China's official government news agency announced Friday that the county will be loosening its controversial One Child Policy, as well as end its equally controversial re-education through labor program. These announcements come after top communist leaders met in Beijing for four days of closed meetings to design the country's future over the next 10 years.
The new policy reached by communist officials will allow families in which one parent is an only child to have two children, the country's official Xinhua News Agency said in a policy document released Friday. The previous policy only allowed two children per family if both parents were only children. The country's controversial One Child Policy was enacted in 1979 as a method of population control, but critics stipulate that as the country seeks to move ahead economically, it may have chosen to loosen its policy to allow a population surplus.
"Until now, the growth of the Chinese economy has been propelled by a demographic surplus, and that has been turning into a demographic deficit," Steve Tsang, a professor of Chinese studies at the University of Nottingham, told The Guardian regarding the policy change. Tsang added that the change in policy "should lead to a significant reduction in the abuse of human rights, in terms of forced termination." more >>
Christian missionary groups in India are reportedly helping with the remarkable rise in Christianity in the second most populous country in the world, especially among young people as well as middle and high caste Indians.
"With more than 71 million claiming Christianity, India is now the eighth largest Christian nation in the world," said Dick McClain, president and CEO of The Mission Society, publisher of Unfinished. "Yet with 456 languages and more than 2,611 distinct people groups, India still has more people groups unreached with the gospel than any other nation – 88 percent of its population."
The rise of Christianity is detailed in the latest issue of Unfinished magazine, where The Mission Society, which recruits, trains and sends Christian missionaries around the world, details how the Gospel is creating a "new India." The missionary efforts are reportedly reaching new groups beyond the lower caste and marginalized communities, who traditionally have been the more likely to be open to Christianity. more >>
More than 12,000 people attended Will Graham's final evangelistic Celebration event of the year where more than 800 people in the primarily Buddhist nation of Thailand committed their lives to Christ.
The three-day event, titled "Celebration Abundant Life with Will Graham," was held in Nong Prajak Public Park in Udon Thani on Nov. 1-3.
"The abundant life you're looking for cannot be obtained on your own. That's why God sent His Son on a rescue mission to save us," Graham told the crowd, according to a Billy Graham Evangelistic Association press release. "Some of you are looking for answers in life. Deep down you feel something is missing. Jesus is what's missing. He's the only One who can fill you." more >>
Human rights groups are calling China's election to the United Nations' Human Rights Council a "travesty," pointing out the country's very troublesome record on the issue.
"The Chinese government does not promote or protect human rights, even of its own citizens. To the contrary, the Chinese Communist Party is a brutal, totalitarian regime - one of the greatest human rights violators in the world. How can it then be a watchdog over human rights in other nations?" asked Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, in a statement.
"This is like the proverbial fox guarding the chicken coup or the wolf guarding the sheep. Rather, China will likely turn a blind eye to serious human rights abuses in other nations, to discourage other nations from challenging it on its own abysmal human rights record. China has no business on the U.N. Human Rights Council. Its presence damages the credibility of the Council," Littlejohn added, whose group raises awareness and fights against sexual slavery and forced abortion in China. more >>
A Tokyo District Court judge on Wednesday convicted Makoto Yamaya, a "cyber-terrorist" blogger and staff of Salvation Army in Tokyo (not involved in lawsuit), of defaming Japan-based newspaper Christian Today by disseminating information alleging that Christian Today was tied to a heretical cult organization connected with the Unification Church. Yamaya was ordered by Judge Toda Hisahi to pay 950,000 yen, or the equivalent of $9,565.
In addition to ordering Yamaya to financially compensate Christian Today Japan for damages, Judge Toda also ordered the blogger to delete his blogs related to Christian Today that are considered libel.
"The plaintiffs suffered an unreasonable loss," Judge Toda stated. more >>
The hospital being constructed in the Philippines by the Tim Tebow Foundation was not damaged by Typhoon Haiyan, the foundation reported Tuesday.
The orthopedic children's hospital, named the "Tebow CURE Hospital," is being built in one of the nation's largest cities, Davao City. The project is a joint effort between the Tim Tebow Foundation and CURE International, a faith-based organization that operates programs and hospitals in 29 countries to assist people with physical and spiritual healing.
Workers began building the hospital in February 2012, and the Tim Tebow Foundation said in a press release in October that the facility is expected to be open by summer 2014. more >>