The extraction of a nucleus from an egg is one of the steps involved in cloning (Photo Baptist Press)
by Tom Strode
The “brave new world” of human cloning apparently has arrived, and critics are waving the warning flags. Oregon-based scientists reported Wednesday, May 15, they had cloned human embryos, reportedly the first successful attempt at such cloning, as a means of producing embryonic stem cells. The researchers extracted stem cells from the clones, destroying the days-old human embryos in the process.
The scientists used basically the same cloning method utilized in 1996 by Scottish researchers to create the first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep.
by Aidan Clay
Saudi men have been imprisoned and suffered lashings for converting a woman to Christ
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that two men accused of helping a young woman flee Saudi Arabia after her conversion to Christianity were sentenced to prison terms and lashes with a whip by a Saudi court on Sunday. The case comes weeks after an independent U.S. government advisory body listed Saudi Arabia among the top violators of religious freedom.
A Lebanese Christian man was sentenced to six years in prison and 300 lashes and a Saudi man was sentenced to two years and 200 lashes by a court in Khobar, a city in eastern Saudi Arabia, for their involvement in a Saudi woman’s conversion to Christianity and her escape abroad, Reuters reported. The men, who worked with the young woman known as Maryam at an insurance company, were arrested last July after a complaint was filed by her father. Maryam fled to Sweden several months ago and is reportedly applying for asylum.
By Corey Bailey
Hope in the darkness
Masud grew up in a strict Muslim home in a remote part of Bangladesh. Not only was his family strict, but his father was also an Imam.
Masud grew up with full knowledge of the Quran and considered himself to be a radical Muslim. As he grew, however, he began to wonder about the Jesus he read about in the Quran and asked his father many questions: “Who is Jesus? Is the Quran true? Is the Bible true? The Quran says we must study all the books that came before the Torah. Why don’t we study these?
by Adrian Chen
American Kenneth Bae, sentenced to prison in North Korea for 15 years
When North Korea announced it had sentenced imprisoned American tour operator Kenneth Bae to 15 years hard labor earlier this month, it gave no details about his crime other than he had attempted to “overthrow” the North Korean government. But now North Korea has presented more details about Bae’s crime. They say he smuggled anti-government propaganda into the country, and preached the overthrow of the regime as part of a Christian missionary-backed plan called “Operation Jericho.”
The report from the Korean Central News Agency paints Bae, a devout Christian, as the leader of a plot to undermine the government, according to a translation by NK News. “Operation Jericho” was launched in 2006 by Youth With a Mission (YWAM), an international evangelical Christian organization Bae belonged to, according to KCNA. It consisted of mobilizing 250 of Bae’s “followers” to infiltrate an area of North Korea near the border and create what the government calls an “anti-government coalition.” KCNA claims they based their operation in a hotel.
by Melissa Nordell
Organizations such as Open Doors International, Voice of the Martyrs and International Christian Concern work to defend the human rights of persecuted Christians around the world, to send financial assistance, to advocate for their rights and release from imprisonment, to create awareness of their plight, and to send Bibles and food to the oppressed and refugees.
By Mark Ellis
Willem Dafoe in the film, “Antichrist”
Do you believe he is a real person? Could he be alive today? Some may doubt his existence, but the prophet Daniel, the Apostles Paul and John — and Jesus Himself — all taught about the coming of this dynamic, powerful, evil personality who will rule the world at the time of the end.
The Book of Daniel covers a giant sweep of history, from Daniel’s era, about 500 years before Jesus, all the way up to and beyond our present time, prophesying about things that will be coming to planet earth in the future, perhaps sooner than we expect.
“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
(2 Chronicles 7: 14)
On May 19, the Global Day of Prayer, Christians in almost every country will assemble to pray. Many will gather in prayer groups in homes, local churches, businesses and some may even assemble in large stadiums and other public venues. In some places television, radio and internet will help to connect and align our prayers in an even greater way.
By Mark Ellis
Dr. Neil Whitehead
Eight major studies of identical twins in Australia, the U.S., and Scandinavia during the last two decades all arrive at the same conclusion: gays were not born that way.
“At best genetics is a minor factor,” says Dr. Neil Whitehead, PhD. Whitehead worked for the New Zealand government as a scientific researcher for 24 years, then spent four years working for the United Nations and International Atomic Energy Agency. Most recently, he serves as a consultant to Japanese universities about the effects of radiation exposure. His PhD is in biochemistry and statistics.
By Corey Bailey
Trafficked children in Bangladesh
More than 140 children have been rescued from Islamic training centers (madrassas) in Bangladesh in the last nine months, with a majority of the children targeted because of their Christian faith. The females, accounting for nearly half of those rescued, report that they were used for forced labor and sex slavery.
By Jeremy Reynalds
ZAHLE, LEBANON (ANS) – About 30 kilometers outside Syria’s western border, the Lebanon town of Zahle is full of refugees. Many make it across the Syria-Lebanon border and not much farther.
Lisa Pearce, deputy CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland, traveled to Lebanon in April to meet with Syrian Christians who have fled the violence in their homeland. She described what she found in a story for World Watch Monitor.
With new refugees arriving every day, Pearce said, it appeared that every spare building, shed and patch of ground was being rented by families or groups of families, at huge prices. Those leaving Syria with money can afford almost nothing in Lebanon. Even before the uprising, Lebanese prices were several times higher than those in Syria. Continue reading