Welcome to G3 Weekly—a summary of this week’s top news stories on Christianity and the public square.
This week, abortions in the United States were reported to have increased despite the overturn of Roe v. Wade. A Presbyterian minister in Pakistan was shot for refusing to say the Islamic confession of faith and reciting the Apostles’ Creed instead. Meanwhile, a school in California allegedly disallowed elementary school students from meeting to participate in a Bible club.
Abortions Rise Significantly in the United States
“Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11).
Abortions in the United States saw a significant increase in the first six months of 2023 relative to a similar period in 2020, according to data from the Guttmacher Institute.
The analysis reveals that there were some 511,000 abortions across thirty-six states in the first half of 2023, an increase from 465,000 abortions during a comparable time horizon across fifty states in 2020. The study implies that the nation will surpass one million abortions this year.
Data collected by the Guttmacher Institute does not include abortion pills mailed into conservative-leaning states from foreign countries or from progressive-leaning states. Some overseas nonprofits have boasted about providing thousands of abortion pills in a matter of months to American mothers, including in places where most abortions are purportedly illegal.
The sizable rise in abortion rates comes one year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the decision which claimed that there exists a right to abortion under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. No conservative state has passed laws guaranteeing equal protection for preborn babies or establishing penalties for all parties involved in an abortion.
Pakistani Minister Shot for Refusing to Say Islamic Confession
“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Eleazer Sidhu, a Presbyterian minister who lives in Jaranwala, Pakistan, was shot in the upper chest and shoulder after he refused to recite the Islamic confession of faith.
The church, which Sidhu pastors, was recently vandalized with Islamic slogans. Multiple assailants stopped him and his son three days after he removed the graffiti from the building.
“When I was returning home after picking up my son from school, we were stopped by some unidentified bearded men,” he said in comments provided to Morning Star News. “They threatened me, saying that I will be ‘deleted from the world’ in the same manner in which I had removed the graffiti from the church walls.”
When Sidhu refused to recite the Islamic confession of faith and instead started to say the Apostles’ Creed, one of the assailants shot him in the upper chest and shoulder area.
At least four Presbyterian church buildings were among the twenty-one congregations attacked by Islamic mobs last month, which also destroyed multiple homes belonging to Christians.
California Elementary School Refuses to Allow Bible Club
“Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes” (Psalm 8:2).
Hayward Unified School District in California denied multiple facilities-use requests from Good News Club, a ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship, at one of their elementary schools.
School officials denied three separate requests from the Good News Club even as they approved meetings for Girls on the Run, another group which is not officially sponsored by the school district, according to a letter from attorneys at Liberty Counsel.
“The Supreme Court and various federal courts have confirmed that organizations holding a religious viewpoint may not be subjected to discrimination on the basis of their religious viewpoint,” said the letter, which cited several previous cases in which Good News Club branches in other parts of the country received settlements following discriminatory treatment.