Henan House Church Revival Meeting Raided, U.S. Church Leader Under House Arrest; Seven Henan House Church Leaders Get Heavy Prison Sentences
NANYANG, Henan, China,April 22, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- A well-known U.S. church leader, Dennis Balcombe, was being held by police under house arrest following a Saturday raid on a house church revival meeting and his current whereabouts are unknown, ChinaAid has learned.
Also in Henan province, seven house church leaders in Pingdingshan have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to 7-1/2 years in prison on cult charges.
In Nanyang, the raid by police, Domestic Security Protection agents and officials from the Religious Affairs Bureau occurred on Saturday morning, just hours after the start of what had been planned as a three-day revival meeting, with attendees from the city of Wenzhou and the provinces of Hubei and Henan, as well as house church believers from some other places.
According to one of the attendees, the house church that had organized the meeting specializes in prayer ministry and calls itself Mt. Prayer Church. He said it is believed to be part of the Fangcheng Fellowship, one of China's largest and oldest house church networks.
Also at the meeting was Dennis Balcombe from Hong Kong Revival Chinese Ministries International and two of its woman employees. ChinaAid's source about the raid said that when he and the local church leaders left, Balcombe and his co-workers were still being held by police under house arrest.
When the 70 revival meeting attendees gathered on Saturday morning, they all handed over their cell phones to a designated person from the organizing church. This was a security precaution to prevent the phones becoming tracking devices that would lead authorities to their meeting site. They then boarded a bus to the meeting venue at a retreat center in the Wolong district of the city of Nanyang.
At about 10 a.m., not long after the meeting began, several dozen police, Domestic Security Protection agents and religious affair bureau officials swarmed into the room. Without showing any identification, they began filming and photographing the event. When one of the attendees tried to take videos of them with his digital camera, it was confiscated from him and had not been returned at the time of this report.
The Domestic Protection Security agents said they needed to check on some things in the room, then proceeded to finger print and palm print each person at the meeting. Each person was also interrogated, while a written record of the questioning was taken, and each person also had to sign police documents.
Also in Henan, seven house church leaders were sentenced on April 1 to prison sentences ranging from three to 7-1/2 years, according to the well-known Christian lawyer Li Baiguang. Their defense lawyers received the verdict and sentencing papers just last week.
A 16-year-old Wins Right to Carry Her Baby
February 19, 2013 - A sixteen-year-old girl who is ten weeks pregnant has sued and won the right to carry her baby to term. Her parents had tried to force her to have an abortion instead. The teen had alleged threats of physical abuse if she didn't agree to the abortion.
An agreement reached between the two parties stipulates the parents grant the girl and her boyfriend the right to marry. Evan Madison, the baby's father, expressed his relief to have the battle decided in their favor.
The court decision is being hailed as a victory for life by opponents of abortion.
The pregnant girl was represented by the Texas Center for the Defense of Life.
Texas Bill Would Strip Patients of Their Rights
National Right to Life denounces bill to force DNR orders against patient wishes
WASHINGTON, February 11, 2013/Christian Newswire/ - The National Right to Life Committee, the oldest and largest pro-life organization in the United States, is calling for the defeat of a Texas bill -- S.B. 303 -- that would allow doctors to impose "Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)" orders on patients even if doing so would violate the patient's express wishes.
"Texas S.B. 303 violates the most fundamental tenet of patient autonomy by allowing doctors to strip patients (or their surrogates), of the right to dictate their wishes with regard to CPR," said Burke Balch, J.D., director of National Right to Life's Powell Center for Medical Ethics. "Texas S.B. 303 gives doctors the unilateral authority to deny CPR, thus imposing involuntary death on patients, with little recourse for patients or their surrogates to seek relief from an imposed DNR order."
Under the bill, sponsored by State Senator Bob Deuell, Vice-Chair of the Texas Senate Committee on Heath and Human Services, a doctor is authorized to impose a "DNR" order even over the protest of a patient or surrogate.
The bill provides that the most a patient or surrogate who wants the DNR removed can do is pay for "a second opinion at the patient's or surrogate's expense" and -- only after that "opinion has been obtained" -- appeal to the health care facility's ethics committee. If the patient should go into cardiopulmonary arrest in the meantime, the patient will suffer involuntary death without resuscitation. In some circumstances, the patient would be denied even the opportunity for a second medical opinion or resort to the facility committee.
"We appeal to anyone who cares about patient autonomy or the right to live to shine the light of outraged public opinion on this dangerous bill," Balch added.
Founded in 1968, National Right to Life, the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliate and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation's oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.
National Right to Life's Powell Center
Waiter Refuses to Serve Customer Who Insults Boy with Down Syndrome
January 19, 2013 - FoxNews. com reports that a Houston waiter has been thrust into the limelight after refusing to serve a customer insulted Milo, a boy with Down syndrome who was also in the restaurant. The waiter's name is Michael Garcia, and he works at Laurenzo's. Milo and his family are regulars at Laurenzo's, and Garcia said Milo was just talking and making small noises as he sat with his family.
Another customer came in with his family and was annoyed at Milo. He moved his family to another part of the restaurant but continued to make comments about Milo, saying, "special needs children need to be special somewhere else."
Finally Garcia told the irritated customer that he would not be able to serve him. The man and his family left the restaurant. Milo's family were unaware of the incident until told about it by another server.
Since the story went viral, Garcia's Facebook page has been flooded with friend requests and messages.
Garcia said his only goal was to protect the boy and his family. In the wake of the attention his actions have garnered he said, "It is about Milo, it is about educating ourselves and and when people are different, why should you treat them any different?"
Evidence Emerges of Abortion of Unwanted Girls in the UK
January 12, 2013 - The United Kingdom's Telegraph reports that evidence is emerging that mothers within certain ethnic groups in the United Kingdom are aborting their babies when they discover they are carrying girls. The newspaper conducted an investigation into the practice after receiving information the practice was becoming increasingly common. Undercover reporters were able to film doctors offering women abortions based on gender preference. As a result of this investigation, criminal charges are being considered against doctors in three cases.
Currently about 600 abortions take place every day in Britain. There were 189,574 abortions conduced in England and Wales in 2010. Under the 1967 abortion act, termination of a fetus based on gender is illegal. Last year the Council of Europe recommended member states refrain from disclosing the sex of a fetus to the parents, in order to discourage gender-based terminations of those pregnancies.
The Dangers of Untested Stem Cell Cosmetics
She spent more than $20,000 on an innovative stem cell treatment for wrinkles around her eye. Three months later, she couldn't open her right eye without substantial pain. When she did open it, the lid made a distinct clicking sound. Her eyelid drooped and the area around her eye was swollen.
Surgery disclosed the problem: the mesenchymal stem cells the clinicians had extracted from the woman and injected into her tissues had interacted with the dermal filler they used to form bone chunks in her eyelid and surrounding tissue.
To date, only one stem cell treatment has been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration. People with leukemia can receive bone marrow stem cell transplants legally. Increasingly, stem cell treatments are available on the market that are either illegal or fall within a legal gray area.
Stem cell cosmetics do not require FDA approval but often meet the FDA's definition of drugs due to their activity in the body. The active ingredients in these skin care products are cytokines.
Cytokines are a group of over 100 distinct proteins produced mostly by white blood cells. They are powerful cell regulators, able to alter cells. They can either stimulate or suppress cell activity. Recent evidence has implicated them in tumor growth.
Although the harvesting and use of adult stem cells avoids the ethical issues that surround the use of embryonic stem cells, reports like this point to the fact that stem cell research is still in its infancy and needs much more investigation.
Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary
Court Decision: The Obama Administration Must Rewrite the HHS to Protect Religious Freedom
A federal appeals court has ordered that the Obama administration cannot enforce the conception rule of the HHS mandate and must rewrite it to protect religious freedom from coercion for those with objections to the mandate.
The Obama administration had granted two concessions in a prior arguments before a lower court in which the cases brought by Belmont Abbey and Wheaton were dismissed, promising the following:
1. It would never enforce the mandate in its current form; and
2. It would publish a proposed new rule in early 2013 and finalize it by August.
The D.C.Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated those cases and forced the administration to report back every 60 days, starting in February, until it has rewritten the mandate.
"The government has now been forced to promise that it will never enforce the current mandate against religious employers like Wheaton and Belmont Abbey and a federal appellate court will hold the government to its word," said Kyle Duncan, General Counsel for the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty.
The battle against the provision of the new healthcare law which requires employers to pay for drugs that may cause abortions has opened on several fronts. There are now 40 separate challenges to the HHS mandate. The Supreme Court has ordered a federal appeals court to revisit whether the mandate violates the Constitution. A Chicago judge has granted a preliminary injunction in favor of Tyndale House, a religious publisher, in its challenge to the mandate. Judge Brian Cogan recently ruled in favor of the Archdiocese of New York, stating in part that "... the Bill of Rights itself, and the First Amendment in particular, reflect a degree of skepticism towards governmental self-restraint and self-correction."
Planned Parenthood Lawsuit Attempts to Remove Critical Protections for Women
MILWAUKEE, Wis.,Dec. 12, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ --
"In its quest to move abortions into rural Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is challenging Wisconsin's new law which requires that a woman seeking an RU 486 abortion be seen 'in person' by the individual performing the abortion and that in-person administration of the RU 486 abortion pill take place," stated Barbara Lyons, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life. "Planned Parenthood would rather expand its abortion empire by having women talk to an abortionist over a web cam. This is not good medicine and not good protection for women."
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the National Abortion Federation (NAF) guidelines for administration of RU 486 abortions call for a physical exam as step one prior to obtaining this type of abortion. The guidelines also recommend follow-up after 14 days to the abortion provider to ensure that the abortion is complete.
The FDA reports 14 maternal deaths and over 2,200 adverse incidents from use of RU 486 since 2000. Adverse incidents include 612 hospitalizations, 58 ectopic pregnancies, 339 blood transfusions, and 256 cases of infection.
"The two-drug RU 486 abortion process is neither simple nor without significant risk to women. The least we can do, as the State of Wisconsin has done, is to require that the woman be seen in person before these dangerous drugs are administered. We are confident that this law is clear in its intent and will be upheld," continued Lyons.
World Stem Cell Summit
West Palm Beach, Florida, was the site of the 2012 World Stem Cell Summit December 3-5, 2012. The Summit was organized by the Genetics Policy Institute and boasted a diverse sponsor list of over 200 organizations, many of them companies actively involved in stem cell research. The agenda included reports on research and development, industry, commercialization and collaboration, policy, regulation, ethics, advocacy and education.
Once again, the difficult issue of the ethics of using embryonic stem cells was addressed. Embryonic stem cells are harvested from frozen human embryos left over from in-vitro fertilization. In-vitro fertilization assists in conception for those women who cannot become pregnant by uniting the sperm and egg in a petri dish. More embryos are created than are used, and the surplus embryos are often discarded. But couples also donate them to medical research.
This presents an ethical dilemma for those who believe life begins at conception. Dr. William Hurlbut, who has served on the President's Council on Bioethics and on staff at Stanford University, was one of the three panelists on the ethics session and voiced his opposition to using embryos for research. He based his objections on the morality of destroying a human life and the possibility of human embryos being created solely to destroy for research.
Dr. Hurlbut has a handicapped son. It would seem that he would applaud efforts to find cures for people like his son. But it may be that he understands the value of life all the more. Perhaps the changing parameters for what is considered "life" and the sacrifice of a lesser human life for the greater good is a more sobering subject for someone with a child not meeting society's definition of perfect.
I know it is for us.
Senate Fails to Ratify U.N. Treaty
"If Congress really cares about persons with disabilities, they shouldn't encourage practices that systematically exterminate the disabled. Abortion targets the disabled in the womb. About 90% of unborn children diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. That mentality teaches the public that life with disability is not worth living. It has no place in a treaty designed to protect the disabled."
-Josh Craddock, Personhood USA
The U.S. Senate has rejected a bid to ratify a United Nations treaty drafted as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Although positive and life-affirming on its surface, questions about the implementation of its provisions and the subjugation of United States sovereignty to its authority were evidently insurmountable stumbling blocks for the 38 Senators who opposed ratification.
Article 10 of the treaty states: "States Parties reaffirm that every human being has the inherent right to life and shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others."
But Article 25 of the treaty requires "sexual and reproductive health and population-based public health programmes." Personhood USA asserts that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has affirmed this provision would include access to abortions.
Ratification of this treaty would have allowed it to superseded U.S. law. Though this was disputed by Republican senator John McCain, Personhood USA reports that Mr. Vladimir Cuk, Social Development and Human Rights Officer at The International Disability Alliance, stated: "We want clear recognition of the CRPD as a superseding instrument."
Read the text of the Personhood USA press release:
Senate Rejects U.N. Convention on Persons with Disabilities and Abortion Expansion
Read the text of the U.N. treaty:
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities