been defamed by Mr Palmer's claim he committed treason by conspiring with the US Central Intelligence Agency. The outburst even drew a reaction from Washington, where the CIA denied Mr Palmer's assertion it was funding the environmental movement, and specifically Mr Hutton, to destroy the Australian mining industry.

High court won't hear appeal by Christian groups

Elliot Spagat - The Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider a request by Christian groups on a college campus to allow them to limit membership based on religious beliefs. Justice turned back a legal effort by a Christian fraternity and sorority at San Diego State University that challenged an anti-discrimination policy at California state universities.